The People of the Abyss MOBI Ç The People PDF \ of

The People of the Abyss MOBI Ç The People PDF \ of


  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • The People of the Abyss
  • Jack London
  • English
  • 02 February 2016
  • 9780745318028

10 thoughts on “The People of the Abyss

  1. Kathleen Fowler Kathleen Fowler says:

    This is a remarkable classic deserving of a place on the shelf right next to Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London In fact The People of the Abyss likely inspired Orwell to write his book according to a biography I read If the reader can put aside the fact of London’s strange ambivalence in matters of race he is an impassioned and articulate spokesman for the underclasses His account of an extended foray into what he refers to as “Darkest England” that is London’s East End is riveting and horrifying This investigation made in 1902 a time of relative prosperity for England as a whole demonstrates that trickle down economics simply do not work Nor can charitable institutions be expected to right the wrongs of a dog eat dog economic system London’s observations and conclusions are remarkably relevant to modern day life He foresaw an inevitable clash between the 90% who produce the wealth of the other 10% who own the means of production London’s book was published in 1903 and thankfully the plight of the English underclasses has been much improved over the past century with the implementation of a minimum wage a national health plan and public assistance The same holds true in the US well mostly but in neither nation has the basic issue London raised been addressed why do the desires of the miniscule wealthy minority always trump the needs of the vastly larger majority of ordinary citizens in so called democratic nations?


  2. Oldroses Oldroses says:

    What Jacob Riis did for New York City with his photos of tenements Jack London did for London with his book The People of the Abyss The abyss that he referred to was the sualid East End of London where the poorest of the poor lived and diedAll of the horrors are there described not by a dispassionate historian keeping a professional distance in his reporting but in eyewitness accounts of and interviews with people living in appalling conditions What I found most horrifying about this book is that so many things haven’t changed since it was written at the turn of the last century His descriptions of homeless people forced by the police to literally walk all night due to a law which forbade sleeping in public places brought to mind the sweeps done in our own cities forcing the homeless off the streets and out of our sight Healthcare was an issue then just as it is now Families were forced into poverty and sometimes starvation when the husband the main breadwinner was injured became ill or died The majority of bankruptcies in our own time are caused by overwhelming medical bills More than a century ago when this book was written when a man was out of work due to illness or injury his wife was unable to adeuately support the family because the only jobs open to her paid too little Sadly in our own time women are still not able to adeuately provide for their families on their own because they are paid on average 70 cents for every dollar a man earns doing the same job A statistic that should outrage everyone but strangely doesn’t is that post divorce children slide down the economic scale sometimes into poverty thanks to their mothers’ inability to earn a living comparable to their fathers who actually ascend the economic ladder post divorce due their higher earning powerThe cost of housing rents eual to half their income brings to mind the mortgage crisis we are suffering today As the cost of housing during the last real estate bubble reached stratospheric levels families were forced to pay and of their income for housing leaving little to actually live on All it takes is a job loss or catastrophic illness for them to find themselves on the street as the banks foreclose on their homes Their counterparts a century ago faced a similar fate for the same reasons Job loss or illness resulted in the loss of the tiny rooms that they rentedYet for all the similarities there are important differences We have laws governing the workplace and a social safety net that prevents the worst of the gruesome results of illness and unemployment described in this book Laws about workplace safety and working hours prevent employers from exploiting their workers Unemployment insurance replaces a portion of lost wages Food stamps and free or reduced cost meals in schools stave off starvation We have come a long way since 1902 After reading this book I realized that we still have a long way to go


  3. Aaron Aaron says:

    I find myself amazed and honestly a little depressed that a book published in 1903 about the poor of London can seem so relevant today There are familiar themes of a wealthy booming society that does little to nothing to care for its indigent while also passing laws and serving punishments seemingly built to purposefully propagate a cycle of destitution that feel like they haven't changed a lick in 115 yearsAs a little background Jack London the same one who wrote White Fang and many other classics decided against everyone's advice to go undercover in the extremely poor East End of London to get a sense for daily life in the slum The result is this book a non fiction account of what he saw there This could've been exploitative or sensational but London writes with such empathy and passion about the people he encounters in the East End that you can't help but see their troubles as human and fear for them and their children even all these years laterHe uses his storytelling prowess to paint thorough pictures of the individuals and families he encounters giving you a real sense for their lives as he sees them as well as offering thoughts on why their lives are this way and what a profitable society can do to improve the chances of its most poor It's simultaneously analytical damning and emotional which I really think is a huge accomplishmentFor instance one of the poignant sections involves his description of The Thing which is a metaphorical stand in for the event or accident occurring in one of these people's lives that pulls them fully into the Abyss the inescapable swamp of abject poverty that hundreds of thousands of East Londoners found themselves in The Thing can be anything and it is often completely out of the victim's control A man could be getting by as an in house workman doing construction for a specific boss Then The Thing happens his boss dies in a freak accident and now the workman has no work With their being such a dearth of jobs in London and with his pay having only been enough to get him by week to week he is uickly stuck in a cycle of begging sleeping on the street or any number of other horrors that defeat his ability to get himself further work There are many stories about The Thing in this book that really do a lot to show how close to the edge of homelessness people were I'm obviously not going to describe them all because you should really just read this book and see for yourselfI can't recommend this highly enough There is the occasional section describing how bad wages are that doesn't read easily in the modern day since A inflation has greatly changed the value of money and B England doesn't even use shillings any But beyond this bit of slightly confusing math this book truly draws you in to the world of these people and makes you think about how the cycle or The Thing can affect so many people in our own society It's a little heart wrenching but worth it


  4. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    For six weeks Jack London dresses and attempts to live like the poor on London's east side He uickly realizes that no matter how hard a man or woman works the cards are stacked against them I'm sure this had a greater impact when read during the time it was written when bringing the poverty and disease of these people to the public's attention would have been an impetus to change Interesting and this was a side of London I had not previously been acuainted with


  5. Ella Belakovska Ella Belakovska says:

    Very few people seem to have heard of Jack London these days and I was only vaguely aware of him which is a real shame because he stands right up there with the likes of George Orwell who I've only just discovered was inspired by this very work to write his own 'Down and Out in Paris and London' Jack London was an American writer who chose to go undercover in the East End of London much to the outrage and fear of his friends and journalise his research The resulting work is a fascinating in depth and honest account of real people's lives in 1902; at the beginning of a new century and on the crest of the Industrial Revolution wave the people of England must have appeared to have it all A new monarch also hailed in the new era and the end of the sombre Victorian age so Jack London could not have picked a better time to hold a mirror up to the darker side of the empire's capital As well as pushing himself out of his comfort zone and right in to the heart of the life he is writing about London has the added factor of being an alien abroad With his US readership in mind he reminds us throughout what the value of British wages would euate to in the States He is able to compare life 'on the road' to that of the English counterpart but his sympathy for the British poor he is mixing with never waversLondon's writing is sharp and witty the century that has lapsed between then and now has done nothing to dim the talent that shines through Further like Orwell London's understanding of the causes of poverty and his vitriol towards those who benefit from it come across with clarity and persuasion One particularly poignant comment has been italicised by London himself and with good reason He describes two unemployed men trudging the cold and rainy streets in desperate search of a bed for the nightFrom the slimy spittle drenched sidewalk they were picking up bits of orange peel apple skin and grape stems and they were eating them The pits of greengage plums they cracked between their teeth for the kernels inside They picked up stray bits of bread the size of peas apple cores so black and dirty one would not take them to be apple cores and these things these two men took into their mouths and chewed them and swallowed them; and this between six and seven o’clock in the evening of August 20 year of our Lord 1902 in the heart of the greatest wealthiest and most powerful empire the world has ever seenLater on London highlights the logical conclusion of a materialistic society that crimes against the property and ergo propertied eclipse crimes against the person Pages of court records from the length and breadth of Britain back this up with four month jail sentences for poaching and a caution for beating one's wife in front of the children As a contemporary account of early twentieth century The People of the Abyss is a classic piece of work I don't know if it features in any syllabus for students of History I never encountered it at school or university but it should be a staple for those interested in this period of time


  6. LeeAnn Heringer LeeAnn Heringer says:

    I read this as a companion piece to Wolf the recent biography of Jack London He was a lifelong socialist and this was a subject he was passionate about This was the dark underbelly of the gilted age And because of unions and the socialist party we have minimum wage social security and welfare to provide a safety net for the kind of problems Jack London explores in this bookBut I am a poor revolutionary and I think Jack London was too 100 years later people are still being chewed up by the heavy machinery of industrialized capitalism We still haven't figured out how to provide meaningful employment to the weak and intellectually disadvantaged Out sourcing the worst abuses overseas doesn't solve the problem And I feel like London's closing argument that it's just a matter of getting a good leader and management of resources is a bit simplistic because wherever that prefect leader is hiding nobody's found him yet


  7. Elliot Ratzman Elliot Ratzman says:

    Before Jack London was the world famous adventure story writer—in his 20s and 30s—he had lived a dozen lives child laborer thief sailor failed Klondike prospector and hobo A committed socialist and hard charging risk taker he turned to writing in his early 20s after nearly dying in an Arctic winter and this 1903 book was his second major publication just after Call of the Wild London disguises himself as a homeless American sailor trapped in England He explores the city of London’s slums records its denizens’ stories and provides government and social science stats on the extensive numbers of poor and indigent in the “Great Empire” He is jostled by police and finger wagged by the Salvation Army His insights about liberalChristian charity are sharp He concludes with a critiue of “Civilization” comparing it to the Inuit life he witnessed in the North An ancestor of Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed London was the proximate inspiration for George Orwell’s Down and Out


  8. Matt Matt says:

    If civilization has increased the producing power of the average man why has it not bettered the lot of the average man? There can be one answer only — MISMANAGEMENTJack London's first hand account of the People of the Abyss is not fictional It is direly real In the summer of 1902 London the author went to London the city to witness the life of the people in London's East End the infamous Whitechapel District or what the author called the under world of London I have to put the word in uotes because you can't actually call this life; it's like a vegetating existence under unbearable circumstances and it's usually rather short London stayed in London for several months in so called workhouses sometimes on the streets He didn't attracted much attention there People just thought of him as just another American sailor of whom many were stranded in the East End What is described here about the accommodation the meals and the living and working conditions is probably the most intense text that I have ever readI'm writing this on a Saturday morning one of my two free days per week after 40 hours of work and I'm pretty much relaxed I sip my tee that I brewed in my own kitchen after the morning shower that I took in my own bathroom I'm sitting at the desk in my study room the computer is slightly humming Later I'll probably take a little walk before I continue reading some book in my living room I realize I'm a privileged person and this book has put my life in perspective There were only two small issues I had with the bookThe transcription of the local accent in dialogs slowed down my reading pace considerably “’Ow did I like it?  A bloomin’ good chawnce sez I to myself for a sleep wi’ all the coppers aw’y so I turned into the corner there along wi’ fifty others But I couldn’t sleep a lyin’ there an’ thinkin’ ’ow I’d worked all the years o’ my life an’ now ’ad no plyce to rest my ’ead; an’ the music comin’ to me an’ the cheers an’ cannon till I got almost a hanarchist an’ wanted to blow out the brains o’ the Lord Chamberlain” I usually like dialects and slang in books But only in fictional ones and when it's used to portrait the characters I think for a non fiction book this isn't really necessary But of course that's a matter of tasteThe other thing that bothered me is not the book's or the author's fault It has to do with sloppy formatting especially of tables in the Kindle edition I read Complete Works of Jack London Delphi Classics 2012 Version 2 For instance in the book a table looks like this              s d Himself    6 15 Wife    5 65 Two children   10 25 Total    21 105 Where it should look like this               s    d Himself        6     15 Wife           5     65 Two children  10     25 Total         21    105 Apart from that I cannot recommend this book too much The good thing is that you don't have to buy this book to read it There's a free version available on Project Gutenberg Read it and give the money you saved that way to some charity organization you trust and think of it the next time a homeless person approaches you on the street This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License


  9. Daniel Villines Daniel Villines says:

    My present political position in life is one that has evolved through time I was a young Republican in my early adult life and then began to observe how our first world society works and importantly read about how it used to be Books such as The Jungle Sister Carry and Martin Eden defined for me the societal conditions that existed when the free market was allowed to shape society under near laissez faire conditions By looking at life as it is depicted in these books I was able to develop comparisons between then and now and consider the reasons for the vast contrasts that have developed over the past hundred years The People of the Abyss is uniue within this historical perspective in that it pushes the laissez faire extreme closer to the ideal Jack London tells of life in London where the vast majority of people men women and children are treated as a cheap commodity; used for the lowest wages possible and then discarded when their labor can be replaced for a vigorous person or for even lower wages The commodity is housed in pits that are filled to maximum capacity in order to maximize rents and is fed with food intended to sustain life while bleeding away the strength of youthThe book is an observational commentary composed by London during his sojourns into the East End of London He dressed as these people dressed pursued work as they did and most importantly recognized these people as human London once said that this was his most purposeful book indicating “No other book of mine took so much of my young heart and tears as that study of the economic degradation of the poor After reading The People of the Abyss I easily find an appreciation for London’s work and certainly see its value in my modern observations of today’s society


  10. Judy Judy says:

    I read this book while visiting East London near the Mile End Road described by Jack London as a terrible slum in the early years of the 20th century Fortunately it has now changed beyond recognition This is a shocking vision of the desperate poverty suffered by huge numbers of people living in the abyss of dirt illness and constant hungerJack London showed the way forward to George Orwell in Down and Out in Paris and London by spending time living as a tramp This gave him a feeling of what it was like to stay in workhouses and doss houses and how the poor were treated However he is uite open about the fact that he freuently went back to his lodgings to have a good meal and a change of clothes something the other people he met on his travels couldn't do Very readable witty and angry


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The People of the Abyss[Download] ➸ The People of the Abyss Author Jack London – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk In 1902 Jack London purchased some secondhand clothes and posing as a stranded American sailor set out to discover how the London poor lived His research makes shocking reading Moving through the slum of the ePUB ´ In Jack London purchased some secondhand clothes and posing as a stranded American sailor set out to discover how the London poor lived His research makes shocking reading Moving through the slums as one of the poor; eating drinking and socializing with the underclass; lining up to get into a flophouse London was scandalized and brutalized by the experience of living rough in Britain’s capital His clear eyed reflections The People PDF \ on the iniuities of class are a shaming testament to the persistence of social ineuality in modern times.


About the Author: Jack London

of the ePUB ´ Jack London was an American novelist journalist social activist and short story writer whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival At his peak he was the highest paid and the most popular of all living writers Because of early financial difficulties he was largely self educated past grammar schoolLondon drew heavily on his life experiences in his writing He spent ti.


10 thoughts on “The People of the Abyss

  1. Kathleen Fowler Kathleen Fowler says:

    This is a remarkable classic deserving of a place on the shelf right next to Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London In fact The People of the Abyss likely inspired Orwell to write his book according to a biography I read If the reader can put aside the fact of London’s strange ambivalence in matters of race he is an impassioned and articulate spokesman for the underclasses His account of an extended foray into what he refers to as “Darkest England” that is London’s East End is riveting and horrifying This investigation made in 1902 a time of relative prosperity for England as a whole demonstrates that trickle down economics simply do not work Nor can charitable institutions be expected to right the wrongs of a dog eat dog economic system London’s observations and conclusions are remarkably relevant to modern day life He foresaw an inevitable clash between the 90% who produce the wealth of the other 10% who own the means of production London’s book was published in 1903 and thankfully the plight of the English underclasses has been much improved over the past century with the implementation of a minimum wage a national health plan and public assistance The same holds true in the US well mostly but in neither nation has the basic issue London raised been addressed why do the desires of the miniscule wealthy minority always trump the needs of the vastly larger majority of ordinary citizens in so called democratic nations?

  2. Oldroses Oldroses says:

    What Jacob Riis did for New York City with his photos of tenements Jack London did for London with his book The People of the Abyss The abyss that he referred to was the sualid East End of London where the poorest of the poor lived and diedAll of the horrors are there described not by a dispassionate historian keeping a professional distance in his reporting but in eyewitness accounts of and interviews with people living in appalling conditions What I found most horrifying about this book is that so many things haven’t changed since it was written at the turn of the last century His descriptions of homeless people forced by the police to literally walk all night due to a law which forbade sleeping in public places brought to mind the sweeps done in our own cities forcing the homeless off the streets and out of our sight Healthcare was an issue then just as it is now Families were forced into poverty and sometimes starvation when the husband the main breadwinner was injured became ill or died The majority of bankruptcies in our own time are caused by overwhelming medical bills More than a century ago when this book was written when a man was out of work due to illness or injury his wife was unable to adeuately support the family because the only jobs open to her paid too little Sadly in our own time women are still not able to adeuately provide for their families on their own because they are paid on average 70 cents for every dollar a man earns doing the same job A statistic that should outrage everyone but strangely doesn’t is that post divorce children slide down the economic scale sometimes into poverty thanks to their mothers’ inability to earn a living comparable to their fathers who actually ascend the economic ladder post divorce due their higher earning powerThe cost of housing rents eual to half their income brings to mind the mortgage crisis we are suffering today As the cost of housing during the last real estate bubble reached stratospheric levels families were forced to pay and of their income for housing leaving little to actually live on All it takes is a job loss or catastrophic illness for them to find themselves on the street as the banks foreclose on their homes Their counterparts a century ago faced a similar fate for the same reasons Job loss or illness resulted in the loss of the tiny rooms that they rentedYet for all the similarities there are important differences We have laws governing the workplace and a social safety net that prevents the worst of the gruesome results of illness and unemployment described in this book Laws about workplace safety and working hours prevent employers from exploiting their workers Unemployment insurance replaces a portion of lost wages Food stamps and free or reduced cost meals in schools stave off starvation We have come a long way since 1902 After reading this book I realized that we still have a long way to go

  3. Aaron Aaron says:

    I find myself amazed and honestly a little depressed that a book published in 1903 about the poor of London can seem so relevant today There are familiar themes of a wealthy booming society that does little to nothing to care for its indigent while also passing laws and serving punishments seemingly built to purposefully propagate a cycle of destitution that feel like they haven't changed a lick in 115 yearsAs a little background Jack London the same one who wrote White Fang and many other classics decided against everyone's advice to go undercover in the extremely poor East End of London to get a sense for daily life in the slum The result is this book a non fiction account of what he saw there This could've been exploitative or sensational but London writes with such empathy and passion about the people he encounters in the East End that you can't help but see their troubles as human and fear for them and their children even all these years laterHe uses his storytelling prowess to paint thorough pictures of the individuals and families he encounters giving you a real sense for their lives as he sees them as well as offering thoughts on why their lives are this way and what a profitable society can do to improve the chances of its most poor It's simultaneously analytical damning and emotional which I really think is a huge accomplishmentFor instance one of the poignant sections involves his description of The Thing which is a metaphorical stand in for the event or accident occurring in one of these people's lives that pulls them fully into the Abyss the inescapable swamp of abject poverty that hundreds of thousands of East Londoners found themselves in The Thing can be anything and it is often completely out of the victim's control A man could be getting by as an in house workman doing construction for a specific boss Then The Thing happens his boss dies in a freak accident and now the workman has no work With their being such a dearth of jobs in London and with his pay having only been enough to get him by week to week he is uickly stuck in a cycle of begging sleeping on the street or any number of other horrors that defeat his ability to get himself further work There are many stories about The Thing in this book that really do a lot to show how close to the edge of homelessness people were I'm obviously not going to describe them all because you should really just read this book and see for yourselfI can't recommend this highly enough There is the occasional section describing how bad wages are that doesn't read easily in the modern day since A inflation has greatly changed the value of money and B England doesn't even use shillings any But beyond this bit of slightly confusing math this book truly draws you in to the world of these people and makes you think about how the cycle or The Thing can affect so many people in our own society It's a little heart wrenching but worth it

  4. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    For six weeks Jack London dresses and attempts to live like the poor on London's east side He uickly realizes that no matter how hard a man or woman works the cards are stacked against them I'm sure this had a greater impact when read during the time it was written when bringing the poverty and disease of these people to the public's attention would have been an impetus to change Interesting and this was a side of London I had not previously been acuainted with

  5. Ella Belakovska Ella Belakovska says:

    Very few people seem to have heard of Jack London these days and I was only vaguely aware of him which is a real shame because he stands right up there with the likes of George Orwell who I've only just discovered was inspired by this very work to write his own 'Down and Out in Paris and London' Jack London was an American writer who chose to go undercover in the East End of London much to the outrage and fear of his friends and journalise his research The resulting work is a fascinating in depth and honest account of real people's lives in 1902; at the beginning of a new century and on the crest of the Industrial Revolution wave the people of England must have appeared to have it all A new monarch also hailed in the new era and the end of the sombre Victorian age so Jack London could not have picked a better time to hold a mirror up to the darker side of the empire's capital As well as pushing himself out of his comfort zone and right in to the heart of the life he is writing about London has the added factor of being an alien abroad With his US readership in mind he reminds us throughout what the value of British wages would euate to in the States He is able to compare life 'on the road' to that of the English counterpart but his sympathy for the British poor he is mixing with never waversLondon's writing is sharp and witty the century that has lapsed between then and now has done nothing to dim the talent that shines through Further like Orwell London's understanding of the causes of poverty and his vitriol towards those who benefit from it come across with clarity and persuasion One particularly poignant comment has been italicised by London himself and with good reason He describes two unemployed men trudging the cold and rainy streets in desperate search of a bed for the nightFrom the slimy spittle drenched sidewalk they were picking up bits of orange peel apple skin and grape stems and they were eating them The pits of greengage plums they cracked between their teeth for the kernels inside They picked up stray bits of bread the size of peas apple cores so black and dirty one would not take them to be apple cores and these things these two men took into their mouths and chewed them and swallowed them; and this between six and seven o’clock in the evening of August 20 year of our Lord 1902 in the heart of the greatest wealthiest and most powerful empire the world has ever seenLater on London highlights the logical conclusion of a materialistic society that crimes against the property and ergo propertied eclipse crimes against the person Pages of court records from the length and breadth of Britain back this up with four month jail sentences for poaching and a caution for beating one's wife in front of the children As a contemporary account of early twentieth century The People of the Abyss is a classic piece of work I don't know if it features in any syllabus for students of History I never encountered it at school or university but it should be a staple for those interested in this period of time

  6. LeeAnn Heringer LeeAnn Heringer says:

    I read this as a companion piece to Wolf the recent biography of Jack London He was a lifelong socialist and this was a subject he was passionate about This was the dark underbelly of the gilted age And because of unions and the socialist party we have minimum wage social security and welfare to provide a safety net for the kind of problems Jack London explores in this bookBut I am a poor revolutionary and I think Jack London was too 100 years later people are still being chewed up by the heavy machinery of industrialized capitalism We still haven't figured out how to provide meaningful employment to the weak and intellectually disadvantaged Out sourcing the worst abuses overseas doesn't solve the problem And I feel like London's closing argument that it's just a matter of getting a good leader and management of resources is a bit simplistic because wherever that prefect leader is hiding nobody's found him yet

  7. Elliot Ratzman Elliot Ratzman says:

    Before Jack London was the world famous adventure story writer—in his 20s and 30s—he had lived a dozen lives child laborer thief sailor failed Klondike prospector and hobo A committed socialist and hard charging risk taker he turned to writing in his early 20s after nearly dying in an Arctic winter and this 1903 book was his second major publication just after Call of the Wild London disguises himself as a homeless American sailor trapped in England He explores the city of London’s slums records its denizens’ stories and provides government and social science stats on the extensive numbers of poor and indigent in the “Great Empire” He is jostled by police and finger wagged by the Salvation Army His insights about liberalChristian charity are sharp He concludes with a critiue of “Civilization” comparing it to the Inuit life he witnessed in the North An ancestor of Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed London was the proximate inspiration for George Orwell’s Down and Out

  8. Matt Matt says:

    If civilization has increased the producing power of the average man why has it not bettered the lot of the average man? There can be one answer only — MISMANAGEMENTJack London's first hand account of the People of the Abyss is not fictional It is direly real In the summer of 1902 London the author went to London the city to witness the life of the people in London's East End the infamous Whitechapel District or what the author called the under world of London I have to put the word in uotes because you can't actually call this life; it's like a vegetating existence under unbearable circumstances and it's usually rather short London stayed in London for several months in so called workhouses sometimes on the streets He didn't attracted much attention there People just thought of him as just another American sailor of whom many were stranded in the East End What is described here about the accommodation the meals and the living and working conditions is probably the most intense text that I have ever readI'm writing this on a Saturday morning one of my two free days per week after 40 hours of work and I'm pretty much relaxed I sip my tee that I brewed in my own kitchen after the morning shower that I took in my own bathroom I'm sitting at the desk in my study room the computer is slightly humming Later I'll probably take a little walk before I continue reading some book in my living room I realize I'm a privileged person and this book has put my life in perspective There were only two small issues I had with the bookThe transcription of the local accent in dialogs slowed down my reading pace considerably “’Ow did I like it?  A bloomin’ good chawnce sez I to myself for a sleep wi’ all the coppers aw’y so I turned into the corner there along wi’ fifty others But I couldn’t sleep a lyin’ there an’ thinkin’ ’ow I’d worked all the years o’ my life an’ now ’ad no plyce to rest my ’ead; an’ the music comin’ to me an’ the cheers an’ cannon till I got almost a hanarchist an’ wanted to blow out the brains o’ the Lord Chamberlain” I usually like dialects and slang in books But only in fictional ones and when it's used to portrait the characters I think for a non fiction book this isn't really necessary But of course that's a matter of tasteThe other thing that bothered me is not the book's or the author's fault It has to do with sloppy formatting especially of tables in the Kindle edition I read Complete Works of Jack London Delphi Classics 2012 Version 2 For instance in the book a table looks like this              s d Himself    6 15 Wife    5 65 Two children   10 25 Total    21 105 Where it should look like this               s    d Himself        6     15 Wife           5     65 Two children  10     25 Total         21    105 Apart from that I cannot recommend this book too much The good thing is that you don't have to buy this book to read it There's a free version available on Project Gutenberg Read it and give the money you saved that way to some charity organization you trust and think of it the next time a homeless person approaches you on the street This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License

  9. Daniel Villines Daniel Villines says:

    My present political position in life is one that has evolved through time I was a young Republican in my early adult life and then began to observe how our first world society works and importantly read about how it used to be Books such as The Jungle Sister Carry and Martin Eden defined for me the societal conditions that existed when the free market was allowed to shape society under near laissez faire conditions By looking at life as it is depicted in these books I was able to develop comparisons between then and now and consider the reasons for the vast contrasts that have developed over the past hundred years The People of the Abyss is uniue within this historical perspective in that it pushes the laissez faire extreme closer to the ideal Jack London tells of life in London where the vast majority of people men women and children are treated as a cheap commodity; used for the lowest wages possible and then discarded when their labor can be replaced for a vigorous person or for even lower wages The commodity is housed in pits that are filled to maximum capacity in order to maximize rents and is fed with food intended to sustain life while bleeding away the strength of youthThe book is an observational commentary composed by London during his sojourns into the East End of London He dressed as these people dressed pursued work as they did and most importantly recognized these people as human London once said that this was his most purposeful book indicating “No other book of mine took so much of my young heart and tears as that study of the economic degradation of the poor After reading The People of the Abyss I easily find an appreciation for London’s work and certainly see its value in my modern observations of today’s society

  10. Judy Judy says:

    I read this book while visiting East London near the Mile End Road described by Jack London as a terrible slum in the early years of the 20th century Fortunately it has now changed beyond recognition This is a shocking vision of the desperate poverty suffered by huge numbers of people living in the abyss of dirt illness and constant hungerJack London showed the way forward to George Orwell in Down and Out in Paris and London by spending time living as a tramp This gave him a feeling of what it was like to stay in workhouses and doss houses and how the poor were treated However he is uite open about the fact that he freuently went back to his lodgings to have a good meal and a change of clothes something the other people he met on his travels couldn't do Very readable witty and angry

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