Orwell: The Lost Writings - George Orwell I am in the recovering stages of an Orwell craze. It is not really a permanent recovery, however, and the only reason why I am stopping right now is that I have read all of my library's books by George Orwell. I think there may be another book or two about Nineteen Eighty-Four written by other authors, but I am only interested in books by Orwell himself or biographies about him. So, until I get a hold of more of Orwell's books, I am on a temporary hiatus.
Now, onto the book itself. It is not a book as Nineteen Eighty-Four or even A Collection of Essays are. Instead, it is a collection of some of Orwell's surviving work from his days working for the BBC Eastern Service's Indian Section. A little over a sixth of the book is taken up by the Introduction, in which the editor explains how Orwell's time in the BBC helped to influence and create his views, leading eventually to the writing of the two novels that he is most remembered for, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Censorship, suppression, and propaganda all helped him to shape the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four, with all of its ministries and government media control. After the Introduction comes Part 1 of the book. This is composed of scripts, short stories, and interviews written and/or adapted by George Orwell for the Indian Section's radio broadcasts. Part 2 of the book is composed of letters, post cards, and telegrams pertaining to the Indian Section's broadcasts, most of them written by Orwell, but a few in response to him, from men such as E.M. Forster and T.S. Eliot. After all of this, the appendixes take up the final twenty pages of the book, talking about government censorship, showing an example of Orwell's personal notes pertaining to his broadcasts, Axis propaganda, and the government's attempt at completely banning certain people from the BBC, such as Kingsley Martin.
My personal thoughts on this book are mixed; I started reading this expecting something along the lines of A Collection of Essays, and I was quickly disappointed. However, the glimpse into news censorship and of Orwell's job was quite interesting, and not something that I had read about in any of his books. And there are certain stories and essays in which Orwell speaks his mind like in his Collection, but there are not that many of these. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I will only recommend this to an extreme George Orwell fan. If you have just read Nineteen Eighty-Four or Animal Farm and are hoping for more casual reading by Orwell, do not get this. If you want something like that, you should probably go for something like A Collection of Essays or Homage to Catalonia.