Book of da Week: Down and Out in Paris and London

Down and Out in Paris and London
Down and Out in Paris and London!

Right, George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London. We’ve started this new literature section and kick things off with this classic! To make our new regular feature uber cool for the freaks who’ve never read a book or consider it “old hat”, “washed up”, or “boring”, we put a “da” into the title like some rapper dude would. Or Justin Bieber. Rappers or Justin Bieber – it’s same tedious thing.

For the inauguration of this glorious moment we’re starting with George Orwell’s seminal (for him, anyway) Down and Out in Paris and London. It marked a key moment for the 17 year old Mr. Wapojif’s brain (back in 2001) as it set him off on an educational, metaphysical, and transmundane journey amongst the towering daffodils of literary excellence.

Down and Out in Paris and London

The concept of being down and out (i.e. skint and borderline poverty stricken) is discussed here, engagingly so as it was written during a time of limited human rights. Orwell spent several years destitute in Paris and London working horrendously monotonous jobs in berserk, crammed conditions. By ‘eck!

Despite the seemingly miserable topic, the tone is upbeat. The young Orwell remains impartial and offers keen insights in to the bizarre happenings in Paris. It’s an unflinching look at the absurd and futile jobs many working class individuals worked (and continue to do so). In Paris this takes the form of scrubbing dishes 17 hours a day, culminating in an almighty drinking spree at the end of each week to eradicate the memory of it all.

This is where Orwell turns a morose topic and spins it into a glorious insight into a mundanity, introducing along the way lovable characters such as Boris (the ungainly Russian), and a wickedly groovy moment in London where a bunch of tramps berate a religious sermon. All in good taste, sir. As a result Orwell’s book is always the one we offer to people who claim they don’t like reading. Why? As if you can’t gain any joy from, at the very least, the Parisian section, then you are a philistine. Fact!

Read our detailed Down and Out in Paris and London review on out other blog!

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