Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    What I'm Giving | December 2, 2014

    Cary Elwes: IMG Cary Elwes: What I'm Giving



    At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$7.95
List price: $14.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Down and Out in Paris and London

by

Down and Out in Paris and London Cover

ISBN13: 9780156262248
ISBN10: 015626224x
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $7.95!

 

Staff Pick

After graduating from Eton and serving five years as a member of the Imperial Police in Burma, George Orwell went slumming. Determined to overcome his inherited middle class mores, Orwell lived in abject poverty as a dishwasher and a vagrant. Down and Out in Paris and London is a slightly fictionalized account of his adventures, and was his debut as a writer. Given the weight of the issues explored in this book, what surprised me most was how much fun it was to read. There are far too many clever turns of phrase, unexpected truths, and outrageous wackos for this book to be a bummer.
Recommended by Liz, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This unusual fictional account, in good part autobiographical, narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-out of two great cities. In the tales of both cities we learn some sobering Orwellian truths about poverty and society.

About the Author

George Orwell was the author of Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Homage to Calalonia, Burmese Days and many others. Known principally as a journalist and socialist in his day, he famously remounced Communism and died tragically young in January 1950.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

seanh78, May 8, 2013 (view all comments by seanh78)
I'd assumed this was a roman a clef about Orwell's lean college years where he took some humorously terrible jobs. In fact, this is a rather harrowing account of restaurant life(in Paris) before labor laws, health inspections or social safety nets, and (in London) the life of beggars and transients in the early days of workhouses and bare bones shelters. The first half of the book will be a terrible revelation to anyone shocked by "Kitchen Confidential" or "Waiter Rant," as you won't find restaurants in the civilized world operating in any way similar to what Orwell describes (one hopes). No restaurant job anybody reading this has had in the free world could be worse. It might put an end to any lofty Lost Generation fantasies you might have about fine dining with Stein and Hemingway in 1920s Paris.
Orwell's account of homelessness and observations of the perceptions of the homeless are startingly modern. I can't think of much that has changed for the better in the 80 years since he wrote about it: not in the way homeless people actually live nor in the way they are perceived.
Though I'm giving the book a great rating, it's not without its flaws. It lacks a narrative voice or structure, and consequently it often reads like a laundry list of experiences rather than a cohesive story. Orwell also shares the early 20th Century writer's fascination with race and ethnicity.
This is a great read for anyone who has worked in the margins or found themselves at the bottom of the totem pole.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
egogrif, February 21, 2011 (view all comments by egogrif)
I started reading a battered little copy of this book when I couldn't find anything else lying around to read. Once I picked it up, I couldn't stop. It's very real and gritty, the sort of story you don't think you want to hear but can't stop listening to, the same way you might ogle in fascination at a train wreck. The author, quasi-autobiographically, plunges deeper and deeper into the ruined fringes of the civilized world, barely scraping together a living, describing every dreck and dive in intimate detail until you feel like you need to go take a shower. (It helped that my own copy was so dusty.) Yet no matter how pathetic his plight becomes, there is always the slightest tinge of humor, the hope that rock bottom has been hit at last. A memorable story; I don't think I will easily eat in a Parisian restaurant after reading this book!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
megcampbell3, February 23, 2008 (view all comments by megcampbell3)
Read the first half (down and out in Paris) of "Down and Out in Paris and London" in your favorite café or restaurant, and you might lose your appetite. Read the second half (down and out in London) on an empty stomach, and you might be better able to relate to the day in, day out hunger chronicled therein. This short read is labeled a novel, though it truly seems more an accounting, a diary—or a memoir of a time of extreme poverty in Orwell's own life. I would not call his portrait of those times "Orwellian", as its publisher, Harvest, does. Rather, as an avid reader and thrice-read student of "1984" ("'Oranges and lemons,' say the bells of St. Clemens…"), I was pleasantly surprised by the comme ci, comme ca position of the book's narrator, which comes through both in its obvious resentment of poverty's conditions and in its powerfully retained joy for living. It is this very mixture that allows the novel to read as if Orwell has laid his head on the pillow next to yours and is telling you, just you, this (unfortunately) timeless story. A mellow, marvelous piece of writing.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(10 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156262248
Author:
Orwell, George
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Location:
San Diego :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
British and irish fiction (fictional works by
Subject:
British and irish
Subject:
Tramps
Subject:
England
Subject:
Tramps -- England -- London.
Subject:
Tramps - France - Paris
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
19720331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
228
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.47 lb
Age Level:
from 14

Other books you might like

  1. Tropic of Cancer
    Used Mass Market $4.95
  2. Why Orwell Matters Used Hardcover $9.50
  3. Orwell: The Road to Airstrip One Used Trade Paper $14.95
  4. Hawaiian Dictionary:... Used Hardcover $27.00
  5. Women of the Left Bank Used Trade Paper $9.50
  6. The Time Traveler's Wife
    Used Trade Paper $5.95

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Down and Out in Paris and London Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 228 pages Harvest/HBJ Book - English 9780156262248 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

After graduating from Eton and serving five years as a member of the Imperial Police in Burma, George Orwell went slumming. Determined to overcome his inherited middle class mores, Orwell lived in abject poverty as a dishwasher and a vagrant. Down and Out in Paris and London is a slightly fictionalized account of his adventures, and was his debut as a writer. Given the weight of the issues explored in this book, what surprised me most was how much fun it was to read. There are far too many clever turns of phrase, unexpected truths, and outrageous wackos for this book to be a bummer.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.