Reviews of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
Review by southerndiva (2007-07-09)
This book is very thought provoking. If you believe in government conspiracy theories, and even if you don't the aspects of this book will cause you to think about the world around you. You will find yourself questioning the status quo, thinking about becoming more of a leader than a follower, and have a stronger respect for a democratic society.
Man, this book is AMAZING! Unfortunately, it's also looking more real every day . . . In the end, he loved Big Brother. That's a really depressing thought, you know?
I like the doublethink, the doublespeak-am I the only one who has noticed an increase in doubleplusgood duckspeakers on TV lately?
Review by kadambi (2006-07-03)
1984 is really about the effective manufacturing of an automation. It describes, in great detail via a monologue, the workings of such a totalitarian regime. Such a regime is shown to be more effective than any other regimes in real life (Stalin, Nazis et al).
Read it if you really know what you are getting into.
Review by crlacrosse (2006-01-23)
After reading this book, all i could say is WOW. This is the greatest book i have ever read in my entire life. It just is an erie vision of what the world really is like today, and untill you read this book, you dont understand how bad it really is. I am only 17 but i would tell anyone my age to read this great book!
Review by pfcalcio (2005-11-23)
The ultimate dystopian novel, Orwell conjured a grimy, realistic world that, even beyond the paranoid cold-war climate in which it was created, resonates strongly with current affairs to this day. The sheer amount of this books ideas that have penetrated the modern psyche are testament to its power, from the dreaded room 101 to big brother himself – a glowering, omnipotent figure that towers over the tale of a fairly repugnant anti-hero who is different from his peers and provides a wonderful narrative that informs the reader of Orwell’s world without ever resorting to pages of exposition. For those seeking a happy ending, look elsewhere; but for those seeking a book that will permeate your conscience – this is rightfully one of the greatest paranoid fantasies ever written.
Review by gwydno (2005-11-11)
I first read this marvellous work when I was 15, and I have come back to it three times since, always discovering something scary and disturbing about our current world.
The fact is that, although this book has never left me indifferent, at first I thought all this story was absolutely overexaggerated. But when I closed the book the last time I read it, I thought that not even half of it can be considered overexaggerated.
No one living in Western Europe today, and having read this book would be entitled to say they have been caught by surprise if they found themselves living more and more in a 1984-like society
Review by fltm (2005-10-24)
1984 was written in 1948. it molds the sculpture of what the world might have been, if communism had taken over most of the world (a.k.a. the red scare).
orwell molds this sculpture of a book into a realistic world that really could have been. the party rules all, even to the point of bombing their own people. if you have ever played a little game called Half-Life 2, this book is what that game is basied off of.
it is so ironic, it is awesome. one of the best books i have ever read. a modern day classic
Review by brathna (2005-10-20)
I enjoyed reading this book, for about the first chapter. When the story just kept going on and on. I started to lose interest every now and again and having to force myself to read. But when I would start up reading, I couldn't put it down. I really wanted to get to the end and find out how it ends. The build-up of the main character is great, and you start to feel for him and even root for him. But then I go back to feeling bored.
The story is a little dry, almost like someone's personal life story; like what I did last month. Most of the details could of been taken out and you wouldn't of missed anything.
All in all, it's a good book. It does make me worry sometimes. I gave it a 7. I probably wouldn't read it again.
I loved the book. It is a story of hope. The other reviews recognise the obvious but the thought patterns they espouse only makes the 1984 world closer to a reality.
Orwell has done an interesting thing. He has identified where the world is going and done it in such a way that most people fear it. What people don't realise is that it is fear that the Party uses to control everyone. Winston Smith is 'the hopeful hero' of the book and what decimates him? His fear of rats. By fearing the world that Orwell depicts in 1984, we as individuals bring it closer to a reality. One way to avoid the world depicted in 1984 is to recognise the value of ourselves as human beings. Everyone says that we should take this work that Orwell has written as a warning. That's true but no one has explained the how. Well here it is - identify what your fears are, face them and move on. If you do anything else, you will live life based on fear.
How did I identify mine? I deepened the connection I have with nature. Now, the only thing I fear is nature's destruction. Actually, not even that. It would simply mean that my life would take another form. An interesting footnote to this is that if nature is indeed destroyed, the humans who are in the Party will die. Maybe they don't fear that but they will lose control because, by definition, no living being will remain.
Can we trust the politicians? Who is the real enemy? These are questions with no absolute answer but if each individual answers them to their own satisfaction, they won't be weighted with fear. It will get to a point where we can even face our worst fear - that thing which O'Brien will confront us with in Room 101.
I'm glad I read the book. It taught me a lot about the value of confronting my fears - as difficult as that is to do. I value my life more now and I believe that death on this planet is something I'm not afraid of. It's inevitable and a part of life. I'm not scared of George W. Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, terrorists. Because I'm not scared of them, I can live as I want to. If they bring me to a point of fear, I'll confront that with nature. Winston Smith still had his spirit at the end of 1984. He was still capable of appreciating nature even though he turned on the human love he found. Am I sugar coating? Maybe but I have hope.
Review by wwwwolf (2004-07-12)
Here's a book that is completely disgusting, but, completely unrelated to that fact, is actually very good and which everyone should read. As a book, it's a great. As a vision of future, it's very very unpleasant - but it nevertheless raises the question: is there something familiar in it? Yup, pretty much so.
The book is a rather gripping description of a world where war is eternal, language is narrowed and prettified, history is rewritten, undesired people vanish, and individuality no longer exists. Kind of like today, just many times more so. It's a scenic ride through a plain ordinary dystopian hell - completely scary on multiple levels.
The only real problem with the thoughts expressed in the book is that while the book has rather dire warnings, they're so easy to ignore - and look at the mess we live in right now. In just about every modern (and not-so-modern) society we can look at some part of our lives and say "hey, this is right out of 1984". The book has warnings all right, the only problem is that the warnings are generally ignored. And everyone has the right to fear that one day, we find ourselves living in a world even more like 1984.
Review by Corleone (2004-01-14)
Probably one of my top three favorite books of all time, despite its darkness and what it says about the possibilities of government control. The atmosphere created by Orwell never grows dated or less frightening as time goes on, and his predictions that have since come true are amazing and need to be paid attention to. A great political, social, and psychological study.
Review by willll (2003-10-18)
This book is more relevant today than it ever was before. 1984 is a chilling masterpiece, but also a warning, and a warning that cannot be ignored.
Review by scottie (2003-08-27)
1984 was the only high-school-required-reading novel that I didn't hate!
In fact, right from my first reading 'til now (nearly 10 years later) it's still a favorite.
It was the first of a number of dystopian novels that I read and instantly appeared on my favorite-novels list.
Review by Kidkarysma (2003-04-25)
This is one of the scariest books I've ever read. The connections between the ficitonial 1984 world and our present day world are fairly easy to see. The story is well done and its contact has become more relevant with time. I loved it.
Review by Sillywabbit (2003-03-15)
In these troubled times, EVERYBODY, should read this book. I think every American should read this book. Maybe it will scare the shit out of them and they stand up for their rights and freedoms that they defended so vehemently, once long ago, and wake up.
Chilling masterpiece. Great literature. A must read.
Review by OG (2003-03-10)
Basically a must-read politically, lots of great observations and in lots of ways, coinciding with the present. "War is Peace" - so very, very true. Too much to describe in a review that's less than 10 pages long, but excellent book.
Review by Jorapello (2003-03-09)
A very good book. The common comparison is to Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, but they are no where near identical-- Brave New World: Revisited talks about their similarities and differences. An excellent read, though it is unrealistic in terms of government by fear rather than BNW's government through coercion.
Review by Unforgiven (2003-03-08)
Winston lives in Oceania, under the ideals of Ingsoc, and under the watchful eyes of Big Brother. The Party sees all, though children turned to spies, a secret police force that puts any one ever in actual existance to shame, and technology. You are never alone. Every word is heard, every move seen, and it's all judged to make sure that you are indeed in support of the Party.
Winston starts to get ideas that could get him killed, meets a girl who also hates the Party, and seeks out a "brotherhood" which... well...
An excellent book that is as relevent and applicable today as ever. Should be required reading for anyone with the ability to read.
Review by KC7WUE (2003-03-08)
I first read this book in 1965 and saw it as a scary view of the future that I was powerless to prevent. I read it again in 1984 as a vision of the future that had not yet come to pass and I still could do little to prevent it. Another reading in 1999 revealed a story about crude methods on monitoring, analysis, and thought control - we can do much better now. Definitely a book every adolescent should read.
Review by transient0 (2003-03-07)
A necessary book for the modern world. Read his book and realize that it is the only possible endpoint of the road western society is on. It is not to late to turn aside, but it won't be easy.