by Liz, May 25, 2005 12:38 PM
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.