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Burmese Days

Narrated by: Allan Corduner
Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (415 ratings)
Regular price: £16.99
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Summary

An unabridged recording of Orwell's brilliant first novel read by Allan Corduner. The story is largely based on Orwell's own experiences as a police officer in Burma. Set in the dying days of the Raj, it depicts the harshness and darker side of colonial rule. And at its centre is John Flory, a lone individual hopelessly trapped in a vast political system; themes which set the agenda for much of his writing. Burmese Days was Orwell's first novel, and was issued in 1934 in America, then a year later in the UK where there had been fears and controversy initially that the material could be libellous.

©2012 Canongate Books (P)2012 Canongate Books

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chelin
  • Ruislip, United Kingdom
  • 05-12-12

A wonderful listen

Beautifully read by Allan Corduner, who gives a great performance with the different voices and accents, it adds a new level to the audiobook and allows the reader/listener to fully appreciate this wonderful book.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • a
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 25-10-12

a Passage to India

Remaniscent of a Passage to India, but with the writer's experience of working in Burma for a number of years.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great narrator.

Great narration throughout. Makes such a difference. All the characters came alive vividly.
Would like to listen to more by this narrator

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant slice of colonial life

While some of the language may be a bit non PC for today, it does give a flavour of how harsh colonial life was, especial for the natives. Narrator struggles a bit with female voices, other than that an absolute absorbing listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Days gone by

I love books about the past times in India and Burma , learning about the way of life, the way the British colonials lived in those times. It all fascinates me.
The way George Orwell writes is very easy to listen to and creates wonderful images - he brings his stories to life.
The narrator is excellent.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 16-05-15

Nicely written anti-colonial but dated novel

Very interesting novel by Orwell who spent five years in Burma in the 1920s.

Lucid and very descriptive of the culture, community and governance of the time. It exposes the discrimination and racism of British colonial society, and the concomitant corruption of Burmese bureaucrats and officials engaged by, and participating in, the colonial system.

The book brings multiple relationships to the fore - each exploitative in different ways - the British colonials in relation to their domestic servants, other employees, Burmese young women and British colonial 'ladies'; family dynamics within the Burmese community; the networks of support and corruption within the civil service established by the British; the efforts to entrench separation from the locals through Clubs which forbade any Burmese from membership.

An enjoyable, evocative, entertaining but somewhat dated portrait of colonial times in Burma.

Underlying it all... the distant sound of rising Burmese nationalism...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • anne
  • Bedford, United Kingdom
  • 09-08-15

Wonderful

A glimpse of the last days of the Raj. With all the strife and prejudices of those closing days.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Compulsive story to listen to. Highly recommended

Set in Burma towards the end of the British Raj, where bigotry and racism thrive in the closed society of the Englishmen’s club. The story centres around John Flory, whose life has been governed by an ugly birthmark on his face. It is about his two relationships in an otherwise friendless life and the effects of a vicious, scheming and corrupt magistrate. George Orwell tells his tale with empathy, an intimate knowledge of his main character and some scorn towards a society he got to know personally. Allan Corduner’s narration is first rate.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Class warfare, jungle style

This book is classic Orwell; a study of the English class system but uprooted and plonked in the humid jungles of Burma. Each man looks down upon the other, the women know their place, and they all look down upon the natives. It demonstrates the raw ugliness of English imperialism through the eyes of a few pivotal characters. It's all there: open racism, a detached sense of duty, alcoholism, exploitation, manifest sexism, and all underlined with dollops of self-loathing.

Needless to say, because it is classic Orwell, don't expect a happy ending. Just a shame about the dog.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Scathing and powerful as ever

Alan Corduna delivers an excellent rendition of this classic, yet under-read debut novel from George Orwell, scathing in its exposition of imperialism. Putting the empire in its place, Orwell caused panic in the ranks when this raw and damning tale of the underbelly of Colonial life was first published. What surprised this reader was the cracking pace and liveliness of the yarn. Its characters may come across initially as cartoonish in contemporary terms, but the underlying message of the work transcends as Orwell builds a nightmarish world that damages most of its inhabitants and where greed and corruption are the overriding motivation. Powerful stuff.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristoffer
  • 09-07-15

Excellent audio-book

A brilliant, informative and critical narrative of the everyday brutality of British imperialism. I couldn't stop listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful