The People of the Abyss cover

The People of the Abyss

Jack London (1876-1916)

1. 01 – Preface; Chapter One – The Descent
2. 02 – Chapter Two – Johnny Upright
3. 03 – Chapter Three – My Lodging and Some Others
4. 04 – Chapter Four – A Man and the Abyss
5. 05 – Chapter Five – Those on the Edge
6. 06 – Chapter Six – Frying-Pan Alley and a Glimpse of Inferno
7. 07 – Chapter Seven – A Winner of the Victoria Cross
8. 08 – Chapter Eight – The Carter and the Carpenter
9. 09 – Chapter Nine – The Spike
10. 10 – Chapter Ten – Carrying the Banner
11. 11 – Chapter Eleven – The Peg
12. 12 – Chapter Twelve – Coronation Day
13. 13 – Chapter Thirteen – Dan Cullen, Docker
14. 14 – Chapter Fourteen – Hops and Hoppers
15. 15 – Chapter Fifteen – The Sea Wife
16. 16 – Chapter Sixteen – Property versus People
17. 17 – Chapter Seventeen – Inefficiency
18. 18 – Chapter Eighteen – Wages
19. 19 – Chapter Nineteen – The Ghetto
20. 20 – Chapter Twenty – Coffee-Houses and Doss-Houses
21. 21 – Chapter Twenty One – The Precariousness of Life
22. 22 – Chapter Twenty Two – Suicide
23. 23 – Chapter Twenty Three: The Children
24. 24 – Chapter Twenty Four: A Vision of the Night
25. 25 – Chapter Twenty Five: The Hunger Wail
26. 26 – Chapter Twenty Six: Drink, Temperance and Thrift
27. 27 – Chapter Twenty Seven: The Management

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Summary

Jack London lived for a time within the grim and grimy world of the East End of London, where half a million people scraped together hardly enough on which to survive. Even if they were able to work, they were paid only enough to allow them a pitiful existence. He grew to know and empathise with these forgotten (or ignored) people as he spoke with them and tasted the workhouse, life on the streets, … and the food, which was cheap, barely nutritious, and foul.He writes about his experiences in a fluid and narrative style, making it very clear what he thinks of the social structures which created the Abyss, and of the millionaires who live high on the labours of a people forced to live in squalor. “… The food this managing class eats, the wine it drinks, … the fine clothes it wears, are challenged by eight million mouths which have never had enough to fill them, and by twice eight million bodies which have never been sufficiently clothed and housed.”

Reviews

Julie

- Review People of the Abyss

Peter Yearsley did a fantastic job narrating this depressing documentary novel. I listened to the whole book with astonishment of how politics of foreign countries used to be. But it also makes one think - has our world even changed that much in many countries. It’s obvious Jack London was an extremely smart and courageous man.

JieYu

- Disturbing

A book which forces one to introspection, beautifully read by Peter Yearsly.