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4.6 out of 5 stars
2,132
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 23 August 2017
Having always wanted to read '1984', I finally took the plunge and purchased it. Will not delve into the plot, or even the quality of the product, it was as any new book purchase would be - film wrapped, with not a crease in sight.

As the prefix to this review states; I found this book a real page turner. I always thought it was a science fiction piece, I was wrong. It's more political sattire, but is not a chore to read. I was captured, desperate to find out what happened next. It definitely gave me many mixed emotions - which is unusual in me, regards to fiction - and found myself asking many questions about the novel, and also asking many questions about the world we live in today. The book really does serve as a warning to generations following its publish about the dangers of dystopian rule. It has such significance in todays world, that it coined its trademark phrase "Orwellian".

I will say however, that reading the publishers introduction ( Thomas Pynchon ) isn't essential - I usually like to read from start to finish - and if anything, contains a slight spoiler, so my advice would be to read the novel first, and then move on to the publishers note. It's basically a synopsis on Orwell ( real name, Eric Arthur Blair ) and his ideology.

There is much debate concerning the 'appendix', which you are introduced to rather early. Being set in my ways, I opted to read this last ( it's at the end of the book, after all ). The opposing views are that it is part of the novel, the other merely a discourse on the official language used in the fictional world... Read it and make up your own mind!
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on 17 November 2015
Despite the ubiquitous use of "big brother" and "room 101" these days this novel still has things to say about society and political control that are lost in the morass of popular culture. The only thing I don't like is the chunk in the middle of Emmanuel Goldstein's seminal work - it is a political tract and written as one, but it jars with the rest of the narrative and is frankly rather dull, even though it is essential to the point Orwell is making. The destruction of Winston and Julia as individuals and reduction of them to submissive, unthinking fodder still packs a punch though. Maybe the proles in their blissful ignorance really do have a better deal, though it would be impossible to choose that existence. I think.
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on 16 January 2015
This is a brilliant novel,an all-time classic of world literature that deserves to stand next to the field's greatest monuments on the shelves.It's neither sensationalistic or a heavy academic tome,but rather a balanced account of Orwell's scathing dislike of oppressive and totalitarian regimes.

It is also an open and maverick novel of humanity with all too human characters within the party,struggling against a tyranny it can't hope to beat in modern times.The ordinary proles are Winston Smith's faith that the awful government will be overthrown in the far future.They seem oblivious of the ruling government and seem to thrive under it.The delicate balance between the unchanged common class and the new,repressed party workers,is an important factor that shapes the novel's greatness and appeal.

This is a novel of strong character depicting a diabolical tyranny and the strength of the human spirit to at least try and conquer it.All of Orwell's apparent socialist views and what he saw as the dangerous flaws inherent in it,can be seen in this great book.
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VINE VOICEon 2 July 2013
George Orwell's 1984 has had a million essays written on it; its symbolism, its eerie foreshadowing, the way we use statistics and technology to disinform [sic] and never has it been more relevant than today, given the NSA scandal of late. However it is the NSA scandal and all of the pundits bandying around the word 1984 and using the adjective 'Orwellian' that reignited my interest in the novel. I had read it at school, but never with an adult mind and I was simply blown away by it's relevance and astute insight into society as a whole.

Set in an alternative 1984, the war between Oceania and Eurasia [Eastasia] has never really ended, it just rages on over a disputed middle zone. The story follows Winston, a Party member who doesn't love Big Brother as much as he probably should. His thought-crimes make him a fugitive, but it is nigh-on impossible amongst this shadowy society to find allies. Will Winston manage to topple Big Brother?

Whilst it gave birth to some of the phrases that are completely common-place today to describe an authoritative, bureaucratic and despotic government, it should be remembered that this is largely a love story of stolen moments. It is also incredibly bleak, it is worth a mention that it may leave you feeling slightly blue by the end. But I think this should be mandatory reading for everyone, stories of this calibre are rare, stories that contain an allegory even more so. High recommended!!
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on 24 August 2014
Classic, hard going in places, read it as a parody. I 1st read it at school but was taught the book as Orwell's vision of the future we now know it was a parody of 1948 and indeed every government before and since. Please read with Dave Eggers The Circle.
This is a must read with an open mind, this story is often misquoted by the press as bits have been cherry picked to suit situations being reported on today and so misunderstood or misquoted because the people quoting them have never read the book, many people thinking they know this book (including myself) will be surprised when reading it how little they do know and how bits of it have been misquoted so often we now believe the misquote.
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on 27 December 2013
This is the second time I have read this book and am enjoying even more than the first time because it is so relevant to the political and lifetime situation we now live in - we have even more corrupt and devious politicians - we are monitored in the UK by more cameras than in any other country in the world and have a police force we do not trust and are known to be in league with high-end criminals. We are taxed on everything we earn or purchase and the vast amounts of money obtained by the government is wasted on useless I.T. projects, endless conflicts in foreign lands and, of course, on the well-being and expenses stolen from us by our elected politicians. Read Nineteen Eighty Four by Mr Orwell, he forecast how we would be living today !
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on 21 April 2014
Orwell was a master of messing with your mind and I'm sure if he'd stayed alive long enough he would have written more novels like this and Animal Farm to send us all crazy. Such thought provoking writing makes you question so many things about the way society is run.
Winston Smith works in the ministry of truth where the employees spend their days scanning documents, changing things, manipulating the truth, inventing lies, in order to keep the masses under control. Sounds a bit like our current politicians and newspapers. Winston starts to question the rules and embarks on an illegal love affair of which he will have to face the consequences. Big Brother, the thought police and room 101 are all terrifying prospects of a future society. It also sounds like North Korea is run in a not so dissimilar way to this book.
Maybe this book should been called 2084 because there are so many things in it that are coming to fruition; talk about forward thinking. We are all embracing the continuous developments of modern technology without considering that one day it could all be turned against us. We volunteer so much information about who we are, where we live and what we do, that before we know it our anonymity is gone.

A depressingly good read.
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on 25 September 2015
I read Nineteen Eighty Four at about the age of 17, during the full swing of my science-fiction era, and I took it just like another science-fiction novel. I re-read it some years later and I still remember the gloomy sensation that it left me.
The book is indeed gloomy and part of its success is due to Orwell's ability to render almost real the gloomy world in which the novel is set. I have now just finished reading the original English version of Nineteen Eighty Four, and the gloomy sensation obviously returned again, unchanged.
Life can be gloomy but it can also be bright, so I choose the bright side and hereby declare that I won't read this book again until the last of my days.

"It is impossible to found a civilization on fear and hatred and cruelty. It would never endure. [...] Somehow you will fail. Something will defeat
you. Life will defeat you."
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on 2 June 2011
I believe the title of this review says it all really. I had tried to read this a few times before, and been put off by the size of the book, or the author's use of phonetic speech to relay the accents of some of the characters....but i'm so glad i gave it another go!

After having watched the movie several times, I really wasn't expecting to find anything 'new' in the book - how wrong I was. It becomes clear that the movie actually cuts out so much of the story and so many characters, reading the book was a surprisingly refreshing experience. The author gives you enough detail to set each scene precisely, but not so much that you get bogged down with 'the background' instead of the story; the character development is flawless and you really begin to see the characters as 'people'; and the story moves smoothly and effectively through the pages. I loved it and would not hestiate to recommend it to anyone.

Essentially, it as un-put-downable - a characteristic I think readers always search for in a book....I finished it in one weekend and my eyesight went fuzzy by the end - I think that says it deserves five stars??
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on 3 April 2013
Chose this rating as thought this book a vitally important piece of literature, very enlightening about life in Burma under the rule of the British Empire during the 1920's. Disliked the way some of the characters behaved, rather over emotional and cruel, the hero so detests his life in Burma, that he grasps at his only chance of happiness and redemption with a young woman fresh from Paris. This was not to be, thus resulting in the hero killing his own dog and committing suicide. Very sad.
One of the only likeable characters was Dr. Veraswami who liked the British and wanted to aspire to their ideals blind to the fact that they were living a 'lie'.
A good read, would recommend the book to anyone who likes stories of the British Raj, though this is probably closer to the truth of what really went on than maybe other stories of the time.
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