Life in the East End of London in 1902.
rail-clearers, living sign-posts to all the world, and bestowers of first aid to bewildered travellers--unhesitatingly and instantly, with ease and celerity, could you send me to Darkest Africa or Innermost Thibet, but to the East End of London, barely a stone's throw distant from Ludgate Circus, you know not the way!
"You can't do it, you know," said the human emporium of routes and fares at Cook's Cheapside branch. "It is so--hem--so unusual."
"Consult the police," he concluded authoritatively, when I had persisted. "We are not accustomed to taking travellers to the East End; we receive no call to take them there, and we know nothing whatsoever about the place at all."
"Never mind that," I interposed, to save myself from being swept out of the office by his flood of negations. "Here's something you can do for me. I wish you to understand in advance what I intend doing, so that in case of trouble you may be able to identify me."
"Ah, I see! should you be murdered, we would be in p
Wow. After reading the last review I had to take a look at this since I love Jack London's stuff. Well it may or maynot have been a "socialist screed" but it WAS kinda ham-fisted, beating you over the head with it chapter after chapter after chapter. I still like London but am going to stick with his fiction.
Interesting because it paints a graphic portrait of the deplorable living conditions among London's poor, this work by Jack London is still a pompous pain in the arse in almost every other way. It's mostly a socialist screed that uses purple prose to identify problems and then -- like socialist screeds everywhere -- uses class envy and warfare to denigrate people who have it good in life. Then, it doesn't offer any solutions. Garbage, start to finish, and necessary to read only for London completists or like-minded socialist idiots.
London's account of the time he spent acting as a poor man in the slums of the East End of London. The first-hand account is absorbing, but the statistics and outraged denouncement at the end drag a bit.