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94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading cos it's brilliant, never mind all the hype!
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...
Published on 31 July 2007 by Rowena Hoseason

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 1984
A most depressing but well written book, which I did not enjoy. It was for our book club therefore i had to read it, having read it once years ago
Published 8 months ago by Cameron


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic, 17 Jan 2009
The year is 1984 and the masses live under the watchful eye of "Big Brother" and the thought police. In a world where you can trust no one and must monitor your every thought and expression, a man begins to wonder if it is possible to beat the system.

Orwell's 1984 is nothing short of an exquisitely crafted masterpiece. Nothing beats the first read of this book, it literally grips you from the first page and doesn't let go until long after you've finished. I often found that hours would have past me by before I could tear myself away.

This novel stands out as one of a kind. Understandably it made some impact at the time, presumably due, in part, to the fact that Hitler and Nazi Germany were relatively fresh in peoples minds. Orwell took the Nazi regime, amongst others, and perfected it, even giving reference to this through one of his characters.
The story is dark and the characters flawed and realistic. That is the beauty of 1984. The plot and characters are so realistic that it becomes frightening. Orwell anticipates every conceivable question about the world he created and all are answered within the book. One of the things I love about it is that Winston is not your average hero, in fact at points in the book you actually dislike him.

1984 was intended as a social statement, there is much to be said about this, but as this is a review and not a discussion, so suffice to say that it will give you plenty to think about, in particular the repression of free speech, the fear that gives acceptance to totalitarianism and the hopelessness of standing alone.

Many of the words from 1984 have actually made it into our mainstream vocabulary such as, Big Brother, thought police and Room 101.

If you have not read this book I would certainly recommend it to anyone, as a small note, if you are unfamiliar with the story I would advise skipping the introduction, as it gives much away.

George Orwells 1984, his dark, frightening masterpiece is a story for all our times and will, I believe be a classic for many, many years to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dystopian classic, 12 Dec 2008
When Orwell wrote 1984, he was near the end of his life, suffering from tuberculosis and, for most of the time, living in isolation on the remote Scottish island of Jura. What perfect preparation for him to create one of the bleakest and most accurate accounts of the abuse of power by modern totalitarian states. The simple, direct prose style hits you square in the face and leaves you reeling. The world in 1984 is divided into three totalitarian power blocks, which are constantly in conflict. The novel's main character, Winston Smith, lives in one these powers, Oceania. He is an intellectual and a Party member who works in the Ministry of Truth. His job is to re-write political history to accord with the current approved views of the Party on all aspects of society. Winston has become disillusioned with the Party and commits a terrible crime by falling in love with a woman called Julia. This relationship is forbidden, because it serves no utilitarian purpose. In 1984, personal life has been abolished and subjugated to the will of the Party. Winston - under torture - is forced to denounce Julia and reaffirm his love for the Party, as represented by the personality cult of Big Brother.

Orwell hits so many targets with such unerring accuracy that it would be tedious to list them...but here goes: communism and fascism sharing the same totalitarian ambitions; censorship and manipulation of the media to serve political ends; the use of personality cults to induce party loyalty; the creation of external enemies to distract from the shortcomings of the regime; romantic love as an act of defiance in the face of an inhuman society; the use of brainwashing and torture to bring `deviationists' back into line; the loss of the right to a private life and personal privacy; ubiquitous and routine surveillance of ordinary citizens, ostensibly to protect their security. OK, I'll stop now, but you get the picture: this is a hugely ambitious book about profound issues that are still relevant for every person alive today. It is also that rare jewel among ambitious books in that it succeeds in saying something meaningful and convincing about every one of its themes.

This book will still be a best-seller when our grandchildren become politically active. It falls firmly into the category of `books that everyone should read at least once'.

Review by Tony Judge, author of Sirocco Express and The Whole Rotten Edifice.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of intense Political paranoia..., 8 July 2003
By 
This review is from: Nineteen Eighty-Four (Paperback)
Big Brother, The Thought Police, Doublethink, Newspeak...all powerful weapons of complete control...but they haven't worked on Winston. Winston is completely aware that 'The Party' (Big Brother) has absolute power and control of everything, and they can see and hear just about everyone whenever they want. In a world where even thinking can be a crime, Winston struggles to escape constant paranoia, to find happiness and freedom...but with disturbing consequences.
'The Party,' has designed 'Newspeak,' which has been specially desgined to be the official language of Oceania. Newspeak will not only be the language, but the way of thinking to the people...making it impossible to think or act against Big Brothers totalitarian world. Newspeak will eradicate certain thought processes and will destroy individuality, keeping the human mind as simple as possible so that Big Brother will maintain complete power...forever. Together with 'Doublethink,' they make for perfect mind control...
We follow the mind of Winston, and his daring actions against Big Brother. Engulfed with paranoia from the beginning, you simply cannot put the book down.
Nineteen Eighty-Four opens up your eyes to the real world, and changes the way you think completely. Not only is the story gripping and surreal, it is also not far from the truth. This is definately the best book I have ever read, giving a definate warning to us now, and those in the future.
This is a must to everybody...but be warned...you will suffer intense paranoia and will never look at the television in the same way ever again!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrific view of what could of happened, and may yet., 11 Feb 2005
By 
This review is from: Nineteen Eighty-Four (Paperback)
Addmittadly, this was an impulse buy on my part. I had vaguely heard of Orwell before, and I had never read any of his work. Now, I have read three of his books, and am looking for more. Why the change? I had no idea that Nineteen Eighty-Four was going to be as it was - frightening, thought provoking and ultimately distressing. To think that a work of fiction from the 1940s could so accurately discribe elements of life today is amazing, and almost unheard of.
Other writers have attepted to sujest what the future may be. Asimov, for example, thought up a universe filled with robots. But Orwells world is something totally differant, and much more in line with what has actually happened. It is a world where your every move is watched, where the media is controlled, and people who do not toe the line, even in their sleep, become "unpersons", seasing to exist altogether. This is the world of Room 101. This world has it's own language, a twisted corruption of English, which can in part be seen today. It is easy to imagine that a camera is on you all the time, that people can look inside your head. Ingsoc could easily have happened, and could be around today.
This is the world Orwell creates. It is a political jab, as well as a frightening piece of fiction, becoming truth. Upon finishing it, two things horrified me: the first being the content of the book, particularly its ending and the simple style of writing that captured the mood amazingly, and the second that I had not heard of the book before. I would almost demand of my friends to read this! In fact, as a result some have. Why is it not more widely known to the younger population? Even though it is set in the past, it almost seems to be about what it yet the future, something that could still easily happen to us. And that, that really scares me.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Best books are those that tell you what you know already", 26 April 2007
By 
ಠ_ಠ (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Nineteen Eighty-Four (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deep insight into the rule of a fascist state, 2 Nov 2007
This review is from: Nineteen Eighty-Four (Paperback)
A powerful book, that eerily depicts the direction the world is going where truth is shunted and lies are promoted by all the mainstream media. The three slogans of the Party as described in book is very familiar with what we hear from our leaders in these times:

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

Orwell paints a picture of how this fascist totalitarian state is controlled by control surveillance, the new language of Newspeak and the three main ministries that are:

"Ministry of Peace", which concerns itself with war
"The Ministry of Truth", which takes care of news, entertainment, education etc. in short translated as the place of propaganda
"The Mihistry of Love", which is concerned with law and order and according to Orwell the most frighening one.

It is truly a must read book as the rise of fascism is happening. Can also highly recommend seeing the movie called "V for Vendetta", as it is also set in a fascist environment, that closely resembles the one George Orwell depicts in this book.

Can recommend the book "Political Ponerology" to understand how a society becomes a fascist state.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deep insight into the rule of a fascist state, 2 Nov 2007
A powerful book, that eerily depicts the direction the world is going where truth is shunted and lies are promoted by all the mainstream media. The three slogans of the Party as described in book is very familiar with what we hear from our leaders in these times:

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

Orwell paints a picture of how this fascist totalitarian state is controlled by control surveillance, the new language of Newspeak and the three main ministries that are:

"Ministry of Peace", which concerns itself with war
"The Ministry of Truth", which takes care of news, entertainment, education etc. in short translated as the place of propaganda
"The Mihistry of Love", which is concerned with law and order and according to Orwell the most frighening one.

It is truly a must read book as the rise of fascism is happening. Can also highly recommend seeing the movie called "V for Vendetta", as it is also set in a fascist environment, that closely resembles the one George Orwell depicts in this book.

Can recommend the book "Political Ponerology" to understand how a society becomes a fascist state.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Amazing, Genius, Masterpiece I could go on and on, 6 Sep 2006
Belonging to a Book Club ensures that you read books you wouldn't otherwise read. Sometimes you get a real turkey other times you get a masterpiece and, wow! this book is a masterpiece.

Set in 1984 in Oceania, this book tells the story of one man's journey to find the truth and ultimately freedom in a very brutal totalitarian regime under the ever watchful eye of Big Brother and the thoughtpolice.

If you are looking for a book which has a good story, brilliantly, beautifully written, suspense, and is thought provoking, this is the book to read. Some people say that to write one master piece in your life time is luck, but to write two (Animal Farm) is pure genius.

George Orwell didn't just write a book he wrote a legacy for future generations. Anyone who is concerned about the erosion of free speech and the freedom to be heard should read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well earned status as a Classic!, 12 April 2007
I will not write a synopsis of the plot, as I can see it has been well covered here. Furthermore, a true classic need not be summarized by the likes of me.

It is clear from the very first page of this brilliant work why Orwell's 1984 is a world renowned classic. We see in our times, today, much of his prophetic vision unfolding. His use of fictional nation-states renders this a timeless work, for even in a future where the nations of today may no longer exist, this novel shall endure.

How Orwell managed to bring to the forefront the hopelessness of oppression and the terrible suffering of people under the crushing force of tyranny is without question among literature's finest accomplishments. I try to imagine that if in the Universe mankind is not alone, how fortunate we are to have within our achievements as a race a novelist such as this. Especially when juxtaposed to all of humanity's shameful acts.

Along with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World 1984 is a must read and a must have in any home library.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ITS HERE NWO, 21 April 2012
This novel stands out as one of a kind. Understandably it made some impact at the time, presumably due, in part, to the fact that Hitler and Nazi Germany were relatively fresh in peoples minds. Orwell took the Nazi regime, amongst others, and perfected it, even giving reference to this through one of his characters.
The story is dark and the characters flawed and realistic. That is the beauty of 1984. The plot and characters are so realistic that it becomes frightening. Orwell anticipates every conceivable question about the world he created and all are answered within the book. One of the things I love about it is that Winston is not your average hero, in fact at points in the book you actually dislike him.1984 was intended as a social statement, there is much to be said about this, but as this is a review and not a discussion, so suffice to say that it will give you plenty to think about, in particular the repression of free speech, the fear that gives acceptance to totalitarianism and the hopelessness of standing alone.Orwell was one of the founding members of this NWO were struggling against , he knew what was going to happen because he was in the clique that planned it all.
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