Inside Orwell and Other Stories
This is a short and sweet collection of writing, consisting of three novellas and one short story. All four pieces are unique in their own right, though not entirely unrelated in theme. “Three A.M” is about the tumultuous relationship between Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald that resulted from their perfect but incompatible personalities. “Inside Orwell”, the titular novella in this collection, is about Orwell’s experiences in the Spanish Civil War in the fight against Fascism while also drawing from his various works of writing, painting a picture of the important writer he was. “The Selection of ’92” jumps forward in time 1992, where the presidential election serves as the backdrop for a story about two salesmen who try to outdo each other in revenue as well as in politics. The final piece, “The Georges” is a short story about a man reflecting on the murder case of Treyvon Martin, and uncovers his anger as he takes a look at the three Georges: Zimmerman, Bush, and Orwell.
Personally, “Three A.M.” and “Inside Orwell” were my favorite selections from this collection. I love the Fitzgeralds and this novella is sure to be fun for anyone else that is a fan of the infamous relationship of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. My favorite aspect of the story was how reliable the narrator of the story seemed to be, acting as an authoritative expert on the subject of the Fitzgeralds; the sense of closeness that resulted between the three players was interesting. This held true for “Inside Orwell” as well. In addition to adding an extra layer of understanding to the characters, it also made for fun stories to read because it gave a sense of being on the inside of those social circles, rather than just being a biographical account. “Inside Orwell” was additionally one of my favorites because of the way Orwell’s other pieces of writing were woven into the story. Specifically, his essay “Shooting an Elephant”, which is a personal favorite, was alluded to quite a bit which I really enjoyed.
While each of the stories are unique, I was less engaged with the latter half of the collection; while each story held a similar theme, I don’t think the collection as a whole was as cohesive as it could have been. Nonetheless, I think Joseph Raffertto’s collection will be nice for re-discovering while browsing my bookshelves time and time again.
|Page Count||212 pages|
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