Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Published by Penguin Modern Classics
Published 29 January 2004 (first published 1949)
I read this for 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge. The category is ‘a bestseller from a genre you don’t usually read’.
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.
IT WAS a cold bright day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
WHAT I THOUGHT
This is my first time reading the author.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a stonker of a book, I loved it and it’s one of those books that can literary change your life. I was engrossed from start to finish. I found Nineteen Eighty-Four mesmerising and chilling in equal measures. I can’t believe this book was written in the 40’s. It hasn’t dated at all and seems fresh and something that could have been published recently. What struck me is how many familiar phrases I came across like Big Brother, Big Brother Is Watching You and Room 101 among others. This amazing novel clearly continues to influence our culture decades after it was written. What an impressive achievement. Nineteen Eighty-Four reminded me of two books I really like, Fahrenheit 451 and V for Vendetta. The totalitarian regime of Winston’s society reminds me a hell of a lot of the world Bradbury creates in Fahrenheit 451 and events towards the end of the novel when Winston is captured by the Thought Police echo scenes from V for Vendetta. Both books were likely influenced by Orwell’s novel. I suppose you could say Nineteen Eighty-Four is an early example of dystopian fiction which is a genre I always enjoy. Orwell’s novel blew me away. Highly recommended.