George Orwell presents the world and the future: Oceania, a communistic society run by the Party and symbolically headed by Big Brother. "Big BrotherGeorge Orwell presents the world and the future: Oceania, a communistic society run by the Party and symbolically headed by Big Brother. "Big Brother is watching you" has become a staple, iconic phrase to utter in our society by liberals and anarchists worried about the size and control of the government. It all originated from this highly regarded novel written many, many years ago.
None of this was lost on me as a journeyed through Winston Smith's experience as a Party member who began questioning the Party, it's ways, Oceania, and Big Brother himself. Winston recognizes the control that the Party tries to have over its members and the Proles (the common people, very low in society) as inappropriate and detrimental to human life and freedom. Okay, he realized it was downright wrong and absolute insanity.
Before I read this novel, I was very excited to finally read it as it was supposed to encompass all of my ideas on (read: fears of) the government and the way it is progressing in modern society. I did get those ideas, they were all there in an intricately planned dystopia created by George Orwell. However, while reading, I found myself asking whether it was the book that had helped to form these ideas in my head before I even read it.
I wondered this because, as I read, I recognized just how much this novel shaped our society and future literature. Throughout my childhood, my schooling, my literary history, I most definitely heard many, many references to Nineteen Eighty-Four, Big Brother, and the infamous communistic society in Oceania. It is not the most captivating novel, not the most eloquent. Orwell is a fine writer, the book is well organized and very well thought out but he is no Shakespeare. I appreciate the book for its ideas and its historical prevalence.
I enjoyed the novel for what it was, what it represented and what it has done for political thought through the decades since it was published. I must admit it is not my favorite, it took me a painfully long time to get through, it dragged at times, its plot was slightly weak and relied too much on the atrocious ideas of the Party to drive the reader to finish the novel.
I recommend this book to all thinkers, all members of society, and especially all left-winged people. It is something that everyone should read, but don't be disappointed by its inability to completely captivate you in every chapter....more
I really loved this book. It is refreshing after a long spatter of Victorian books. Quite succinct with beautiful writing and such fascinating charactI really loved this book. It is refreshing after a long spatter of Victorian books. Quite succinct with beautiful writing and such fascinating characters....more
This book was actually a really good social commentary with a depressing focus (the Holocaust). If I had read it for any other reason (I read it for mThis book was actually a really good social commentary with a depressing focus (the Holocaust). If I had read it for any other reason (I read it for my Genocide class) I either wouldn't have finished it or would have loved it more. I can't really tell now. It's very, very useful for the purpose of the class and it really made me think for a while. Primo Levi's writing is very compelling and intelligent. He is rarely boring or off-topic. He had true talent and I want to read more of his books....more
I read this book before I saw the movie and I'm not sure I would have cared either way. Both were fairly mediocre in my opinion. The movie was, for onI read this book before I saw the movie and I'm not sure I would have cared either way. Both were fairly mediocre in my opinion. The movie was, for once, better than the book. I'm a book purist normally so this is odd for me. However, I just really did not like far too much about this book. Whether it was the page-long tangents of irrelevant description or the slightly awkward writing style of Bernhard Schlink, I don't know if it really matters. This book just did not sit well with me. I appreciate everything it makes a reader think about and the subject matters that it brings up but I wish it had been presented by a better novelist. ...more
I had no hopes for this book. I had to read it for my class about genocide and at this point, I am quite sick of genocide novels. We had toyed with morI had no hopes for this book. I had to read it for my class about genocide and at this point, I am quite sick of genocide novels. We had toyed with more fictional and literary novels about genocide, beginning with The Reader by Bernhard Schlink about the Holocaust.
This book has good bones; good messages, decent characters, and an important topic (the Cambodian genocide and the aftermath of the genocide). However, I really did not enjoy its delivery. Echlin's writing style is odd, the stream-of-conscious-like structure combined with the second person narrator was too much to take in. It left me with an awkward feeling after every page.
It was easy to get through, a light and heavy read at the same time. There are many great layers to this book but I couldn't get past how much the actual writing and Anne Greves annoyed me.
It is possible that any novel set up with this style of free-writing (no quotation marks, lots of jumping around, etc.) reminds me too much of some of my favorite books and authors and this was a let-down from their works. ...more
The tale of Amir’s troubled life as a troubled boy from Afghanistan is not the most brilliant novel. It does not make you think of philosophical thingThe tale of Amir’s troubled life as a troubled boy from Afghanistan is not the most brilliant novel. It does not make you think of philosophical things as great literature is apparently supposed to do. I have my issues with this novel, but I believe that it is overall an important novel to understanding the true plight of life in the middle east during troubled times. This book reminds me of some of the other novels I have read in relation to my studies of genocide in various forms of media. Sure this book will make you want to cry, it may make you feel uncomfortable, and it may even help change your view on the middle eastern world. Those are all wonderful things, and great results, but looking at this book as a novel—as a tale told simply for pleasure reading—this book falls short because it feels planned. A book should definitely be well-plotted, purposeful, and well-written but it should be subtly luring you into forgetting it is a plotted novel with a purpose. It reminds me of how Harriet Beecher Stowe breaks into racism in Uncle Tom's Cabin . Hosseini breaks into forcing you to feel bad, forcing you to remember you’re reading this to be changed. To feel like you need to do something. There are just a few too many obvious moments where the novel becomes an exhortation instead of a moving tale. ...more