Down and Out in Paris and London

  • by George Orwell
  • Narrated by Jeremy Northam
  • 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An autobiographical study, Down and Out in Paris and London follows Orwell as he tramps around both Paris and London. Pawning his belongings to buy food, unemployment, drinking heavily and jostling for a place in homeless hostels are but a few of the experiences related with candour and insight in this unabridged exclusive audiobook. Orwell was arguably one of the first 'gonzo' journalists.
In this unabridged, enlightening and often shocking expose of life on the streets of two of Europe's most romanticised and celebrated cities, Orwell describes in detail the day-to-day life of a 'down-and-out', which involves hunger, filth, derision and often prejudice and violence. Alcohol is also a staple distraction on both sides of the channel for the destitute, and Orwell's comments on issues such as the emasculation of a man when he becomes a tramp (women see him as 'less than' a man and will not interact with him) are truly fascinating.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Where does Down and Out in Paris and London rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The journalism, courage and compassion is unparalleled. A fantastic example to our current crop of list compilers and press release johnnies who call themselves members of that profession.

What other book might you compare Down and Out in Paris and London to, and why?

Nick Davies - Dark Heart. Going into the slimy underbelly of society and able to empathise with the people and write with compassion about their lives.

Which character – as performed by Jeremy Northam – was your favourite?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did!

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- Richard Blant

Thought-provoking and riveting storytelling

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.
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- Kirstine

Book Details

  • Release Date: 14-01-2010
  • Publisher: CSA Word