Review: Amelia Gentleman: The Complete Orwell Prize Articles (Guardian Shorts)

As my first Guardian Shorts, the short story collection by The Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman did live up to my expectations.

This is a compendium of six articles that won Gentleman the 2012 Orwell Prize for Journalism and they ooze of class and character.

They are no doubt of high-quality journalistic articles, but more importantly, they touch on social issues generally underreported by most media for the lack of ‘newsy’ quality.

From juvenile delinquents to dementia sufferers, her subjects are often the outliers of the society and their lives.

In one of the stories, she went behind the scenes at a school for pupils who are deemed to have ‘challenging’ behaviors.

“Where’s the fucking toilet?” a new pupil asks him.

“Why can’t you just say nicely, without the swearwords?” he replies, ushering him to the loos.”

The teachers conceded that the school is an ‘exceptionally challenging place to work.’

“A lot of these children are functioning at the emotional level of a eight-year-old, if not lower,” said Andre Bailey, the school’s assistant head. “They find it challenging, and they attempt to vote with their feet.”

Gentleman’s articles brought readers behind the walls of these social institutions to shed light about the dynamics within them.

In spite of the great informative content, I still felt a little annoyed that I had to pay a premium for it.

Being a regular reader of British newspaper The Guardian, I was willing to spend three quids on this ebook because the paper has been fantastic and is my daily source of regular news.

Yet when I found out that all of the articles featured in this ebook were previously published by The Guardian in 2011, I attempted to search on Google and I did found most of them online.

Knowing that I could otherwise easily obtain the content for free made my three pounds spent rather not value for money.

Would you mind paying for quality content that you could have for free? Leave your comments below!

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