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Publisher's Summary

A graphic and biting polemic that still holds a fierce political relevance and impact despite being written over half a century ago. First published in 1937 it charts George Orwell's observations of working-class life during the 1930s in the industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire. His depictions of social injustice and rising unemployment, the dangerous working conditions in the mines amid general squalor and hunger also bring together many of the ideas explored in his later works and novels.
©2012 Canongate Books (P)2012 George Orwell
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Koot Kotze on 04-06-18

As insightful as ever

Listen to it at 2.5x speed. Interesting to read it with the knowledge of hindsight.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Utilisateur anonyme on 06-07-17

Class a pathogen

"You can sympathize with a murderer, a sodomite, but bot if his breath stinks." Great insight on the class system.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By M on 10-15-12

Road to Wigan Pier

I had a vague idea what this book was about - a middle class George Orwell goes 'Up North' to see how the working classes live - but I wasn't expecting it to be such a personally touching story. My family are from West Yorkshire and, as far back as we can go, we have been miners, living in the small mining communities that are described in The Road To Wigan Pier. Infact, my Grandad started down the pit in 1937 - as a 15 year old boy, the year this book was published - and the descriptions of the lives and homes of the mining families really hit home for me. The visceral account of how the miners would have to crawl through miles of dark and dusty tunnels before they even reached the coal face - and then do their 7 hours of difficult and dangerous graft before making the return trip - made my knees and back ache in sympathy for my young Grandad; no doubt it would have been my lot had I been born 50 years earlier.

Orwell's writing is superb, and this first half of the book flew by, but I wasn't expecting the sudden shift into polemic that takes up the second half and I kinda lost the flow for a while, but it turned out to be a very interesting insight into that strange period - just before WWII - when Fascism, Socialism and Capitalism were fighting for dominance. And, interestingly, many of his arguments about what was wrong in society rang true for our own times: unemployment, housing shortages, the poor eating junk food, and the onslaught of crass media, cheap clothes and technological toys that distracted the masses from engaging in meaningful debate or action.

So overall this was an extremely interesting read - if not an entertaining one - and I would thoroughly recommend it.

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30 of 34 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Stephanie Jane on 09-13-13

Life-changing book that's perfect for audio

Finished listening to an Audible download of Road To Wigan Pier today and it is a truly astounding book. I think, had I encountered it 80 years ago, it would have been life-changing. Plus there is still so much that is completely relevant now and it is interesting to see how much of Orwell's future prognosis has come to pass. I am sure that much of my enjoyment of the work was due to Jeremy's excellent and impassioned narration. The second part moves from social observation to political ideology and, had I been just reading, I possibly would have got lost and given up. However, having the audio made it feel as though the different ideas and perspectives were being explained just to me(!) and I now have a far better understanding of the politics of the time.

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20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gaetano on 12-02-17

engaging a relevant.

shows that the date might change but, our views are almost set on stone. but this book leaves you with hope at least.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Shannon on 02-15-17

Socialist commentry.

Not Mr Orwells best fiction, but more a political commentry. Probably one for the the Orwell faithful. Like me...

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