Book Review: The Essays by George Orwell

“From a very early age, perhaps the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer.”

George Orwell, The Essays

Title: Orwell: The Essays
Author: George Orwell
Genres: Essays, Classics
Length: 10 hrs, 45 mins (Audiobook)
Published: Various years (Collection: 2001)

My Rating: ★★
Read: 6/14/2023 – 6/19/2023


The fact that I didn’t eat up every word of this book was a major disappointment. 1984 and Animal Farm are among my all-time favorite books. I was ready for another mind-blowing reading experience. Instead, I was bored and desperately searching for a library copy of the exact essays in the audiobook so I could skip over a narration of recipes to see if there was anything I could salvage. 

This is a strange assortment of essays. Some belong together in a collection more than others. I found maybe two of them on par with the subject matters of the two novels I’ve read. Unfortunately, I no longer remember which they were which tells me they probably weren’t as on par as I convinced myself to think at the time. 

I’ve never studied anything about Orwell himself. I knew a couple of facts but it was just a scratch on the surface. It was interesting to hear his thoughts and opinions on certain things, but I was gravely disappointed by the anti-Hindu and anti-Catholic sentiments (with negative allusions to other faiths) expressed in a couple of essays. Apparently, this is common knowledge as I discovered upon further research so I’m sure some people reading this are rolling their eyes. Had I known or realized, this isn’t something I would have read. I find it disheartening to when people look down on anyone’s religion and choose to avoid it whenever possible. 

All that said, there were a few positive takeaways. I’m disappointed that at the time of writing this my mind is still stuck on the negative and the downright boring (‘A Nice Cup of Tea’, ‘British Cooking’…). If nothing else, it was a new perspective on the world during the times the essays were written. 

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The essay about the hospital was a great perspective.

What I didn’t like:

  • Anti-religious comments about multiple faiths.
  • Long-winded about a couple of topics that I didn’t find all that interesting to begin with.


This was definitely disappointing because Orwell was certainly prophetic in his works. I will continue to enjoy his fictional works but I don’t see myself venturing back to non-fiction.

Where to buy the book:

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