Home » April 2021 » Currently Reading:

Book review

April 12, 2021 April 2021 No Comments

The Last man in Europe

I was intrigued to see a novel by Denis Glover  listed on the Library’s catalogue. On closer inspection I saw that this was not the New Zealand Glover but an English one. The subject looked interesting so I borrowed the book – and it proved fortunate that I had.

This Denis Glover  is an academic with a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge where he was a member of King’s College. Last Man in Europe  is  his first novel which, however, is actually an amalgam of biography and novel. Glover has taken what he, a historian, factually knows of George Orwell’s life to create an illuminating story. In an introductory note he explains: ‘ this is a work of fiction but one that attempts to keep as close to the facts as possible to create a novel’.  

As a young man Glover was an enthusiastic Communistic Socialist who went to fight in the Spanish Civil war where he was seriously wounded and caught Tuberculosis. He had also become disillusioned by Communism due to the attitude of the Russian Communists fighting there. 

During the Second World War, with the designation of Captain, he headed the Army Office Department which produced suitably written reports on the war for distribution to the media. 

After the war he became a free lance writer spending most of his time writing  novels. However due to their always being politically overt messages they were time and again turned down by publishers. 

Then he struck upon the idea of writing one as an allegory and wrote Animal Farm. To ensure that readers got the book’s message he wrote a Preface explaining that this was an allegory. Once again Publishers were not interested.

One however could see the potential as a straight story. He agreed to publish then, unbeknown to the author, removed the explanatory preface. The book was a huge success in England and rights were sold to an American publisher  where it was also a success. Glover was suddenly famous and rich, but frustrated at still not getting his socialist message across.

By this time the tuberculosis had become advanced and his life expectancy was not good. Now as a famous writer his book would certainly be published he determined to write one more book. He purchased a property on a very remote Scottish island and began writting. The book was 1984. 

This is both a really well written story and an informative read. 

Mike Beckett 

Comment on this Article:

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Thanks to our sponsors

The Martinborough Football Club held the P+K Marty Masters Se7ens on the 31 October, and it was a huge success. Thanks to all our amazingly generous sponsors; P+K Martinborough, Mitre10 Martinborough, Cool Change, The Claremont Hotel, Top10 Holiday Park Martinborough, Martinborough Vineyard,  Circus Cinema, Ata Rangi, HealthFit, Physio Spot, Dry …

Martinborough Golf Report

At the end of October we held the finals of the Club Championships in near perfect conditions.  In the Seniors Division Tony Russo took on Lance Phelps with Tony shooting a magnificent 63 in the morning round and continuing that form into the afternoon, finally winning on the 25th hole.  …

Martinborough Golf Report

Another very busy month at the Golf Club which began with the Mens 54/36 Hole Open.  The players had to endure some very windy conditions on the Saturday but fortunately the weather was a lot kinder on the Sunday.  Winners of the 54 Hole Division were:  Best Gross Owen Lloyd, …

Regular Features

From the mayor

Merry Christmas! We now have a new electorate MP, Keiran McAnulty and I look forward …

Cooking corner

Catering for a vegetarian this Christmas? Here’s the Vegan Society’s Nut Roast recipe Ingredients  1 …

Councillor comment

Here we are the last Star for the year and what a year it has …

Did you know

I’M DREAMING of a white Christmas. But if the white runs out I’ll drink the …

Recyling calendar

December Wednesday 2nd glass Wednesday 9th wheelie bin Wednesday 16th glass Saturday 26th wheelie bin …

Regional Council notes

Time to start thinking Older residents in our region may well remember the massive flooding …

News from First Church

May these be the gifts your Christmas brings – Peace, Gladness, Good Health   and …

Recent Comments