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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

George Orwell's paean to the end of an idyllic era in British history, Coming Up for Air is a poignant account of one man's attempt to recapture childhood innocence as war looms on the horizon. 

George Bowling, 45, mortgaged, married with children, is an insurance salesman with an expanding waistline, a new set of false teeth - and a desperate desire to escape his dreary life. He fears modern times - since, in 1939, the Second World War is imminent - foreseeing food queues, soldiers, secret police and tyranny. So he decides to escape to the world of his childhood, to the village he remembers as a rural haven of peace and tranquillity. But his return journey to Lower Binfield may bring only a more complete disillusionment.

Public Domain (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Coming Up for Air

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Top reading

All of Orwell's books are brilliant. This one shines brightly too. So funny and easy to read or listen to. The reader is ideal. No nonense get on with it & cheerful. Just like Bowling himself. Funny how little known this book is. Orwell's tally of books was on the slight side. But what quality!

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A lesser known gem

If you have any nostalgia, aspiration, or hope remaining in middle age, Orwell will crush that right out of you. Try not to wince at the casual misogyny and anti-semitism and just drift along with the hopelessness of it all. Daniel Rigby gets the tone spot on with his voicing of our putative 'hero'. Marvellous stuff.

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Escape

Escape and wander with the story. Perfectly written. Very apt to today and everyday.

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Great story on nostalgia with solid narration

Coming up for air? There is no air!

Enjoyed this exploration of nostalgia. George Bowling, a 45 year old insurance salesman that anticipates a second world war coming, dreams of going back to his childhood city, Lower Binfield. He remembers his youth and the city fondly. His nostalgia seems mostly triggered by his unhappiness with his current condition. He has money problems, is fed up with his wife and children, expects another world war and is unhappy with his position in life. Everything was better back then. However, once he returns to Lower Binfield, he changes his mind.

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Classic story, well read by Rigby

A great story from Orwell about life during wartime Britain. Read clearly and fluidly in a neutral accent by Rigby. Great accentuation and passion in his voice when required.

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Nice little book

an easy going, fishing related book which was nice to listen to while spending a couple of nights on a lake fishing