Down and Out in Paris and London

Ranked #6 in Paris, Ranked #9 in Londonsee more rankings.

This unusual fictional memoir - in good part autobiographical - narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-outs of two great cities. The Parisian episode is fascinating for its expose of the kitchens of posh French restaurants, where the narrator works at the bottom of the culinary echelon as dishwasher, or plongeur. In London, while waiting for a job, he experiences the world of tramps, street people, and free lodging houses. In the tales of both cities we learn some sobering Orwellian truths about poverty and of society. less

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Down and Out in Paris and London from the world's leading experts.

David Downie That is a book I read when I was young – in my teens – and it really marked me. (Source)

Roman Krznaric Orwell is one of my great empathic heroes. He went tramping in east London, trying to empathise with people who lived on the social margins. (Source)

David Kramaley I really enjoyed Down and Out in Paris and London. I think it’s meant to be a semi-autobiographical novel by George Orwell. I liked it because it was one of those books that had a big influence on the way I perceive and think about the world. Highly recommended. (Source)

Henry Dimbleby This is the one that first got me really excited about food: Down and Out in Paris and London, by George Orwell. It’s meant to be the book that shows you everything that’s wrong in hotels and restaurants. (Source)

D J Taylor The fascination of Down and Out in Paris and London is that it’s his first book. In it, you can see Orwell stumbling, moving towards the kind of writer he wants to be, choosing the sort of subject matter he thinks will be appropriate. He spent time in Paris, working humbly in hotels and restaurants as what the French called a plongeur, someone who basically does the washing up. Then, he came back to England and went on what he called his ‘tramping adventures,’ masquerading as a down and out. (Source)

Rankings by Category

Down and Out in Paris and London is ranked in the following categories:

Similar Books

If you like Down and Out in Paris and London, check out these similar top-rated books:

Learn: What makes Shortform summaries the best in the world?