This diary of sorts (semi-autobiographical we're told) tells the story of poverty-stricken British writer who takes on the job of an underpaid dish-washer (a plongeur) in Paris and then the life of a tramp in London. The brutal realism and honesty reminded me of Solzhenitsyn's Ivan Denisovitch and Mark Johnson's Wasted and on a more personal level, some of my experiences while hitch-hiking with "tramps" in Africa. For the squeamish and superficial, it is not comfortable reading, it can though (like all good literature) give you a deeper understanding of the "other" (which in this case is the underpaid restaurant worker and smelly tramp). Published in 1933, many of Orwell's insights into human nature, charity, poverty and hunger remain relevant and profound today. Two short morals of the story: don't donate to Salvation Army-type institutions and never refuse a bill from a tramp.