Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of those novels for which content is inconsistent with reputation. Like Orwells other 'masterpiece' Animal Farm, what this novel basically amounts to is a rather lengthy, rather dry account of a political state which in this case, while certain modern parallels are obvious, often simply fails to ring true (for instance, London seems to be the arbitrary centre of the western world - why not New York? Paris?) Orwells almost painful attempts at portraying the emotional life of his characters can be cloying (and often sexist where women are concerned), and he too seems to have the various strands of philosophy/metaphysics rather wound around his neck. Having said that, it can be quite atmospheric and the themes of repression and thought control will always be interesting.