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  • Orwell continues to be the benchmark for all would-be essayists because he achieved a perfect balance of clarity of prose and originality of insight. Consequently, he's marvellously readable, an effect he achieved without sacrificing a scrap of his fierce, wintry intelligence. There can be few writers who are as delightful discussing the class system as they are the common toad; Orwell was one of them

    Colin Waters, Sunday Herald
  • The fast track to a core of truth that Orwell's essays take on every page can still make your hair stand on end... With an equally well-chosen (by George Packer) companion volume of Critical Essays, it delivers to newcomers and aficionados a crash course in the arts of close observing, free thinking - and crystalline writing

    Boyd Tonkin, Independent
  • Best known for novels 1984 and Animal Farm, Orwell was also a superb essayist, and these two fine collections display his breadth of topic and depth of skill... Unpretentious, intelligent, compassionate and brilliantly insightful

    Doug Johnstone, Big Issue
  • Orwell's sanity and humanity seem especially precious today, when such qualities are in such short supply. How one would love to read him on the subject of our present political pygmies

    Daily Telegraph

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