View Full Version : The Nether World - good start

12-04-2014, 06:41 PM
I have started reading this. It has started pretty well. The characters are very believable. From the cover, I got the impression they would all be like Bill Sykes and Nancy, but they're not. They seem like real people; so much so, that I was a little surprised when I read that one of them had a job driving a horse-drawn cab, because, of course, it was written before the internal combustion engine.

This book is about poor, working-class characters. I was reminded of Jack London's The People of the Abyss about London's East End in 1902, especially the father who was struggling to find work because of his age. Gissing spent the first half of his career writing about working class people before changing direction slightly. I think The Nether World is often regarded as Gissing's 3rd best book, and the best of his working class novels, although George Orwell preferred Demos.