The Road to Wigan Pier

  • by George Orwell
  • Narrated by Frederick Davidson
  • 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Orwell went to England in the 1930s to find out how industrial workers lived, he not only observed but shared in their experiences. He stayed in cramped, dreary lodgings and subsisted on the scant, cheerless diet of the poor. He went down into the coal mines and walked crouching, as the miners did, through a one- to three-mile passage too low to stand up in. He watched the back-breaking, dangerous labor of men whose net pay then averaged $575 a year. And he knew the unemployed, those who had been out of work for so long they had sunk beyond despair into an inhuman apathy. In this searing yet beautiful account of life on the bottom rung, Orwell asks himself why Socialism - which alone, he felt, could rescue human values from the ravages of industrialism - had so little appeal. His answer is a harsh critique of the Socialism and Socialists of his time.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Annoying Narrator

Would you try another book from George Orwell and/or Frederick Davidson?

not Frederick Davidson


What other book might you compare The Road to Wigan Pier to and why?

Don't know.


How could the performance have been better?

The narrator's voice was almost farcically sneering and comically upper-crust. But it wasn't meant to be a satire.


Could you see The Road to Wigan Pier being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I have no idea.


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- Marianna

An Interesting Social Commentary

I'm a fan of dystopian novels so I decided to give Orwell's nonfiction work a shot. I was pleasantly surprised with his commentary on the state of the English working class and socialism in the 1930s. The description of the work day and home life of the working class was quite interesting and eye opening, as was Orwell's commentary on the ills of society.

Some of the book was geared toward English society and more applicable to a nation with a long history and more definitive class structure. Other statements still applied to current U.S. society, including some of his foreboding predictions (like eating unhealthy foods becoming the new fatal disease). I was fascinated with his foresight yet appalled at the same time that someone noticed this 70 years ago yet nothing was to head off or solve the problems.

The narrator had a great accent and made the book come alive. Thoroughly enjoyed the book and the narrator. I will look for more books read by this narrator.
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- Cassie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-15-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.