The Wreckage by Michael Robotham read by Sean Barrett

The perfect voice for a down and out in London and Iraq crime novel, with an entry quote by Orwell. Always a good sign, Orwell. Imagine a classic sting by a pretty girl and her boyfriend: girl alone at bar gets hit by her bruiser boyfriend. Retired police detective comes to the rescue, takes girl home. Girl slips him a mickey, empties his wallet, and splits.

But this is more than a crime novel; listen:

The old man blinks at him.

“You are not an Arab?

“No.”

“What is your religion?”

“I don’t have one.”

“Who is your god?”

“I have no God.”

“What sort of man has no god? What  does he believe in? Why does he live?”

“He lives because he is a man.”

“You are American?”

“I was born there. My mother is Iraqi.”

“I like George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenneger.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell read by Richard Green

A gentle voice with exacting intelligence  mourns England, its living unemployed and its generation of  tall, dead men:

 

Where are the monstrous men with chests like barrels and moustaches like the wings of eagles who strode across my childhood’s gaze twenty or thirty years ago? Buried, I suppose, in the Flanders mud. In their place there are these pale-faced boys .. If the English physique has declined, this is no doubt partly due to the fact that the Great War carefully selected the million best men in England and slaughtered them, largely before they had had time to breed. (p. 98)

But this entire work is a critique that might well have been directed at America, at today’s America, at its unhealthy way of living, its’cheap substitutes for everything’, its ‘tinned food’ which is a ‘deadlier weapon than the machine gun’, its wastage, its UNEMPLOYMENT.

“It is usually impossible to buy wholemeal bread in a working-class district.” .. the working class palate now rejects good food almost automatically. The number of people who prefer tinned peas and tinned fish to real peas and real fish must be increasing every year, and plenty of people who could afford real milk in their tea would much sooner have gtinnerd milk, even that dreadful tinned milk which is made of sugar and cornflour and has UNFIT FOR BABIES on the tin in huge letters.