Annalisa's Reviews > 1984

1984 by George Orwell
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's review
Apr 30, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: dystopia, classics, speculative, sci-fi
Read from April 05 to 30, 2010

For concept, Orwell gets 5 stars for being the father of dystopias. No dystopia since has reached the level of creepiness that he has. Unfortunately, this book read more like a discourse on Orwell's dystopia than a picture of one. I know that's indicative of the time, but this one was excessively so. Orwell's style of writing was very dry and very much tell without a lot of show. He missed a lot of good opportunities to make this book real for me. Every time I became invested in the story and sure the next turn of events would make the story worth it, it was just more of the same dry, intellectual writing.

Having said that, his dystopia is pretty creepy and the opening line one of my favorites ever: "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." I liked the concept of doublethink and how easy it is for the mind to alter its reality and belief. History exists only in memory and is therefore not a solid reality. The idea of bleakness and control and the fascist creed of the State were very thought-provoking if not well executed. I would have liked more exploration into the effects of these concepts instead of lectures on them.

Interestingly enough, the moment I lost faith in this society ever overthrowing its totalitarian government was when I discovered that it encompassed the entire world. That there was no diversity of government showed that ultimate power had already been gained, both in a macro and a micro sense. While disturbing in theory, I wish I had been shown more of Winston's transition in the end. If I had taken the journey with him, it would have been powerful. As it was, I felt rather empty myself of the loss since I never made much of a connection to Winston.

Definitely worth the read if for anything for the warnings inherent in Orwell's society. This hit especially close to home, the way in which people (politicians more than anyone) turn words around so everything is the opposite of what it seems:

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
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05/23/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Annalisa Me too. I figured it was time I bucked it up and read it.

Tasha This was one of my favorite books at the time I read it (maybe 15 years ago) I'll be interested to see what you think of it!

Annalisa Tasha,
You better get it put on your read list, because if it isn't on goodreads, you didn't read it :).

Tasha I got it! I kind of suck at listing my books. I'm constantly reading and I never put anything on. I'll get right to it!
You're the best!

Ceecee Exactly, concept gets 5 stars, but I couldn't enjoy the book because of the writing. :)

Gretchen It's true, the ending felt very rushed for me.

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