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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Oct 17, 1983 - Fiction - 648 pages
71 Reviews
George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life with extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity.

“Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.

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I highly recommend that anyone who is interested in dystopian, sci-fi novels or political science read this book. It is shocking how much it predicted correctly about our world today, from governments and monopolies spying on us to governments punishing those who criticize them. It will definitely make you consider your political alignments, regardless of where you fall relative to center. I will warn prospective readers that this book is a difficult read and a long read. There is very little dialogue, so the pages are very long and written similarly to Tolkien: pages upon pages of world-building that doesn't immediately appear to have any impact on the plot. Otherwise, the plot is brilliantly executed. It does follow some cliches about British peasants and other social classes, but even that's part of the plot. As far as plot goes, there is a huge twist that came out of nowhere at the end. Well, it was foreshadowed brilliantly, but being used to contemporary dystopian novels, I was not prepared for the ending. If you're up to the task, you will be greatly rewarded for reading this book. 

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Really boring book and has a giant plot hole. Future accuracy is uncanny, though.

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About the author (1983)

GEORGE ORWELL (1903–1950) was born in India and served with the Imperial Police in Burma before joining the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was the author of six novels as well as numerous essays and nonfiction works.

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