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Customer Review

9 January 2015
A brilliant and harrowing account of George Orwell's life during the periods he spent living in poverty abroad and in London.A trifle contrived concerning his return to England,following his departure from Paris,when according to the book,he went straight to London to live as a tramp,when in definite fact,he was supposed to have returned promptly to his parents home in Southwold,Suffolk, his experiences living among the poor and destitute in London,were as true as those among the larger than life characters in Paris,and is described in a vivid and unflinchingly honest fashion,that was deeply radical and brazen for the time it was written,but still resonates today.If it was a partly fictionalized biography,it at least seems to have at least gone to produce a clear and compelling chronicle of awful life in the 1920s and 30s.

I have to say,I preferred the chapters when he was in London to those about Paris.Despite graphically depicting his almost unimaginable poverty among it's outrageous characters in all their sickening depravity and squalor to realistic effect,they don't seem to have the sanguine and clear-cut authority when describing the down-and-outs and work houses of London.They contained a simple clarity compared to the more turbulent and perhaps exaggerated life of the scoundrels and rogues of bohemian Paris,that was more immediate and powerful.The descriptions of the Parisians seemed to be have been recounted as detailed fact by comparison.

Although not as powerful and stunning as his famous later book,"The Road to Wigan Pier",Orwell's views on socialism and oppression that have endeared him to the world,can be seen to have been developed here,and that is what makes the book important.
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Product Details

4.5 out of 5 stars
273
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