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)
This is truly one of the best novels ever written. The pacing is perfect, the characters are timeless, and it is one of the most quotable books I've ever read. The narrator was perfect for the text and did a great job bringing the characters to life.
Listener of history, biography, and science, with some fiction and sci-fi thrown in for good measure.
There is a very good reason why this novel makes nearly everyone’s top 10 best novels of all-time list. It’s brilliant and also scary in its predictive power. Don’t take my word for it, just read the book. No one in modern society should ever be comfortable with anything in the world resembling Oceania in 1984. Down with Big Brother!
This review, however, is primarily a review of the audio edition narrated by Simon Prebble. If you are going to read 1984, and you should read 1984, then listening to this performance is the way to go. Every character is uniquely and consistently voiced, so much so that it feels like a full cast recording. Winston is portrayed with real emotion, especially in Part III, and it is nearly impossible not to feel what he feels. Prebble’s performance is double plus good, in every sense of the word.
Simon Prebble is really great in bringing the story to life without distraction.
Really enjoyed Winston's excursions outside of the safe zone. His exploring, testing and steps beyond the accepted limits Big Brother enforced always kept me guessing when he might get caught.
Winston's new life with Julia was really exciting, and seemed so genuine and true to life. Especially related to all his personal doubts, and concerns in the beginning.
Yes, it was difficult to take breaks on this one.
Big Brother, and the three ruling nations doesn't seem like such a future impossibility anymore. We live in interesting times...
I can't do it in three but I can in four... "Down with Big Brother!"
A great novel and a must read...or...listen! Simon Prebble is a awesome narrator and adds a great deal to the stories portrayal. I highly recommend any thing narrated my Simon.
There is nothing I can add about the story line that has not already been said, so I am focusing on my impressions of the story. I listened to this on audible, and I found the narration to be good. I had never read this classic before, but I knew the phrase "Big Brother is Watching." It was interesting to finally read the story behind it. I'm also glad that I read this as an adult, as I don't think I could have digested the concepts as well as a youth.
Parts of this were quite chilling, considering that Orwell wrote this in 1948 and he foresaw many things that relevant today in various countries. There were many thought provoking concepts, such as Winston describing that sanity is not statistical. Once I thought about that, I realized how accurate that concept was and how someone who dares to think differently than the masses is thought to be odd or even crazy. I had no idea how the story would end, but once I got there, I realized that it was the perfect ending. The appendix about New-Speak was fascinating to me - it actually made a lot of sense and it certainly simplifies the English language!
1984 is a chilling classic that cuts deep in current political climates. Orwell's prose is powerful and engaging - and Prebble's narration does not miss a note.
Orwell has an uncanny ability to expose subtle manipulations are stip away the blinders we are too often eagerly wearing in Western Society. This is what makes the story so poignant, but even if you disregard the "message," the plot is enough to keep you listening. Unforgettable.
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
This work is a classic for a reason. I, personally, found some of the manipulation of the populace by the elite to be a bit too much for belief. However, after finishing this book, you will begin to see Orwellian ideals manifest themselves in the present world. The near complete control of information by N. Korea, China, and some Arab states comes to mind. You will see examples much closer to home, such as the practice among western politicians of stating something that they know to be wrong with great conviction to convince the public of its truth. The phrase "food for thought" must have been invented with '1984' in mind.
Simon Prebble's performance was outstanding.
I am a working mom who loves to squeeze in listening to books while walking, doing chores or commuting.
I have not read the print version, however after having listening to the audiobook I do not have any interest in rereading the material.
I have not read any other books like this one, but perhaps I would compare it to All Men Die Alone. It is man vs. corrupt government.
He did a great job.
Not especially since I basically knew what the book was about being a classic.
I probably would not have finished the print version or else would have speed read it. This was one of the classics that I have always meant to read. The content is still relevant today in our political climate. Fear BIg Government!
Leading a busy life, Audible has let me reunite with my passion for literature.
I did not read the print version. Unfortunately, schools had long since pulled this from the "required reading list" by the time I got there.
The moments within the "Ministry of Love" towards the conclusion.
Slow, Deep and Captivating.
Yes...but it is a very long book, and it simply MUST be broken into pieces. The chapters are also quite long which made it hard to listen to a whole one all at once.
The prophetic clarity with which Orwell wrote this book is astonishing. I could not believe the VERY specific ways that her mirrored the "Brotherhood" with today political class. I believe tis book is a must read from anyone who see how quickly we are approaching "1984".
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