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 ReviewsMost Helpful
By Richard Blant on 20-07-15
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?
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Kirstine on 15-09-17
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.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Paul C Morris on 23-07-10
A Superb Writer
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
By Ross Engers on 01-05-16
Great listen! Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Great listen! Thoroughly enjoyed it. The Audio book does this classic book justice. Easy to follow along.