The Lower Depths by Maksim Gorky

The book is a stark depiction of the lives of the impoverished and dispossessed at the bottom of the Russian social ladder in the early 20th century. Set in a squalid shelter, it presents a group of destitute individuals from various backgrounds—thieves, prostitutes, and the down-and-out—who share their stories and philosophies as they grapple with the harsh realities of poverty and survival. The narrative delves into themes of human suffering, the struggle for dignity, and the elusive nature of truth, offering a grim commentary on the social conditions of the time and the human condition itself.

The 3527th greatest book of all time

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