Gordon Bowker has written highly acclaimed biographies of Malcolm Lowry (a New York Times Recommended Book of the Year) and Lawrence Durrell, and articles and reviews for the Observer, the Sunday Times, the New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement.
George Orwell, one of the most significant literary icons of the 20th century, was, as Gordon Bowker says in this exceptionally detailed biography, a man haunted by nightmares: the guilt of childhood sin (he believed he had killed another boy through black magic while at Eton); the guilt of working as a high-handed repressive colonial during his years as a policeman in Burma; and the nightmare of rock-bottom poverty lived through in his first novel Down and Out in Paris and London. The best-known - and also the best - books, Animal Farm and 1984, are an odd mixture of high Tory values and fundamentalist Marxism. Like him or not, Orwell's is an endlessly fascinating character, and any readers who want to understand the complex man behind his strange and often marvellous books will have to read this biography, which though flawed in parts is a remarkable work of psychological insight and completely compelling to read. (Kirkus UK)