George Orwell's first novel, inspired by his experiences in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, Burmese Days includes a new introduction by Emma Larkin in Penguin Modern Classics. Based on his experiences as a policeman in Burma, George Orwell's first novel presents a devastating picture of British colonial rule. It describes corruption and imperial bigotry in a society where, 'after all, natives were natives - interesting, no doubt, but finally ... an inferior people'. When Flory, a white timber merchant, befriends Indian Dr Veraswami, he defies this orthodoxy. The doctor is in danger: U Po Kyin, a corrupt magistrate, is plotting his downfall. The only thing that can save him is membership of the all-white Club, and Flory can help. Flory's life is changed further by the arrival of beautiful Elizabeth Lackersteen from Paris, who offers an escape from loneliness and the 'lie' of colonial life.
I absolutely loved this book! There were some serious topics like colonialism, but there are also cute and light themes in it as well (such as love and jealousy). I think this book is still important because now a days when you learn about colonialism, you learn it from the Westers' perspective, but this book shows you the other side. I also loved learning about the Burmese culture as well. Warning: there are also some serious topics like prositution and rape. Even though it's only a small part of this novel, if you don't want to read anything about that then I don't recommend this book to you.
While reading this novel I truly had pity for the main character Flory. His storyline is so true bud sad. Usually when you follow a character he or she is pretty hot, get's a lot of attention and that's not realistic, but he just felt really real to me. I wanted some things for him and I was hoping how his story should have ended, but the ending blew me away! I was shocked about what happened, but I'm not going to spoil that for you, haha.
This is an easy classic to read as well. Even though the names were strange, I remembered easily who was who and it just felt like I was reading a good contemporary. It reads fast as well and it's not that long, but because I was busy with school stuff it took me about three weeks to read it. When it was up to me I could have finished it in one weekend.
Even though it's only my second novel by him that I've read (I've also read his essay collection though), I think Burmese Days is even better then Animal Farm. So if you want to read something by him that is not Animal Farm or 1984: read this one!
Have you read Burmese Days?