Fri, 3 February 2012
It's not a novel, but it's great political reportage and polemic. In The Road to Wigan Pier Orwell takes us into scenes of 20th-century degradation and poverty that were commonplace, and inescapable, for hundreds of thousands of the British before the Second World War. He gets angry about waste and mismanagement, petty meanness and middle-class squeamishness. He is resentful at the public-school system for giving him complexes about the smell of the poor, and he's furious at the misery children grow up in if their fathers can't get work. For readers who want something to get angry about.