Matthew's Reviews > Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
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Yes! This book! Amazing! Terrifying, brutal, intricate, prophetic - and, in one big word, GENIUS!

This was a reread - the last time I read this was over 20 years ago and I wanted to see if the 5 star rating and its standing in one of my top 3 favorite books held up - and it most certainly does.

If this book was written today in the midst of the slew of dystopian novels that come out, it may not have stood out. But, this book was way ahead of its time. Written in a post WWII era where the fears of dictatorships and brutal tyranny were fresh in the minds of the people, this book plays off that fear and adds a dark vision of a potential future.

This is where the genius of Orwell comes in. The book is mainly the manifesto of the Party that the main character is seeking to rebell against. But, the ideology and descriptions of this dystopian world are not presented in a boring way - they are fascinating. The fact that Orwell created this world and laid out not only a terrifying political environment, but the rules for the new language they were creating, is beyond amazing.

Finally, some of the things he describes sound all too possible in our current world. The controversial elections this week in the US only added to the intensity of this book.

Read this! Especially if you are a fan of modern dystopia, you must read the fore fathers - 1984 and Brave New World.

And, remember - Big Brother is watching!
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Reading Progress

January 8, 2013 – Shelved
March 4, 2014 – Shelved as: favorites
March 6, 2014 – Shelved as: classic
March 6, 2014 – Shelved as: political-thrillers
March 6, 2014 – Shelved as: sci-fi
October 29, 2016 – Started Reading
October 29, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016
October 29, 2016 – Shelved as: audio
October 29, 2016 – Shelved as: hoopla
October 29, 2016 – Shelved as: read-more-than-once
October 29, 2016 – Shelved as: post-apocalyptic-dystopian
October 29, 2016 –
14.0% "Big Brother is Watching - this book IS as good as I remember!"
October 30, 2016 –
30.0% "Making lies from the past the truth"
October 31, 2016 –
38.0% "Forbidden love"
November 1, 2016 –
55.0% "If you knew for a fact that it would not be you to reap the benefits, would you still rebel?"
November 2, 2016 –
64.0% "Some of this sounds way too much like the way things are in the world right now"
November 3, 2016 –
75.0% "Room 101"
November 4, 2016 –
89.0% "2 + 2 = 5"
November 5, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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message 1: by Choko (new)

Choko It is a book of genius for real!!! Great review!


Annerlee I read this (a few) years ago at school ... In 1984
I think I was too inexperienced to appreciate it fully. Time for re-read too ? It would be interesting to see whether my perceptions have changed.


Laura This is a great read. I agree that it's probably a more appreciated read after a few years of experience after school.


Karen Right?!! I read this in the early 70's and it really got to me... I certainly need a reread as an adult!!


Laura This book and the Handmaid's Tale are good companion pieces, in my opinion. I read both pretty close together.


Matthew Laura - Yes! I just happen to be reading The Handmaid's Tale right now and they feel like the could be happening in the same world.


message 7: by Aneela (new) - added it

Aneela ♒the_mystique_reader♒ My younger sister is reading this book currently and she says the same. "Put everything on hold and read this book. You won't regret it." I can't wait to start reading this book.


message 8: by BAM (new) - rated it 3 stars

BAM The Bibliomaniac I think I should reread this book now that I've matured. It would be a great follow up to brave new world and Fahrenheit 451.


Cathrine ☯️ What are the other two Matthew?


Matthew The Stand (abridged) and Brave New World


Michael Perkins Our society may very well be more Huxlyan than Orwellian these days....

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7942...


message 12: by David (new) - added it

David Great review...This book is on my to-read list and I'm more eager to read it now


Matthew David wrote: "Great review...This book is on my to-read list and I'm more eager to read it now"

I am seeing a lot more people reading this lately - my review was pre-inauguration, but then they said the print run of this sold out after the inauguration. Guess people are getting educated!


Abram Dorrough 1984 is one of my all-time favorite books. Pure genius. It was definitely far ahead of its time. Orwell didn't quite see the internet coming (I prefer to imagine Winston editing articles on a government website as opposed to physically altering old news articles and whatnot), but as far as socio-political circumstances he was able to foresee everything. Reading the excerpts from the book-within-the-book is outright spooky.


Matthew Abram wrote: "1984 is one of my all-time favorite books. Pure genius. It was definitely far ahead of its time. Orwell didn't quite see the internet coming (I prefer to imagine Winston editing articles on a gover..."

Originally I read and loved this in the 90s. But reading it again this past year, so much has changed in the world and it is much more relevant now than it was back then.


Henry This was also a reread for me, however I first read it over 50 years ago as an 18 year old. That it is still relevant illustrates the power of the novel, but what truly makes Orwell a genius is the fact that persons on the opposite sides of today's political spectrum see the novel as prophetic of their particular agenda. That's the difference between a genius and a polemicist.


Matthew Henry wrote: "This was also a reread for me, however I first read it over 50 years ago as an 18 year old. That it is still relevant illustrates the power of the novel, but what truly makes Orwell a genius is the..."

It is quite amazing how this book and many of the other classic dystopians (i.e. Brave New World) have held up and remain relevant. Amazing, and maybe sad as it shows that we have not learned anything???


Henry Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 will be on my reread list in 2019. It is incredibly interesting how the passage of over half a century affects one's perspective on dystopian novels particularly when the author seems to be writing about what would happen in that next half century.


Matthew Henry wrote: "Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 will be on my reread list in 2019. It is incredibly interesting how the passage of over half a century affects one's perspective on dystopian novels particularly ..."

I did a reread of Fahrenheit 451 recently - last time was about 15 years ago. Even in that time I took the content of the book a lot differently.


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