Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Burning Down George Orwell's House by Andrew Ervin

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Laurie Boone

What I Read: Burning Down George Orwell's House by Andrew Ervin

Find It @YCLD: Here!


What It's About: A successful advertising executive, in an attempt to flee his inner demons by moving to remote Scotland, finds himself instead confronting demons of the ordinary human kind…and possibly a werewolf. Ray Welter made a fortune as an advertising executive whose ads promoted a toxic product. He got the idea from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a work with which Ray is strangely obsessed. When his marriage and life fall apart in Chicago, he decides to move into the house where Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four; a house located on the remote Scottish island of Jura. What seemed like a good idea at the time ends up having rather twisted (and darkly funny) consequences.

What I Thought: I picked this up to read based solely on the great title, but after reading for about ten minutes I knew this was going to be good. Ray’s desire to escape the ‘Big Brother’ world of technology and “civilization” is something a lot of modern people can relate to. Fortunately, or unfortunately for Ray, depending on how you look at it, the island of Jura is populated by eccentrics and other malevolently amusing characters who really stick it to Ray and his dream of escape. Ray took inspiration for his manipulative ad campaign from Nineteen Eight-Four, and then Ray ends up being manipulated himself by everything dark and light, sinister and hilarious, human and maybe not so human in George Orwell’s house on the island of Jura.

Readalikes: 1984 by George Orwell. Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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