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1984 Audiobook

1984: New Classic Edition

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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

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  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 11-14-15
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 11-14-15 Member Since 2016

    My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ROOM 101"

    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
    This amazing thought provoking, scary, unforgettable?, timeless classic is a must read. The book is divided into three parts. Let me start with part 3. Horror fans do not miss part 3. Part 3 is filled with suspense and torture. Horror is one of my specialties, but no fiction book written with the sole purpose of horror can match the suspense and reality of Part 3. Russia, North Korea and Nazi Germany can not compete with the torture practices of the party. The ability to alter the mind, to control your very thoughts, to make you love what you hated, to turn yourself against yourself. HOW MANY FINGERS DO YOU SEE?

    WAR IS PEACE
    Part one is the introduction and we learn what it is like to live in this society through the eyes of Winston. Winston is watched his whole life, he has no privacy. His apartment has a camera, his job, everywhere he goes. Everything he says is listened to, his facial expressions are examined and if he does not look and act the way the party expects, he could be vanished. In the morning he is awakened by the television, expected to get out of bed and follow the leader on the TV in morning exercises, if he does not bend over far enough, his name is announced over a speaker in his room and he better perform properly. The TV can not be turned off. Few people are married and sex is frowned upon. Those that are married rarely love each other, they only have sex to do their duty to the party. Their kids usually end up turning against them and reported them to the party. They are then vanished, see part 3. At work, Winston's job is to change history. If the party said something a year ago, which does not agree with what they said today, then all written material from the past must be changed to show that what they said today is what they have always said.

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
    Winston is lonely and he hates the party. He must hide these facts from the ever watching eye of Big Brother. Somehow, he is able to find places of privacy and to have an affair. Life almost takes on a certain type of normalcy. Yet, he and she know that they will get caught and that they will be tortured. The reader feels for the couple, wishes them happiness, yet dreads the ultimate outcome of them being caught. Part two is bitter sweet.

    MINISTRY OF PLENTY
    Simon Prebble is excellent, absolutely excellent. I can't say enough about his performance for this novel.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Vancouver, WA, United States 11-09-14
    Bill Vancouver, WA, United States 11-09-14 Member Since 2011

    Love well written and well narrated books of any type.

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    "A horror story still applicable to modern times"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Simon Prebble's narration was impeccable and the storyline was scary enough to keep me listening.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    I will likely read more of Orwell's works. I read this in high school but had forgotten most of the plot. Simon Prebble's performance brought the book to life.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Even though this was fiction the story felt true to life. The events could happen in any totalitarian regime.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Nothing.


    Do you have any additional comments?

    This book is a bargain and I am happy I listened to it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Wright Grays, Essex United Kingdom 12-04-09
    James Wright Grays, Essex United Kingdom 12-04-09 Member Since 2009
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    "This was a fantastic book"

    The narration by Simon Prebble took an awesome story and made it fantastic! This is well worth a credit. I was totally engrossed and couldn't wait for my train journey to continue listening everyday.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey Moorhead, MN, USA 10-18-09
    Corey Moorhead, MN, USA 10-18-09
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    "Read..... if you dare!"

    First. This audio book was very well done. The voice actor was one of the best I've listened to among the many novels I've bought form audible.
    Almost too good. The story is brought to life almost painfully at times. You WILL enter the world of 1984. At the end you will, as I did, spend time thinking about similarities between the world of 1984 and today. Good luck to us all!

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T Cyr Missoula, MT United States 02-13-17
    T Cyr Missoula, MT United States 02-13-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent Reader of a Visionary Classic"

    For first being published in 1949, Orwell had a dire vision into a possible future of our humanity and life on this planet. What's more frightening is that some of his vision has come true. Television has become a big part of what manipulates and controls much of our culture and society. Social media seems to spew hate. This has been one of those classics that has always been on my to read list but I never quite got around to reading. Simon Prebble is an excellent reader and takes us directly into Orwell allowing us direct access to the thoughts of Winston. Was not at all what i was expecting and found parts so anguishing to listen to I had to turn it off and take a break from the intensity of his reading. Well worth a listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-04-17
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    "First time to read this book"

    I've heard about this book for ages and I've finally listened to it. Although some of the activities are dated, the process is not. New technology, medical knowledge, psychology and public education can make the state stronger and the individual weaker through ignorance and the idea that someone else can take care of things.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Butler, PA, USA 08-05-09
    Brad Butler, PA, USA 08-05-09
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    "An excellent first audiobook"

    I've always wanted to read this book, and I found it incredibly engrossing. I'm now hooked on audiobooks. Simon Prebble's narration really brought the story to life.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Portland, OR, USA 12-05-07
    Jeff Portland, OR, USA 12-05-07
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    "Well narrated classic about torture"

    Well narrated classic that did a fair job of predicting what 1984 would be like while adding the twist of the technology in the hands of a group with a clear goal of simply maintaining power and increasing it. Surprising part of the book (for someone who didn't read reviews) is the amount of time spent on detailed description of torture and the impact on the human body and mind. Very depressing.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victor Destefano 04-09-13
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    "Great performance, chilling story"
    What made the experience of listening to 1984 the most enjoyable?

    Great performance by narrator, Simon Prebble. In this alarming tale of absolute power corrupting absolutely, we can clearly see how aspects of Orwell's imagined dystopia in our own modern world.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 1984?

    The methodical and total breaking of Winston Smith.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    All of the were performed flawlessly.


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

    Clearly it would have to be, "Big Brother is Watching."


    Any additional comments?

    This book acts a great reminder that man has no single dark side, but many. While this book is fiction, it's a must read for everybody who fears that freedom is an easy thing to lose when you're either not vigilant or you allow yourself to be distracted or fooled.

    George Orwell wrote this novel only a few years after fascists tried to control all of Europe and Asia and reminds us that those fascists were only powerful because, before they won battles by force, they won hearts and minds by propaganda and manipulation.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john Carmichael, CA, United States 08-28-12
    john Carmichael, CA, United States 08-28-12 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself! I am a high school graduate with some college. I am 56 and have been a construction worker my whole life.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "1984 is now"
    Where does 1984 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    About one of the best ive listen to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like how the story, although about a future time, applies to today.


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

    The performance was great. Even taking on female personal with professional ability.


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

    1984 is Now.


    Any additional comments?

    Of course you have heard of this book, or read it. Read it now (or listen) Now you are older and it will make more sense. I listened twice to make sure i got it all. There is much there.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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