Book Review: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Now this is a scary book!


Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Narrated by Simon Prebble
Audiobook Dark Fiction
Released May 2007, Unabridged 11+ Hours
Amazon ♦ Goodreads
Nineteen Eighty–Four is George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime. Christopher Eccleston, Tim Pigott–Smith and Pippa Nixon star in this new BBC radio dramatization of Orwell's classic novel.

Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster and the Thought Police uncover each act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent—even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101...


My Thoughts:

This book is quite terrifying. I think most everyone but me has read it or was forced to read it in high school. I was a delinquent student and missed out on this book somehow and decided to read it now. Don’t ask me why. It is perhaps a very bad time to decide to read this book about a world where Big Brother is watching your every move, history is being re-written on the daily and replaced with lies and where most everyone is just another cog in the wheel and basically a Sheeple obliviously going along with things.

Anyway, this book was pretty chilling and very readable except for the long winded section where the “hero” is reading the journal/book provided to him about the way of the world. I think that could’ve been tightened up as it repeated much of what the reader already knew but if you need to know all the details you’ll love this part. I wasn’t a fan of the “Newspeak” section at the end where it explains in great detail how language is being slaughtered to control the masses. I also didn’t like the “hero” but I don’t think I was supposed to. In this world no one can be trusted and he is a rather weak and loathsome creature. He’s married, hasn’t a clue where his wife ended up and doesn’t really seem to care, he cheats and he sees a young woman and fears her because she is part of the Thought Police but secretly he wants to hurt and rape her. Ugh, what a loathsome creature. Did I say that already? Despite his distasteful personality and all of my complaints, I think you should read this if you haven’t already because it tackles the absolute absurdity of allowing government complete control over every aspect of your life.

The audiobook version I listened to as narrated by Simon Prebble who does an excellent job.

Comments

  1. You know, I'm pretty sure I managed to avoid reading this one as well. I had this thing in school, and guess I still do, where I detest being forced to read something. It sort of takes the fun out of it for me. I do recall loving The Scarlet Letter and Beowulf though - I did read those ones.

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    1. I was the same way. They made me read The Old Man and the Sea. It was torture!

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  2. I managed to avoid reading this at school! With all the gadgets and man and women-kind's addiction to social media, we are more tracked now than most people think!

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    1. It is scary when one sees that they're also the info. for nefarious purposes!

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  3. I've been meaning to read this one, too. I think in some ways, it's terrifyingly relateable nowadays.

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  4. I agree, the scariest parts of this book are those playing out right now in real life! :)

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  5. I am going to make myself sound old but.....I remember when I was a kid thinking that it was weird that my mom had a book that was written about the future. It was this book. I have really never been tempted by this one but it sounds like audio would be the way to go.

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  6. Sadly, I missed this as well. And I feel bad about that. Someday I'll catch up with all the classics I missed😁

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    1. Some of them are terrible experience so be choosy!

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  7. I remember watching the John Hurt film of 1984 first and could only remember the rats scene when I came to listen to the audiobook just a few years ago. It's a scarily prescient read!

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  8. I was planning to read 1984 this year, but Lilyn talked me into reading Fahrenheit 451 instead. I still plan to read it, but I'm going to have to wait a bit now. :) Simon Prebble did the audiobook of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I thought he was an awesome narrator. I may have to do the audio for this when I finally do read it.

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    Replies
    1. I can recommend the audio for this, definitely. I'll have to look out for The Picture of Dorian Gray. I haven't read that one or Fahrenheit 451 yet either.

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