I remember reading George Orwell’s Burmese Days when I was living in Bangkok and how much the book made me want to book a trip to Rangoon to see the country for myself. Burma, or Myanmar as it is officially called, is a complete mess. The ruling junta there is known for its brutality, backwardness and sociopathic secrecy. And they make lousy pancakes.
Like North Korea, Burma is an anachronism, an oddity, a pariah among nations, granted a less dangerous one, and it remains one of the most closed societies on earth. Now out in paperback, the book uses Orwell’s story there as a backdrop for exploring the country as a whole. Called Finding George Orwell in Burma, the book is now out in paperback. Written by Emma Larkin (a pseudonym), it examines this bizarre, yet alluring place. NPR has got a nice feature on the book that is worth checking out. Oh, and if you are interested in reading Burmese Days, you can also download and read the whole book for FREE from this site.