Down And Out In Paris And London, Paperback book

Down And Out In Paris And London[Paperback]

by George Orwell

4.15 out of 5 (36 ratings)

Penguin Books Ltd 
Publication Date:
27 September 2001 
History: Specific Events & Topics 


'You have talked so often of going to the dogs - and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them'. George Orwell's vivid memoir of his time among the desperately poor and destitute in London and Paris is a moving tour of the underworld of society. Here he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor - sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses, working as a dishwasher in the vile 'Hotel X', living alongside tramps, surviving on scraps and cigarette butts - in an unforgettable account of what being down and out is really like.

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  • It reads like a tourist's guide to Paris and London, but does not offer the usual advices: instead, this is the biographical account of George Orwell's life as a penniless author in the two cities.Do not expect nice accounts of the places, but the realism is there - if you feel like, try to find the streets mentioned in both cities, and you will have a feel of what was life for him. The characters are realist, acerbic and quite colourful, and reminds me of Joyce's Ulysses, but without the complexity of language.This is a definite read for a taste of 1920-1930s realism, with a taste of the backstreets, pimps and slums of the two capitals between the wars, but without being overly negative in its viewpoint. This is recommended for anyone interested in social realism, sociology and can be read in conjunction with Zola's 'L'assommoir'.

    5.00 out of 5


  • I love this book so much I have given away several copies. Absolutely essential reading that's seen me through tough times.

    5.00 out of 5


  • Great recollection by Orwell on his pseudo-investigative days as a bum in Paris and England. This guy was no armchair philosopher.

    5.00 out of 5


  • Prior to reading this book, my knowledge of Orwell was rather limited - I'd read the standards: Animal Farm and 1984 - and I loved his essay Politics and the English Language, but that was all.I found Down and Out in Paris and London both entertaining and thought-provoking. It's not really written as either an autobiography or a straight non-fiction book but is closer to journalism than anything else. And it's very entertaining - the episodes and characters Orwell conveys are lively, and Orwell's own musings on the essentially useless nature of poverty (by which he concludes that poverty has no real purpose) are precise, humane, and accurate.More than anything, this book made me grateful for such simple pleasures as a long hot shower, a clean place to sleep, and decent food. I think anyone would enjoy this book, and I'd certainly recommend it.

    5.00 out of 5


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