Enlivened with vivid autobiographical detail, George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying is a tragically witty account of the struggle to escape from a materialistic existence from the author of 1984, with an introduction by Peter Davison in Penguin Modern Classics.
Gordon Comstock loathes dull, middle-class respectability and worship of money. He gives up a 'good job' in advertising to work part-time in a bookshop, giving him more time to write. But he slides instead into a self-induced poverty that destroys his creativity and his spirit. Only Rosemary, ever-faithful Rosemary, has the strength to challenge his commitment to his chosen way of life. Through the character of Gordon Comstock, Orwell reveals his own disaffection with the society he once himself renounced.
If you enjoyed Keep the Aspidistra Flying you might like Orwell's Burmese Days, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'A completely harrowing and stark account of poverty ... written in clear and violent language'