Bargain of the week: When the gimmick goes

Down and Out in Paris and London
George Orwell, Fopp, £3
The Penguin Essentials were a marketing idea of great cunning and some success. They are repackaged classics and good steady sellers -- which publishers will tell you are tantamount to the same thing -- in a cute small format with designer covers. A few years later they've become an oddity that bookshops return, and so Orwell's bitter, eye-opening early work on life as a tramp is available at an almost tramp-friendly price. You have to do without scholarly notes, but you'll survive.