©1970 George Orwell (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
I downloaded this book as an audiobook because I love it! I have read it before and wanted to "read" it again.
I must say, I got a lot out of this version. The vocal inflections and phrasings were sometimes, both the same as my own, and different too.
I love that.
I highly recommend you download this audiobook!
(as a novel, it's one of the all-time-classics of course and well worth learning about!)
Very well performed.
Samuel West lent an urgency and immediacy to a book I was already well familiar with.
First rate performance of a timeless classic
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
I had to read this back in school. Meant nothing to me, can't even remember reading it. I listen to this production almost 20 years later and I can not believe what I missed out on. This production is so good. Love it so much, I am going to find an early print version and have it on my shelf to read to honour George Orwell.
The bleakness helps you focus on the concepts. It cut through the distractions of visual and culture into the idea of 'big brother'.
He is perfect for this story. Very nice tone to his voice. Even the women sounded correct. Most men can't do the women as well as women doing mens voices, but Samuel West is quite good. No problem listening to any of his other performances.
O'Brien, a member of the Inner Party who poses as a member of The Brotherhood, in order to deceive and trap, Winston and Julia. Now that would be a very interesting dinner. Of course you couldn't trust him to tell you if he liked the meal or not, but it would sound good.
Read this book, you'll never listen to politician the same again, nor the media or even your colleagues. The book is good to listen to, important to develop your political savvy and ensure that media never leads you up the garden path. It isn't necessarily going to change your life, but worth reading.
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
This was a re-read for me, and last time I read the novel and saw the movie was, fittingly enough, back in 1984 during my high-school days. Thanks to my faulty memory and the accumulation of years, I remembered virtually nothing of the story, save for a few crucial and indelible parts, so it was like discovering a new novel all over again. What amazed us then and continues to amaze now is how much foresight Orwell had. Big Brother might not have the same face as that displayed in the ubiquitous posters in the story, but he is among us and rules our world. Or that's how I feel about it when in a more cynical mood. In other ways, one can't help but feel relieved that there is a thing such as the "free world" which none of us should take for granted.
A man called Winston Smith is an intellectual working for the Party in the land of Oceania. Life is strictly regimented for Party members with tv screens everywhere observing their every move and seemingly able to read their very thoughts as well. Winston remembers a time in childhood before the Party had taken over, but this is his damnation. Because in the current world of Big Brother, the past is continually being edited and re-edited to fit the latest ideology embraced by the Party, and Big Brother must always be made to look as though his foresight is infallible, hence, a full-time job re-writing newspaper articles and entire books and changing photos and burning any evidence which might prove that the Party isn't all that it claims to be. Enter Julia, a woman whom Winston first thinks might be spying on him. In this world, children are raised to spy on their parents and deliver them to the hands of the Though Police if they are found to deviate in any way from the Party line. But Julia ends up being opposed to the party, a subversive who takes chances yet embodies all that the Party most prizes: complete adherence to it's principles, wherein only the Party must dominate and the individual be quashed to fit into a militaristic mould, in a world wherein the reigning slogans are WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Winston and Julia become lovers, which in and of itself is a subversive act, because in Oceania, sex is not something to be enjoyed, but endured for the sake of bringing new Party members into the world. It is self-evident that things must turn out badly for the pair, and they do, though they both know from the beginning that the Ministry of Love, which is in charge of torturing dissidents to death, will catch them them sooner or later.
The concepts and terms in this book are difficult to describe and explain neatly in a short review. But even for those who have never been exposed to this work before, there are many notions which are familiar, because they have become part of the vernacular since the publication of the novel in 1949; Big Brother, Doublethink, Thoughtcrime and Newspeak are familiar terms nowadays. There is no question that Orwell's ideas were informed by the Soviet and Nazi totalitarian regimes of his time, and yet he clearly understood that all such regimes share common belief systems at the core.
I loved the fist three quarters of the novel, which took us into Winston's mind, his workplace and routines and describe this bleak world he is an observer and unwilling participant of. The final part of the novel, which takes us into the nightmarish edifice of the Ministry of Love, and describes the inhumane treatment Winston is subjected to in order to "rehabilitate" him, is hard to witness, especially when one knows that similar treatment has, and continues to take place in many parts of the world, so that I was quite anxious for the suffering to end. All the same, this is an excellent novel, and a very important one which should be required reading for everyone as an effective argument for why freedom of speech and thought and movement are things none of us should take for granted and must seek to defend at all cost.
This particular audio version as narrated by Samuel West is highly recommended.
The most famous dystopias ever written, this book is incredibly intense. Superbly read by Samuel West. This recording now has pride of place as my favourite Audible title so far.
Do yourself a favor, can click buy!
Winston Smith's small world involves tight control & surveillance. His job is to refabricate old news stories & official records to match with current political aims. What begins as a sliver of doubt about the reality of past & current events turns into a large wedge & Winston attempts to discover the "truth" of what is happening in his nation.
Orwell is an outstanding writer & this book is brilliant.
Samuel West does an incredible job of narration & this is definitely the version of the book to listen to.
This needs to be in your audible library.
Its clear why this boook by George Orwell is a classic. Narrated by Samuel West it has been even further elevated. Due to the tough nature of the book, the story, its difficult to call the listening experience "enjoyable". However, if you're in the mood for a heavy piece of classic literature, you will not be disappointed.
Dr. Nils Rasmussen
I have read the print version of 1984 four times but I have never enjoyed it as much as listening to it through this audio book. The production and narration were nothing short of perfect and they managed to encapsulate that "I can't put it down" type feeling even though the medium had been changed. A definate MUST-buy.
"Probably the perfect book"
I loved this book the narration is really good and the story is so well conceved and written that I was completely blown away by it. I will listen to this one again and again. It is well worth a credit and if I could give it more stars I would. I am only writing such a glowing review in case big brother is watching and I end up on a charge of thought crime ;0)
"Big Brother is watching you!"
This audiobook is amazing and without doubt the best I've listened to so far.
Orwell's frightening alternate vision of the future was completely gripping from start to end and left me completely paranoid and afraid about the society we live in today and what could happen if evil prevailed.
The narration by Samual West is first class and he makes the audiobook all the better for it.
A must buy.
Well narrated by Samuel West, but I think this is a book better read than listened to, particularly the sections where Orwell is describing the party's history and philosophy.
Eloquently well read, a fantastic classic as everyone knows and it just gets better when read so brilliantly..
"A book that will never grow old"
EXCELLENT book that I studied for school many moons ago. I had forgotten the whole story but remembered 'big brother' and used to joke to friends big brother is watching you. But seriously this book was well before its time and the narration is superb. The idea of everyone watching your every move has become a reality to some extent though we can at least escape the cabbage soup and victory coffee !!!!!!!
"One of the best ..... ever...!!!"
I read this book when I was about 15 - I initially read it on recommendation of my late mother, who noticing that I was reading Animal Farm for my 'O' level English Literature exam and thought I would enjoy it. I did read it - and I remember telling her it was a very good book, however, (sorry mum), I fibbed - I just didn't understand it at all. I'm now approaching 50 and just finished this unabridged audible version - and of course a 15 year old wouldn't understand the concept behind this very dark and disturbing story. I don't believe that George Orwell wrote this as a prediction of the future (although its nearly as close as it gets!), but of the past, present and future. I think his story telling/writing is very futuristic. It could embrace almost any time throughout the 20th (and of course into the 21st) century and is without any doubt one of the best written books ever. Beautifully read by Samuel West. You will, I promise, enjoy this. BIG BROTHER says you WILL enjoy this book...!!!
"A true classic"
I've only bought a dozen audiobooks from Audible and this is the second best so far. The story is incredible, the performance faultless.
It needs no comparison as its a literary classic that everyone should know about.
Yes - but I only get to listen on the 2 hour commute to and from work. Couldn't wait to hear more.
I looked for this using the numeric 1984 and never found it on Audible. It was only when I searched by author that I came across it as you have it listed as 'Nineteen Eighty Four'
You should show this in both forms so others are able to enjoy it as I fear many are unaware it is on here.
"A Real Eye Opener"
I would definitely listen to this book again. Samuel West's performance is a master class in narration; one minuet calm and serine, the next utterly terrifying. The scenes inside the Ministry of Love sent shivers down my spine. The book itself really makes you think about things and can be easily related to today even though it was written in 1947.
Having struggled getting into the novel over the years and being determined to 'read' this classic i decided to download the audio book. I am glad I did.
1984 is an excellent book and the narrator takes you into the story. The chilling prophecy for that time still resonates into today. As they say Big Brother is always watching.
"A Warning from History; Still Relevant Today."
I love this book. I love everything about this book.
George Orwell taught us everything we should fear in this day and age, before we even knew we should fear it. This is a story of forbidden love in a land that everyone today will find familiar. The cameras, the snooping, the need to force everyone comply with a single way of life...
This is our world predicted in fiction.
The characters are realistic and the narration by Samuel West is excellent. I recommend this to all.
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