CHELTENHAM, United Kingdom
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 21
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  • Homage to Catalonia

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Northam
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 564
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 492

Homage to Catalonia is George Orwell’s account of his experiences fighting in the Spanish Civil War, and a portrait of disillusionment with his early politics. Orwell’s experiences include being shot in the neck by a sniper, and being forced into hiding as factions of the Left battled on the streets of Barcelona. Orwell entered Spain intending to gather an experience worth writing as well as to fight Fascism, and wrote Homage to Catalonia within months of his return.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Alastair Ball on 14-01-15

Reality bites

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-12-12

This is my third Orwell book after Animal Farm and 1984. It was good to dip a toe into his essayistic writing, this was certainly as compelling as a novel and you would be forgiven for thinking it was.

It is well narrated and you certainly won't want it to come to an end. The mixture of historical lesson and insight to the human condition is an engaging blend. You can recognise the politics of the author of the above mentioned novels (unwritten at this time) and the integrity and courage of the man shines like a beacon through the book.

Good for anyone either interested in Orwell as a writer outside of fiction or for an insight into a period of history that was massively influential to the freedom we enjoy in Europe today.

highly recommended

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade cover art
  • Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade

  • A Duty Dance with Death
  • By: Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by: Ethan Hawke
  • Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141

Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Quite remarkable

  • By SDY on 09-11-12


5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

In an attempt to catch up on some classic novels i've missed along the way, I choose this without knowledge of the author or plot. I understand now why it is held in such high regard. Conveying similar reflections to war as chronicled by Orwell in Homage to Catalonia, Vonnegut puts you in the eyes of the foot soldier of WW2 from a perspective that is humbling.

This is much more than a war novel though, Vonnegut flows fluidly through time and space giving this book an engaging sense of the huge social changes and destruction that took place only a generation ago. Time travel and musings on elderly reflection leave you looking at your own existence with new eyes.

  • Hitch-22

  • A Memoir
  • By: Christopher Hitchens
  • Narrated by: Christopher Hitchens
  • Length: 17 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 773
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 624
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 618

In this long-awaited and candid memoir, Hitchens re-traces the footsteps of his life to date, from his childhood in Portsmouth, with his adoring, tragic mother and reserved Naval officer father; to his life in Washington DC, the base from which from he would launch fierce attacks on tyranny of all kinds. Along the way, he recalls the girls, boys and booze; the friendships and the feuds; the grand struggles and lost causes; and the mistakes and misgivings that have characterised his life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Honest but difficult listening

  • By Penny on 18-06-16

Life changing

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-12-12

This book should be a cold shower shock to most people who read it. The depiction of a life lived at full speed with a humbling thirst for truth and progressive thought is orated beautifully by the man himself. As this paragraph is meant to be a book review and not an opinion page about the mans politics as some below have cheaply used, I would advise that if you are intrigued by the beginnings and origins of one of the worlds greatest minds and writers, then this is simply unmissable. The combination of integrity and eloquence make this a book I was heartbroken to have reached the end of.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful