A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: TLWH

Down and Out in Paris and London

by George Orwell



Based on Orwell's own real life accounting of living in the slums of Paris and later in London. Orwell creates a fictional character that recounts his tales of reaching the lowest level in Paris and trying to survive at a similar level in London. Along the way meeting characters that help, hinder and create further interest.


This is a great book that really sticks with you once you've read it. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) is another Orwell classic, the concept is chilling and frightening real today. Down and out in Paris and London is a very different read. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to throw away all your cash, or what would happen if you lost everything in another country - this is a must read.

Orwell's character is there by choice, which makes it even more gripping. From living on pennies, selling, borrowing and avoiding all in Paris to living a homeless street life in London is visually descriptive and puts you right there with him. A great work of writing that one can relate to on so many levels.


I was not expecting this book to be so good. It's a travel book of a different kind that is often overlooked due to high brow literary write-ups. For the traveler it's well worth picking up this book. For everyone else, it's just as good for the insight alone.

Packing Space Guide: Its a slim 228 pages. It's 0.6 inches thick and weighs under half a pound. Fits nicely into a bag or large pocket.

My Rating: 5/5

Other George Orwell Works Include:
Animal Farm
Homage to Catalonia
Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays (Complete Works of George Orwell)

Buy it: Down and Out in Paris and London is available on Amazon.

About the Author: Dave has been traveling around the world in search of home for 5 years, photographing and writing about his journey on his website: www.thelongestwayhome.com.

Posted by TLWH 04:00 Archived in France Tagged books Comments (2)

Europe on a Shoestring

by Lonely Planet


Outline: A multi country guidebook covering Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Rep, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia (limited to Moscow, St Petersburg), Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. Mainly geared towards the the general tourist and backpacker. Offering accommodation reviews and prices. Where to eat and how much it costs. Small highlights on on political and cultural history, activities and itineraries. Trekking guides. Maps of the country and cites.


Costs: Strangely I found the opposite to most guide book flaws of outdated prices. Here Accommodation was highly inflated. Barcelona accommodation for the budget traveler starts at 30 Euro, while in reality hostels are 17-25. Therein lies the flaw of a book trying to be a backpackers and all round travel book.

Maps & Cities: The main cities are covered well considering the size, and amount of countries within the book. Don't look for too many off the beaten path references. Nor smaller towns. But for the main tourist attractions, they are covered quite well.

Countries covered: Europe is a large region, with many many countries. Trying to get one book to cover all is very hard. Yet when choosing, one can't help but think Lonely Planet has made it difficult to buy just one. Why Morocco and Russia are in here taking up European space, when several other countries like Hungary could have been expanded, I don't know. But for marketing it must work...

Overall: There is no way a book this size can cover everything. And, I don't thing it should considering who it's geared for. With that in mind this book is surprisingly good. It contains a lot of multi cross border information that most European travellers need. And the city guides are well laid out. The only real flaw within this book is that while pertaining to be for the Shoestring traveler (backpacker) it contains many hotel and eating references way our of that budget category. If they'd concentrated on the books shoestring readership a bit more instead of trying to cater to everyone then it would get a higher rating for sure.

Packing Space Guide: Its 1284 pages. 2 inches thick and weighs about 2 pounds. Won't fit easily anywhere but your daypack.

My Rating: 4/5

Buy it: Europe on a Shoestring is available from Amazon.comir?t=travellersp00-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1741045916

About the Author: Dave has been traveling around the world in search of home for 5 years, photographing and writing about his journey on his website: www.thelongestwayhome.com.

Posted by TLWH 19:00 Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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