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1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four [Paperback]

George Orwell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (607 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Sep 1998 Essential Penguin
Newspeak, Doublethink, Big Brother, the Thought Police - the language of 1984 has passed into the English Language as a symbol of the horrors of totalitarianism. George Orwell's story of Winston Smith's fight against the all-pervading party has become a classic, not the least because of its intellectual coherence.


Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (3 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014027877X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140278774
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 11.3 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (607 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George Orwell is one of England's most famous writers and social commentators. Among his works are the classic political satire Animal Farm and the dystopian nightmare vision Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell was also a prolific essayist, and it is for these works that he was perhaps best known during his lifetime. They include Why I Write and Politics and the English Language. His writing is at once insightful, poignant and entertaining, and continues to be read widely all over the world.

Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel, Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as a private tutor, schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles to a number of periodicals. Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933. In 1936 he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there.

At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded. Homage to Catalonia is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there wrote Coming Up for Air. During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of the Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary, and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political allegory, Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame.

It was around this time that Orwell's unique political allegory Animal Farm (1945) was published. The novel is recognised as a classic of modern political satire and is simultaneously an engaging story and convincing allegory. It was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which finally brought him world-wide fame. Nineteen Eighty-Four's ominous depiction of a repressive, totalitarian regime shocked contemporary readers, but ensures that the book remains perhaps the preeminent dystopian novel of modern literature.

Orwell's fiercely moral writing has consistently struck a chord with each passing generation. The intense honesty and insight of his essays and non-fiction made Orwell one of the foremost social commentators of his age. Added to this, his ability to construct elaborately imaginative fictional worlds, which he imbued with this acute sense of morality, has undoubtedly assured his contemporary and future relevance.

George Orwell died in London in January 1950.

Product Description

Review

* Nineteen Eighty-Four is given fresh life through this vigorous narration The Observer * An inspired match of book and reader creates a gripping version of George Orwell's 1984. One of The Daily Telegraph's Audiobooks of 2009 * Read with the skill and gravitas of Philip Glenister, we are transfixed by Orwell's brilliance. audiobooksreview.co.uk --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

A stunning 60th anniversary edition with a new introduction by Robert Harris --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
If you can, skip the introduction to 1984.
Forget the film.
Forget that it might be comment on society 50 years ago and that it might apply to Soviet / Sino governments which hardly exist any more.
The themes which Orwell tackles are completely releavant.
So just dive straight in and read about a brilliant, scary, compelling and stark possible-future society.

1984 is an amazingly good read. It's easy to get in to and the characters grip you straight away. The language is pretty straightforward and it's a compact story -- so it's not a marathon 800-page monster like many modern novels can be. The dilemma of Winston Smith is so involving that I've found myself reading the whole book in one or two sessions (and I know exactly what happens!), just because I can't bear to put it down.

So just read it for the pleasure of reading a really great speculative novel, which comments on human society, and human relationships. Yes, it has dated somewhat but that's true of every book. The nightmare which surrounds the main characters isn't affected by the passage of time, and Room 101 is still very, very scary (you'll also discover just how many popular phrases came from this book. Plenty!)

Then, afterwards, you can get really scared about how much of it has come true and how close our society is to that of Orwell's imagination...

And if you were forced to read 1984 or Animal Farm at school, it's worth re-reading it as an adult to appreciate it without someone leaning over your shoulder and telling you what you should be thinking.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By ಠ_ಠ VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
It is very difficult to review a book that means so much to several generations. To me, the words of Winston Smith himself, summarise it perfectly: "The best books... are those that tell you what you know already".

We know from history that some of the most terrible things happen because the majority lets them happen, looks on in silence and does nothing, naively believing that they are safe and it will never happen to them. One small step to curb our freedom, which may seem perfectly reasonable at the time and even for our own good, may unfold into a nightmare if no one speaks out, engrossed in their daily drudgery, football and lottery. To me personally this is the most important message of "1984", Orwell's timeless legacy to us. It is up to every one of us to make sure in our lifetime that his prophecy never comes true.

1984 is a truly painful book to read, projecting the worst sense of hopelessness and dread that I have ever read on paper. I think it is one of the most important and compelling books ever written. Without exaggeration, it will change your life. It forces you to look at yourself and the world around you and think, think, think.

For a different perspective on the eternal theme of an individual versus state, I also highly recommend "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess, "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro and "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books that I have ever read. 25 May 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is truly outstanding, it is a timeless political satire that demands to be read to be fully appreciated. Nineteen Eighty Four is a chilling portrayal of totalitarianism with a Nietzsche philosophy --that there are no facts, only interpretations-- from the book we have: '"Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else," says O'Brien. " . . . In the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth."'
The concepts that Orwell deals are evident in our society today, only by reading the book will you truly understand Doublethink, Newspeak et cetera. After you read the book, it leaves a lasting impression, you will never look at the world the same way again.
This book, along with Animal Farm, would serve as chapters for a political Bible. A must read and a true classic.
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72 of 79 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a book that will grasp you from the start to the end. It is not just a book, it is a fantastic love tale,, it is a compedium of human traits and society, it is a grim phrophesy, a clever philisophical discussion, and so much more. Firstly the world it is set in is so realistic, yet weird and chilling at the ame time, the way the world is split into 3 super states constantly at war. The way there is adoration of BIG BROTHER and how the higher up the ranks of society you go, the more demented and cruel everyone is. And this is just the shallow outer edge of the book! its chilling in itself! But the REAL nightmare comes when you look deeper into the plot, the states of mind, the 2 minutes hate, and the talks with o brien. This is when you get a horrifying picture of what human society can create, and might well of done, had Orwells predictions come true. And yet through all the horrer comes this weird dream-like feeling, of a strange surreal world. On top of this you can look at the world today around us and HONESTLY say that some, even a lot, of the traits and systems in 1984 exist today. The societies of hate, the manipulation of truth in newspapers like the SUN. These factors all contribute to making one of the, if not THE, best book(s) ever written. READ IT AND HAVE A GOOD LONG LOOK AROUND YOU...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars utter nonsense, why this book is so well known is quite beyond me. I...
Absolutely boring fantasy book. I have often wondered what this book was about, I shouldn't have wasted my time wondering.
Published 2 days ago by I. Charity
4.0 out of 5 stars "Amazing depiction of modern life"
The books deals with kleptocracy in a haunting way that lingers in your mind even after you're finished. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Chloe Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent
it was slow moving and not that gripping but raises a lot of questions. Though overall a good book .
Published 6 days ago by Martha
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book
George Orwell saw the future. I read this book 40 years ago and it is clearer now that time has passed.
Published 9 days ago by ACD
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
a great read and good for studying as well as reading however when you get to the middle boring! and the twists are crazy!
Published 13 days ago by nazeer
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Believe I Hadn't Read It Before
I had never read the book before, unlike many who read it at school, and avoided the film as it looked depressing. Finally, I decided that I should get round to this. Read more
Published 13 days ago by penny
5.0 out of 5 stars should it not read 2014
Its a while since I last read this, but in today's world, this book is so prophetic what with CCTV and a certain culture existing in the western world, particularly the UK. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
Great book.
Concise.
Don't want to put it down.
Ending is a bit sucky - but won't spoil it here
Published 21 days ago by Liam Michael O'Shea
5.0 out of 5 stars 1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four
I have been wanting to read this book since I was 16 but never got round to it until now. This book arrived super quick and from the second I had this book in my hand I never put... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Ann273
5.0 out of 5 stars Great and important read!!!
This is possible one of the scariest books I've read. Although its obviously written to show the most extreme context of a totalitarian dystopia, a lot of the concepts are starting... Read more
Published 24 days ago by BlackIce0240
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