i don’t smoke but I think you look 33% cooler if you do. and when I think of books, I think of the curious image they command, capable of making one look like a stale nerd, all the way through to an intellectual stud, depending on whether your wearing sunglasses or not. orwell’s short articles, some of which are personal, others taken from his days as a journalist, are beautifully exact in this petit hundred page book. each chapter steps through the facets of life which all of us experience, yet so badly need to understand. ranging from friendship to education, politics to parisian medical practice, all are deftly placed in the fascinating world of orwell’s early experiences. however, as you take in the modest wit of george, you can’t help but feel the eerie echoes to your own life. this isn’t a new book in today’s terms, but the grovelling likes of me, stewing in my underpants and blowing my nose on embarrassing receipts, finds this manual to life emblematic of orwell’s genius; it’s timeless! poetically captured by his opening chapter ‘Books vs. Cigarettes’, we’re reminded that even though shillings are his currency, we still need money for cigarettes and money for cigarettes is very important, regardless of what that is and what you sacrifice it for. trade off’s in life are like a bad smells, always around, not preferable, but sometimes natural. once again, orwell reminds us with breathtaking perception that to understand what we’re doing here, we have to look at the things which are interesting and fun; vice, or no vice.