Jan 7, 2008

Down and Out in Paris and London

by George Orwell

This is a detailed account of living in poverty in Paris and London. The narrator, an impoverished writer, describes his experiences living in Paris as a dishwasher for a posh French restaurant, and wandering the streets of London usually homeless, searching for lodging and food, consorting with pawnshops, sleeping in charity shelters, rubbing shoulders with bag ladies and tramps. His descriptions of what goes on in the bowels of the French hotel where the restaurant food is prepared makes my stomach turn- for weeks I vowed never to eat in a restaurant again! The attitudes of British law towards vagrants was utterly depressing and raised indignation in my heart for the squashing of human dignity and lack of proper succor for the poor and homeless. Mostly the book described pure misery and frustration trying to live without stable income and thus, a proper roof over one's head. In spite of how depressing it is, Down and Out in Paris and London remains one of my favorites of Orwell's. It's a very engaging read.

Rating: 4/5               213 pages, 1933

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  1. This is one I've been meaning to read. I read The Road to Wigan Pier earlier this year and found it hard to put it down.

  2. Is that by the same author? It's a title I haven't heard of. Will have to look for it.


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