War Is Peace! Freedom Is Slavery! Ignorance Is Strength! Big Brother is watching and listening. Yep, we’re talking propaganda, the fabrication of “truth”, the outlawing of dissent, the distortion of reality, endless war… and of course, thought crime. No we’re not talking about the goings on on 2011, were talking about the 1949 NBC University Theater’s adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. This production originally aired on August 27, 1949, but is available today for your listening enjoyment. This is the very first adaptation of 1984 and it stars David Niven!
If you've never read the book this is a good taste of what's to come. The story really gets you thinking and it's well worth the buy. I'd still settle for the book though.
The Perpetual Student
I know that this caused panic when it first aired, and I'm not sure how, because there's not enough timing for it to be happening in real time. That being said, I did enjoy how things cut out as though the people were taken out by the aliens mid transmission. Very true to life I think.
My only flaw was the quality of sound, which is likely hard to listen to the static crackle with my modern ears.
Don't get me wrong, I love David Niven. I have also read and re-read this book over the course of my 40 plus years on this planet. But, there was something about the voices ( of many actors of the 30's 40's and 50's) that just didn't cater to a story of such chilling and foretelling magnitude. They sound "tin-y" and over done. I kept thinking of the "Duck & Cover" films that they showed in schools during the 50's, to prepare children for a Russian nuclear attack.Or perhaps it made me feel more like a sailor being shown the old "Hygiene of the Lower Deck" films before going on shore leave overseas....?
In short, too much drama left me with the inability to lose myself in the story.
Sure. What's not to love about Orwell..? I've read 'em all and will continue to do so. I will however be more judicious with my choice of narrators, though.
Narrating different material. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was impeccable.
Yes. It inspired me to turn it off.
Wrong performer(s) for the wrong material.
Definitely. It is under an hour, and that even includes a funny little interlude of someone in the 1940s explaining the novel's relevance. I highly enjoyed the classic radio sounds of people walking and breaking things, too.
The message came across. But it was confusing.
No, the book is already weird enough.
"Horrible audio for a great classic"
The audio quality is really awful.
If you' ve got good ears, noise and distorsion proof, this is for you!
"A classic look at society"
One of the best books to read
A brave new world by Aldus Huxley
A must read for the free thinker
This book has always been on my list of books to read but never got around to it. We were supposed to read it at school but I never did. I actually bought a copy in 1984 to read but never did. This dramatised version was fun to listen to and I have listened to it many times already. Audio books are a great way of getting those must reads sorted - while ironing, walking the dog, waiting around for trains. Love it, love it, love it and recommend it for those who want to find out the origin of Big Brother and room 101. Furthermore, David Niven's narration adds a classic tone that is a smooth, suave added bonus.
BB is after you for an ice cream cornet with f!lakes & nutsas well. Yah!
"nice piece of classic radio"
I actually look out for radio dramas. Good structure to the story. With all old radio performances the quality of the audio will sometimes be an issue so you have to judge with this in mind. On the whole very good. there were only a couple of spoken parts where you had to either strain to hear what was said or increase the volume. So overall pleased with the performance.
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