George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote.
Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.
The year 1984 has come and gone, yet George Orwell's nightmare vision of the world we were becoming in 1949 is still the great modern classic portrait of a negative Utopia.
©1949 Harcourt Brace and Company, renewed ©1977 Sonia Brownell Orwell; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"It is probable that no other work of this generation has made us desire freedom more earnestly or loathe tyranny with such fullness." (New York Times, 1949)
I read the book when I was about 19 or so. I am now 31. The first time I thought it was fascinating and cool and cruel. This time round, I thought what a downer! Yep I just felt it more this time it totally got me down. The book is great and if you have not read it go for it. But of course it will leave you feeling like there is no justice because they literally just erased it!
The narrator is very good, and the books is easy to follow and quick to engage.
It is kind of a staple and I am glad I read it again but it will be many years before I go for it again.
I had to listen to this book as an AP assignment for school and it was not a very good story in my opinion. There were some parts in it which made me think, however it was boring throughout the whole book.
I finished as quickly as humanly possible! I couldnt stop listening! AMAZING AMAZING NOVEL! I plan to read Animal Farm next as i hear equally high praise of it as well
A well written book is a gem.
Reading it again, on this side of 1989, the novel loses much the visceral impact it once had. Knowing the Soviets and Marxism have failed, when I read 1984 this time, I find the real legacy of 1984 is that it's more an important historical artifact of a bygone era than good fiction. An important historical work to read once but not a great read today.
If you are planning to listen to this literary classic, Simon Prebble's reading is the way to go. The way he renders the emotion of the story makes it come alive, you can actually feel and listen different voices. Excellent performance.
As a story, 1984 is rather simplistic and predictable. Orwell offers no deep insights into human nature or history or the human condition. He does, however, excel at depicting the mood of life under a totalitarian state, and Prebble's narration conveys that mood perfectly.
1984 is timeless because it is a vivid and compelling snapshot of the kind of totalitarianism that modernism made possible and that modernism cannot prevent. Once transcendent reality is denied and the government controls technological development and use, there is nothing but the good will of those in power to hold totalitarianism at bay.
Modern western nations have abandoned using Stalinist brutality as a way of controlling their citizenry (though it may be argued that brute force is still used as a way to control citizens of some non-western countries). In America, soft coercion of the citizenry has replaced torture (see the book Nudge by Obama advisor Cass Sunstein), and cultivating envy has replaced the cultivation of fear. These differences from Orwell's 1984 (and the realities it was based on) are superficial and only underscore the relevance of this novel.
It's amazing the insight Orwell had when he wrote this but it almost seemed more like an instruction manual for crafting the future than a fiction book..seemingly endless definitions of terminology and lite on the story for my taste.
This was my first audiobook and it was amazing.
A strong sense of fear.
This story is told as if you are living a generation past the fall of INGSOC and your really cool grandfather that lived most of his life under INGSOC, played by Simon Prebble is reading you the diary of Winston Smith.
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