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Orwell specialises in writing reportage, which gives details of his life experiences. His writing style is direct and as clear as looking through a pane of glass. His experiences working in hotels in London and Paris are at times grim, but his sense of humour shines through. Not as well known as Animal Farm and 1984 but still a tour de force.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Great listen! Thoroughly enjoyed it. The Audio book does this classic book justice. Easy to follow along.
Who would have thought that an endless stream of stories about the awfulness of living on the edge of dire poverty could so gripping, but in the hands of this master storyteller it is. Orwell coped philosophically with the degradation and squalor of his experiences of trying to live on the pittances he earned from long hours of working as a drudge in Paris kitchens. His revelations about how, even in the most prestigious establishments, standards of hygiene and food quality were abysmal reminded me of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential which similarly lifts the lid on modern kitchens.
During his time in Paris, Orwell met many extraordinary characters and their life stories enliven the book as they revel in their tactics for survival and schemes for beating the system buoyed up by unrealistic optimism.
His experiences of travelling with tramps around London, after his return from Paris, are moving and a sad reflection of how some people can fall out of society and have to rely on grudging charity. The book concludes, like his later book The Road to Wigan Pier, with sensible suggestions as to how life could be made better for these indigents at no extra cost or even less cost to society.
The narrator is superb.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
A powerful read on how life for the down and out really was (is), a must read for all who are interested in social history, and remember about how if we don't learn for our history how it will repeat itself
8 of 9 people found this review helpful