George Orwell's paean to the end of an idyllic era in British history, Coming Up for Air is a poignant account of one man's attempt to recapture childhood innocence as war looms on the horizon.
George Bowling, forty-five, mortgaged, married with children, is an insurance salesman with an expanding waistline, a new set of false teeth - and a desperate desire to escape his dreary life.
He fears modern times - since, in 1939, the Second World War is imminent - foreseeing food queues, soldiers, secret police and tyranny.
So he decides to escape to the world of his childhood, to the village he remembers as a rural haven of peace and tranquillity.
But his return journey to Lower Binfield may bring only a more complete disillusionment..."Very funny, as well as invigoratingly realistic...Nineteen Eighty-Four is here in embryo.
So is Animal Farm...not many novels carry the seeds of two classics as well as being richly readable themselves." (John Carey, Sunday Times).
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 25/01/2001
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780141185699