Rebecca's Reviews > Down and Out in Paris and London

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
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Mar 05, 2010

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bookshelves: biography-memoir, read2010

It's Orwell so there's gritty realism and incisive reflection on class and the purpose of work. Unfortunately the effect of his social criticism was rather lost on me, coming as it does between endless caricatures of "The Jew" and some choice misogyny. (Excuse me for not mustering up much empathy for the forced chastity of English tramps when you've just dismissed women's poverty with the line: "any presentable woman can, in the last resort, attach herself to some man.") Why is it so much more maddening than total ignorance when someone really has their finger on one kind of injustice but can't see another?

Understandably, the writing style isn't as tight as his later work, there's just rather too much "Here's what I'm going to tell you about..." But it has its moments, and the concluding paragraph is perfect.
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