1984: Centennial Edition

1984: Centennial Edition

4.8 18
by George Orwell

View All Available Formats & Editions

With a foreword by Thomas Pynchon

A masterpiece of rebellion and imprisonment, where war is peace, freedom is slavery, and Big Brother is watching...

View our feature on George Orwell’s 1984.

Thought Police. Big Brother. Orwellian. These words have entered our vocabulary because of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel,


With a foreword by Thomas Pynchon

A masterpiece of rebellion and imprisonment, where war is peace, freedom is slavery, and Big Brother is watching...

View our feature on George Orwell’s 1984.

Thought Police. Big Brother. Orwellian. These words have entered our vocabulary because of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984. The story of one man’s nightmare odyssey as he pursues a forbidden love affair through a world ruled by warring states and a power structure that controls not only information but also individual thought and memory, 1984 is a prophetic, haunting tale.

More relevant than ever before, 1984 exposes the worst crimes imaginable—the destruction of truth, freedom, and individuality.

This beautiful paperback edition features deckled edges and french flaps -- a perfect gift for any occasion.

Editorial Reviews

Mark Schorer
It is probable that no other work of this generation has made us desire freedom more earnestly or loathe tyranny with such fullness. 1984, the most contemporary novel of the year and who knows of now many past and to come, is a great examination into and dramatization of Lord Acton's famous apothegm, " power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrups absolutely. "
Books of the Century; New York Times review, June 1949

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Centennial Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Anthony Burgess
1984 is a fantasy about disaffected journalists, novelists, poets, professors, and schoolmasters imposing an idealistic philosophy on the countries of the West — amalgamated into the superpower Oceania — which is no more than a notion of the nature of reality forged in an Oxford or Cambridge common room.
V. S. Pritchett
The most solid, the most brilliant thing George Orwell has done.
Alfred Kazin
1984 has been an extraordinary experience for me. It is...overwhelming in its keenness and prophetic power. I hardly know which to praise more -- Orwell's insight into the fate of man and its totalitarianism or his compassion for him.

Meet the Author

Thomas Pynchon is the author of V.; The Crying of Lot 49; Gravity's Rainbow; Slow Learner, a collection of short stories; Vineland; Mason & Dixon; Against the Day; and, most recently, Inherent Vice. He received the National Book Award for Gravity's Rainbow in 1974.

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1984; Centennial Edition 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
MrsBrocks_student More than 1 year ago
If you take two and two then you have five? In the world of 1984 this is reality. The main character Winston Smith is an intellectual trapped under an oppressive all powerful government. He lives in the crumbling remains of London in the country Oceania and struggles against the government and the decrepit remnants of society to find some form of truth and personal fulfillment. He secretly lashes out against the Party and Big Brother, the always watchful authority figure, and opens a diary with heretic thoughts and has a relationship with a much younger woman. He puts his faith into a secret rebel organization known as the brotherhood, whose primary goal is to overthrow the Party. Everyone who reads this book will take their own meanings and lessons from it. To me this book was about the horrors of a sufficiently technologically advanced government taking complete control of its citizen's lives and free will. George Orwell wrote this novel during a time when communism, socialism, and totalitarianism were all emerging as alarming new concepts. He witnessed the terror of absolute political authority in Germany, Spain, and the Soviet Union. There are many subtle and not so subtle warnings intertwined into the novel such as the falsification of history, surveillance and monitoring of populations, persecution of heretics, and manipulation though propaganda. Something else that can be taken from this book is an understanding of basic human nature and the conditions that lead to uprisings and revolutions. Orwell discusses in detail the way in which societies organize themselves, no matter what type of government, and how, when motivated to, the masses can overrun those in power. The Proles, the lowest most populous class, are the only ones not deluded by the party's rhetoric, the only ones who seem to have maintained their humanity. But they do nothing because they do not realize their power and they are ignorant to their own plight, it is in them that Winston believes lies the only hope for the future. In my opinion this is a great work of literature and is more than deserving of the title classic. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a very intelligent and well written novel capable of really making you think about the world. Although the subject matter may be considered grim I find the idea of a perfect dystopia to be intriguing and greatly entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scrolling through the reviews of this novel on every website imaginable, I realized that you, the avid reader, may feel nauseated by the mass of exemplary ratings given to this work. However, I would like to assure you that this novel most definitely does deserve this enormous amount of praise, and I support it wholeheartedly. 1984 is an extraordinary piece of literature, and it really showed me just how much of an effect social and psychological degradation can have. The novel takes place in the year 1984, although the reader can consider it as a futuristic, dystopian era set in the impoverished city of London (chief city of the province Airstrip One). At this time, the world has been divided into three continuously battling superpowers - Oceania (where Airstrip One is located), Eastasia, and Eurasia. Winston Smith is a man that works for the Ministry of Truth, one of the many departments of Oceania’s totalitarian government (or the Party, as it is referred to) that operates towards changing every aspect of history to the Party’s benefit. The Party is led by a holy figure, Big Brother, who is revered for his intimidating watch over the people of Oceania. The people are trained to pledge their lives and support to the goals and rules of the Party, however Winston begins to think for himself. This itself is considered a violation, and in fact is the worst type of crime (referred to as thoughtcrime). As he unleashes his opinions into a diary, Winston begins to question the fundamental elements of this manipulative society, and how he acts on these beliefs forms the crux of the story. I feel that the novel itself is excellent, as Orwell has done an effective job in conveying the message of the novel and in explaining the information necessary for the reader to understand such complex topics. He gives a clear depiction of what living in this alternate future would feel like, and masterfully weaves in his commentary on the unpredictable future of our own society. Furthermore, Orwell’s pacing control is superb, as he gradually builds up the plot to a point where you as the reader will not be able to put the novel down. In addition, his use of masking important elements from the reader is astounding, as this suspense and uncertainty mimics the condition of society in the novel. The only minor issue I found with 1984 is the fact that it is a bit too slow at the beginning of the novel, and the storyline takes a little time to get running at a captivating pace. Otherwise, 1984 has definitely made a positive impact on me, and I highly recommend this novel to any reader willing to be both inspired and a bit shocked by the immense power of the human mind.
Henry Dickson More than 1 year ago
After catapulting into the worldwide literary scene in 1945 with the publishing of Animal Farm, George Orwell maintained a relatively low profile for almost half a decade, occupying himself as a journalist and occasional contributor to scholarly publications. However, during this time, he was also crafting what would become, deservedly, his most famous and critically-acclaimed work: "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (Merriman). Upon first opening the novel, readers are whisked into a unique world, in which similarities to existing society are accompanied by startling differences, all of which portray the fictional country of Oceania as unfamiliar and even sinister. Orwell bombards readers with new words such as doublethink and thoughtcrime without fully explaining them, while also introducing mysterious characters and vaguely describing the structure and events of the society in order to limit and cloud the details provided early in the novel. As the story progresses, more and more details are unveiled as Winston Smith, the protagonist, is pulled into a wild chain of events in which he encounters unlikely allies, dangerous enemies, and, ultimately, comes face to face with himself. "Nineteen Eighty-Four" includes a variety of elements which contribute to its success in portraying its message and reaching audiences. Orwell employs vivid imagery frequently to present readers with a lifelike depiction of an alternate future in which the world is run by oppressive governments with incredible power. Additionally, while it is somewhat slow at the beginning, the novel’s pacing is generally effective in maintaining intrigue while also moderating the rate at which information is provided. The way in which information is revealed, little by little, further captivates readers and emphasizes the sheer lack of knowledge that citizens of Oceania truly have. "Nineteen Eighty-Four" will forever serve as a model for dystopian fiction and a reminder of the possibly perverse nature of government, and is certainly a must-read literary staple. Work Cited Merriman, C.D. "George Orwell - Biography." The Literature Network. Jalic Inc., 2006. Web. 05 Jan. 2016.
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Stephen_M_Thompson More than 1 year ago
From the first sentence where the clock strikes thirteen to the grim ending, 1984 keeps readers on the edge of their... easy chairs. The dystopian novel focuses a situation similar to what could have happened if Hitler won, or if the world adopted a communo-fascist dictatorship. The novel is chock full of suspense and thrill as Winston and Julia are cast back and forth, not knowing who to trust in a complete lie of a society. Orwell's tone changes from eloquent and direct to a more descriptive and even mysterious tone-while many things are described perfectly, h leaves enough to the imagination to scare the reader. The rules of society are even challenged as a new language is being adopted that actually limits the number of words (to reduce creativity) as modern English, referred to as Oldspeak, is outlawed. The society itself is reversing as technology is backfiring on the people, the structures are becoming more and more decrepit, and people lose faith and trust in everything. Definitely Orwell's definitive work, 1984 is a true classic with a potent message that will survive throughout the ages.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the Queen Mother of all the futuristic, (at the time it was written) dystopia books such as Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, or the Handmaid's Tale. Orwell's description of Big Brother, I believe through no coincidence, conjures an image of Joseph Stalin. The description of 1984 London seems to resemble how the West would picture Cold War Moscow. This book is realistic and tangible, where other books of this kind come acrossed as more far fetched. The reader feels the psychological damage of life under constant surveillance. One needs to remember this when insisting that cameras are good and 'I have nothing to hide'. This is one of the most, if not the most important book written in the last hundred years and sadly, seems to slowly be becoming ever more relevant as we head into the 21st century.