Top positive review
51 people found this helpful
a classic work of social history
on 30 November 2003
I first read this fine book as a spotty teenager, it blew me away. I re-read it recently as a 30-something - and it blew me away again.
It is at heart a study of poor people in east Manchester in the early 20th Centure (where and when Roberts was growing up).
In my opinion, it provides insight into the poor of all cities, in all ages. Roberts is better on the nature or poor life than Orwell, Dickens, et al. For instance, he says working men in the terrible slums tended to avoid books - even when they were able to read - because they were afraid that other men would consider them effeminate.
There isn't a single inarticulate sentence. A great and sadly under-rated work.