We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Finding George Orwell in Burma | [Emma Larkin]

Finding George Orwell in Burma

Over the years the American writer Emma Larkin has spent traveling in Burma, she has come to know all too well the many ways this police state can be described as "Orwellian". The life of the mind exists in a state of siege in Burma, and it long has. The connection between George Orwell and Burma is not simply metaphorical, of course; Orwell's mother was born in Burma, and he was shaped by his experiences there as a young man working for the British Imperial Police.
Regular Price:$20.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Emma Larkin is the pseudonym for an American journalist born in Asia who has been traveling through Burma off and on for almost two decades. The pseudonym is necessary to protect her safety within the county, allowing her to continue to report on the ruling military junta and the citizens whose freedom continues to be crushed under this oppressive regime. George Orwell is the pseudonym for Eric Blair, a young man whose time in the British Imperial Police gave him an intimate knowledge of Burmese life that ultimately contributed to his fame as a writer of books that oppose totalitarianism. Emily Durante is Emily Durante's real name, and she has been narrating audiobooks for over 10 years, including both of Emma Larkin's books on Burma.

In this first book, Larkin charts a course through the country based on landmarks and people that are significant in the life of George Orwell. Orwell's first novel, Burmese Days, is actually only one of four major works to which Larkin continually refers. As Burma is on intellectual lockdown, it is a clear influence on Orwell's ideas of governance and censorship in Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The novel Orwell was working on when he died was also set in Burma. Durante reports Larkin's observations as objectively as possible. Her voice work is detached but factually astounding, appropriately emotive but not overly polemical. Like Orwell's deep characterizations, Durante lets Larkin's prose speak for itself. The moral of the story becomes all too obvious and the outcomes descend with a resounding inevitability.

For those not familiar with Orwell's work, this book stands alone by providing enough background and appropriate quotation to keep the flow of information both interesting and logical (but beware of spoilers here, if you intend to read Orwell's work in future). For die-hard Orwell fans, the very many parallels to modern Burma will be a striking new way of reading your old favorites. And no matter how much or how little you know about Burma, Durante's approach to Larkin's approach to Orwell's approach to Burma will shed a unique and much-needed light on the secretive police state through an incredibly rare first-hand account. —Megan Volpert

Publisher's Summary

Over the years the American writer Emma Larkin has spent traveling in Burma, she has come to know all too well the many ways this police state can be described as "Orwellian". The life of the mind exists in a state of siege in Burma, and it long has. The connection between George Orwell and Burma is not simply metaphorical, of course; Orwell's mother was born in Burma, and he was shaped by his experiences there as a young man working for the British Imperial Police. Both his first novel, Burmese Days, and the novel he left unfinished upon his death were set in Burma. And then there is the place of Orwell's work in Burma today: Larkin found it a commonplace observation in Burma that Orwell did not write one book about the country but three - the other two being Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. When Larkin quietly asked one Burmeseman if he knew the work of George Orwell, he stared blankly for a moment and then said, "Ah, you mean the prophet."

Finding George Orwell in Burma is the story of the year Larkin spent traveling across this shuttered police state, using the life and work of Orwell as her guide. Traveling from Mandalay and Rangoon to poor delta backwaters and up to the old hill-station towns in the mountains of Burma's far north, Larkin visits the places Orwell worked and lived and the places his books live still. She brings to vivid life a country and a people cut off from the rest of the world, and from one another, by the ruling military junta and its network of spies and informers.

©2010 Emma Larkin (P)2010 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"[Larkin] comes across...as an inquisitive and trustworthy guide to the underlying reality of a country whose leaders would rather have outsiders focus only on their carefully constructed veneer." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (31 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
3.2 (13 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Story
3.6 (13 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Roger South Orange, NJ, United States 09-21-10
    Roger South Orange, NJ, United States 09-21-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    289
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    381
    50
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    "Orwell's Horrors Brought to Life"

    This book has 3 intertwined themes: it’s part travelogue, describing the sights, sounds and smells of different parts of Burma; it’s part literary criticism, exploring the influence of Orwell’s experiences in Burma on his writing; and its main theme is using Orwell’s writings to illustrate the horrendous conditions in Burma today.

    In expounding this main theme, Ms. Larkin draws out the eerie confluence of 3 factors: Orwell’s having worked in, and written about, Burma; his chilling novels about life under authoritarianism; and the realities of such rule in Burma today. Larkin does a good job of using Orwell’s writings to bring descriptions of life under authoritarian rule home on a personal level.

    At times, the 3 themes get in the way of each other, but, at others, the contrasts between the natural beauty and current reality highlight Larkin’s descriptions of how bad things are.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan FPO, AP, United States 04-17-11
    Nathan FPO, AP, United States 04-17-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great Book"

    This book was absolutely excellent. It takes the reader on a trip through Burma while giving the information needed to empathize with the oppression that the Burmese face. It follows the path of George Orwell and frequently uses quotes from 1984 and Burmese Days.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison LINCOLN, NE, United States 06-04-12
    Allison LINCOLN, NE, United States 06-04-12 Member Since 2011

    I have a passion for all things science, music, and outdoors. I am also a "crazy dog lady."

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I expected"
    What did you love best about Finding George Orwell in Burma?

    The characters were described vividly.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I don't think that the story could have been changed, it just didn't connect George Orwell and Burma in the way that the author had intended.


    What does Emily Durante bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The accents of the Burmese people.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.