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1984: New Classic Edition | [George Orwell]

1984: New Classic Edition

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: The ultimate dystopia. 1984 has come and gone, but Orwell is still as poignant as ever. Simon Prebble's narration, enriched with forboding music and effects, provides the perfect blend of seriousness and disaffection. Writ large in audio and rendered scarier than Stephen King on a late-night country-road drive, it makes you wonder all over again how right Orwell was. —Chris Doheny

Publisher's Summary

Blackstone Audio presents a new recording of this dramatically popular book.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • Nominee, 2008 Audie Award, Classic

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (5489 )
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  •  
    Barbara Stanbro 11-12-12

    Love kitties, quilting, and cooking

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Depressing book."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I can't think of anything I would change, but it was a sad story, and it brought me down.


    What other book might you compare 1984 to and why?

    Can't think of anything I would compare it to.


    What aspect of Simon Prebble’s performance would you have changed?

    His reading was a bit monotone.


    Was 1984 worth the listening time?

    Maybe.


    Any additional comments?

    I read 1984 because it is a classic and because I felt I was missing some cultural references by never having read it. It was worth reading for that reason, but the story is very sad and depressing. I read it shortly before the 2012 election and it was eerily reminiscent of the times, especially the rewriting of history. I'm not sorry for having read it, but I don't like stories that don't have a good outcome. I'm reading for entertainment. If I want to be depressed, I'll just watch Congress in action on any day of the year.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    flystraightup 11-11-12 Member Since 2007
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    "A political nightmare"

    George Orwell's classic dystopian world is brought to life in this audio retelling of 1984. This performance requires some patience on the part of the listener as the Story of Winston Smith starts to unfold. The narrator, Simon Prebble gives a very true performance, but the work describes a world that is gray, dingy, depressing, and humorless, so the narration seems dry, dull and boring. But the performance merely reflects the mood of the book, as the nightmare that is Airstrip One in the nation of Oceania unfolds.

    The performance really picks up as the characters of Winston, Julia and O'Brien form and come to life. Stick with this one; you will be rewarded in the end. Well, before the end, actually. After sixty-five years, 1984 remains a chilling, frightening portrait of a world that might have been. And could still be.

    Big Brother is watching!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Soriano 10-10-12
    A. Soriano 10-10-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Just Didn't Connect"
    Would you try another book from George Orwell and/or Simon Prebble?

    If I were given a compelling reason by an opinion I trust, I'd be willing to trudge once more into an Orwell story. Simon Prebble (this audiobook's narrator) did a wonderful job.


    Would you ever listen to anything by George Orwell again?

    Again, only if it were recommended by someone I know.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I did not have a favorite scene outside the fact that there were a handful that I particularly DISliked--so everything else, I suppose.


    Was 1984 worth the listening time?

    It was only worth my time in that I can better appreciate social references made to the story.


    Any additional comments?

    [Some SPOILER information below...]
    I probably would have liked this story more if I cared at all about the main character. Winston has no really great attributes--on the contrary, he was at best a boring, depressing man who then totally lost me when he fantasized about rape and murder. I just did not connect with him at all throughout the narrative.
    By the time I had gotten a few chapters in, the only thing keeping me going was the fact that I was already "in for a penny." There are numerous places where the narrative is unnecessarily repetitive, describing and re-describing the way some particular policy functions. To be honest, I zoned out a bit during these parts.
    Knowing what I know now, I'd probably just have saved my book credit and settled for a synopsis or--dare I say it--a film adaptation. That's right. I said it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ally Zebulon, NC, United States 10-08-12
    Ally Zebulon, NC, United States 10-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not what I expected"
    If you could sum up 1984 in three words, what would they be?

    Totally unexpected


    What other book might you compare 1984 to and why?

    Not sure. I might say its a more adult version of the hunger game.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not really sure. The whole book is full of twists and turns


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not a particular scene. The entire book moved me.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Madera, CA, United States 10-02-12
    Kevin Madera, CA, United States 10-02-12
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    "Excellent and Current Even Today"
    If you could sum up 1984 in three words, what would they be?

    This is a great read and I have my ten-year old daughter reading it now. This is current material even in todays world. A Must See


    What does Simon Prebble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love the accent as it is relevant to the time and setting


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh cry and angry


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Pincher Creek, AB, Canada 09-25-12
    Douglas Pincher Creek, AB, Canada 09-25-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a writer! made us feel part of the experience"
    Would you listen to 1984 again? Why?

    I believe that everyone should read 1984 every 10 years. We have witnessed many events that appear to have been predicted. Forewarned is Forearmed


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Obviously, Winston Smith


    What does Simon Prebble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice fits exactly with the serious nature of the story


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Your government is here to protect you... Be afraid. Be very afraid.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David H Palo Alto, CA United States 09-24-12
    David H Palo Alto, CA United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Well done reading of this classic story."

    I very much enjoyed listening to this telling. This is an important work of 20th century fiction. I chose this recording and found it excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Guelph, Ontario, Canada 09-17-12
    Peter Guelph, Ontario, Canada 09-17-12 Listener Since 2003
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    "Great narration!"
    What did you like best about 1984? What did you like least?

    The first half of the book was so exciting - great plot, evocative description, fascinating characters. The second half of the book (spoiler alert!) left me cold with its seemingness endless scenes of torture. We get it already, George! Beautifully read by Simon Prebble


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick SANDSTON, VA, United States 09-13-12
    Patrick SANDSTON, VA, United States 09-13-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best books I have listened to thus far."
    If you could sum up 1984 in three words, what would they be?

    Big Brother's Watching!


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    Excellent performance.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    A little too close to what is going on today in the world.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jared Albuquerque, NM, United States 09-09-12
    jared Albuquerque, NM, United States 09-09-12
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    "It does not come with part three"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes because you don't have to read the book


    What other book might you compare 1984 to and why?

    idk


    What didn’t you like about Simon Prebble’s performance?

    He didn't narrate part three


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I havent read it yet


    Any additional comments?

    Why the hell does it not come with a part three?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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