NPR’S “Fresh Air” review of Burning Down George Orwell’s House

May 19, 2015

On May 13, Maureen Corrigan of NPR’s program “Fresh Air” reviewed Burning Down George Orwell’s House. She said:

“[A]s all good comedies do, Ervin’s novel contains a sober question at its core — in this case, whether the idea of ‘escape’ itself is just another manipulation sold to us ‘proles’ by the very same wired world that engulfs and exhausts us. Take a wild guess what George Orwell would say.”

You can read and listen to her review here.

 

New York Post “must-read” books

May 7, 2015

The New York Post named Burning Down George Orwell’s House one of its “must-read” books. That can be seen here.

“A satire of a satire? Ervin’s debut novel introduces us to Ray Welter, fictional Chicago ad man in existential crisis, who drops out to the Scottish isle of Jura — to rent the cottage where the father of modern satire wrote most of ‘1984.’ His plans involve a little bit of moping and a lot of the local single malt. Big Brother might not be watching him, but the island’s eccentric locals sure are and also, possibly, a werewolf. High comedy ensues as Welter tries to find himself, Orwell and the savage beast.”

Tin House interview

Kyle Minor was kind enough to interview me for Tin House. Here’s an excerpt:

“George Orwell has become the patron saint of paranoia, which is understandable given the utter prescience and genius of Nineteen Eighty-Four. That there exists a reality TV show called Big Brother about people being watched around the clock is both grotesque and perfect. I can’t open the newspaper—and I still get one delivered every day—without reading at least one superficial reference to thoughtcrimes or memory holes or Newspeak. What’s missing from the Orwell-this and Orwell-that commentary is the fact the he wrote things other than Nineteen Eighty-Four. The term ‘Orwellian’ refers to one aspect of one novel, albeit a profoundly great and important one.”

Paste Magazine

“In Burning Down George Orwell’s House, Ervin has achieved something uniquely refreshing: a book that shows the taste and restraint to pay knowing, affectionate and humorous tribute to George Orwell without trying to prove him right—or to create some redundant simulacrum of his work. That’s no knock on other writers and pundits perceptive enough to identify unsettling echoes of Nineteen Eighty-Four in our contemporary society. But if Burning Down George Orwell’s House demonstrates one thing, it’s that some Orwellians are more equal (to the task) than others.”

The full review is here.

 

Book Release Party // May 3, 2015

February 19, 2015

Burning Down George Orwell’s House
Book Release Party

Reading + signing + performance by the Dead Milkmen

Sunday May 3, 2015
3-5 p.m.

Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine St.
Philadelphia PA 19103

 

The charity Books Through Bars will be on hand to collect donations. There’s a list of the things they need here and I would be extremely grateful if you would consider bringing some books for an excellent cause.

 

Joseph Fox Bookshop will be selling copies, but you can also pre-order from your local independent bookseller here.

 

Burning Down George Orwell’s House is really most enjoyable, a witty, original turn on the life and memory of the Sage of Jura, taking place on the island where he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four. Eric Blair serves as the McGuffin in this story, which is one part black comedy and one part a meditation on modern life. It is well-written and truly original.” —Robert Stone

 

Burning Down George Orwell’s House: A Novel
By Andrew Ervin
Soho Press
ISBN: 978-161954949
Publication date: May 5, 2015.