Clearly frustrated at the refusal of his contemporaries to recognise the iniquity of society, Tressell's cast of hypocritical Christians, exploitative capitalists and corrupt councillors provide a backdrop for his main target — the workers who think that a better life is "not for the likes of them". Hence the title of the book; Tressell paints the workers as "philanthropists" who throw themselves into back-breaking work for poverty wages in order to generate profit for their masters.
The hero of the book, Frank Owen, is a socialist who believes that the capitalist system is the real source of the poverty he sees all around him. In vain he tries to convince his fellow workers of his world view, but finds that their education has trained them to distrust their own thoughts and to rely on those of their "betters". Much of the book consists of conversations between Owen and the others, or more often of lectures by Owen in the face of their jeering; this was presumably based on Tressell's own experiences.(Summary by Tadhg)
Customer ReviewsSee All
Important book, well read
Thank you for making this important political book accessible on audio at no cost to the listener. The author would have approved! I had no idea what to expect from the book - almost Dickensian in its portrayal of character and poverty. The fact that the actor has an Irish accent when the book is set in England (Hastings) isn’t ideal, but the book tells the universal story of the struggles of the working classes, not specific to any one location. The reader captures the workmen’s characters well.
I have just completed listening to this book. I found this an advantage, eg close your eyes while listening. This book also has the advantage of being unabridged. I am sure that I will now go on with other works in the same way.
Thankyou so much for this,it is very well read and you cannot beat an Irish accent when it comes to reading and this is free just the way the writer would want it to be,this book more than any other really shows that nothing has changed for us working class in a 100 years.........