4.4 1320
by George Orwell

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View our feature on George Orwell’s 1984.Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish.

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View our feature on George Orwell’s 1984.Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

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
www.amazon.com - M.B Alcat
Eric Arthur Blair was an important English writer that you probably already know by the pseudonym of George Orwell. He wrote quite a few books, but many believe that his more influential ones were "Animal farm" (1944) and "1984" (1948).In those two books he conveyed, metaphorically and not always obviously, what Soviet Russia meant to him.

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Penguin Publishing Group
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4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.00(d)
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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.

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1984 4.4 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 1320 reviews.
Jessi-21 More than 1 year ago
So what can I say about this book that hasn't been said before? Having read it I can see how it has become regarded as classic fiction. Of course the year 1984 has come and gone and many folks say had it been titled "2009" it would have been much more accurate. For those of you who haven't read it, it is a complex novel but with a fairly basic plot. The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a functioning member of a society in the future who meets a woman he is attracted to. Much of the book surrounds their attempt to form a relationship in this society that just won't allow that sort of thing. Of course the real point and value of the novel is to illustrate where our current society may be headed if we don't change course, a sort of anti-utopian (dystopian?) novel. This book has brought us common terms such as "Big Brother", "doublethink", and "thought police." There are long sections where Winston reads to his girl friend from the official government manual detailing how the society came to be as well as the evolution of the government-speak ("Newspeak") language. I am glad that I've read this novel but at the same time I can't say that I would ever want to read it again. My political/societal views are already pretty much cemented in place and this book, while thought provoking, did not change my views. I do agree that it should be studied at the High School level though, not only for its value to the world of literature but also as a way to kick start young people's thinking on what a society should and shouldn't be. Essentially 1984 presents a juggernaut state that has become unmoored from whatever benign ideals once berthed it and has drifted off beyond site of a reassuring oasis-like coastline. A state in which its inhabitants no longer strive to achieve their original goals be they based on economical, religious or political ideals and have allowed the state to become a living entity in itself with the destruction of the human spirit as its sole aim. Be sure to watch the three different movies made from this book: 1984 (1954) Peter Cushing is Winston Smith 1984 (1956) Edmond O'Brien is Winston Smith Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) John Hurt is Winston Smith
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a high school student. This was not a required reading peice for me. I saw it sitting in Barnes and Noble on a shelf with suggeseted reading. When I first started reading the book it was BORING! I had to force myself to go on. After about the first hundred pages though, it started to get interesting. The story is ok, but this is a book you shouldn't be reading for just the plot. There is so much more to it than the plot. Every person who reads this book will get a different meaning from it. To me this book says that peoples minds can be molded very easily. Even the strong can be made weak after a certain amount of torture. Perhaps this is a negative thought, but it started me thinking on a much larger scale. I owe a lot of things to this book. I think more clearly since I read this book. I think about more important things, things most 16 yr olds wouldn't think of. This book has truely shown me the light towards literature so to speak. Whether you are required to read this or not, I think you should. If you have already read it, read it again. I'm sure 10 years from now the book will have a deeper meaning. I can't wait to read it again and find out what those meanings will be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I came to 1984 after reading a series of novels by Russian authors about life in Stalingrad during the onslaught by Hitler and then after the cruelty of Stalin. It's easy to see how Orwell extended the grim realities of the concentration camps of Germany and the labor camps of Russia into this dark prophecy. Of course, in many instances his vision has become realized. Big Brother seeks to invade our privacy at every turn via electronic media. Governments pose rhetoric immersed in 'doublespeak'. The Thought Police exist to bully our free expression. Power is exercised by imposing real human suffering upon multitudes. 'The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.' Oil comes to mind here. And munitions. And diverse other commodities. In 1984 the war is endless. 'Everywhere there is the same pyramidical structure, the same worship of a semi-divine leader, the same economy existing by and for continuous war.' Sound familiar? The High, or the 'priests of power' only fall when assaulted by the Middle and usually assisted by the Low classes. Then the Middle becomes the High and oppresses the Low for which change only means a new master. The protagonist, Winston, a 'minority of one' questions his own sanity but ultimately defends the 'spirit of man' as a force which cannot be overpowered. In the closing pages we see Orwell's true convictions about the infallible power of Big Brother and the triumph of the human spirit. This dark view has real overtones of Nietzsche and Machiavelli, who wrote with the view of realism based upon the inhumanity they witnessed in their heydays by 'princes' with the 'will to power'. But the 'spirit of man' is truly formidable and cannot be overcome, except temporarily, by totalitarian figures and corrupt democracies. The next US national election will be telling about down which road America will travel. 1984 is a cautionary, post-World War II tale but to say it's unrealistically dark and couldn't happen here and now is to overlook eons of history. And to be unconscious of the powers of orthodoxy infringing greedily and corporately upon the spirit of man in our time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If before you read 1984 you never saw how government intrudes in our daily lives and how things are so easily controlled, you will after reading it. Orwell's Dystopian classic lays out how easily we, the masses can so eaisly be decieved by political rehtoric, mind control and constant fear and brutality. How we can be misled to think the wrong thing is the right thing... and how we could be made to feel greatful for it. After reading this book, I can't look at our world the same ever again. So many shades of 1984 are apparent in everyday life and everything we do, political bills that have been passed, an economy spiraling out of control. You have to remind yourself that 1984 was written way back in 1949! It is a frightening prophecy of a world that is only a mere nudge from becoming our own. 1984 is a warning of letting anyone have too much control. Of how through deception, freedom is made into slavery without us even knowing the difference. If you ever thought that there was something wrong with our world, that their was something more than what we can see or hear going on, read this book, it's simply amazing. But beware, once you see 1984 through Orwell's eyes, you may never see our own world ever the same through your own eyes. You will be awakend, and may never go back to sleep.
Nick34 More than 1 year ago
After reading Animal Farm I decided to move onto 1984. It is one of my favorite books, better then Brave New World in my opinion. The scene that Orwell creates is amazing yet the ideas and situations he presents seem extremly feasible in society today. I highly recommend this book.
mascaroml More than 1 year ago
This particular book was an essential read: speaking to the society that we live in, the world around us, and the politics we take for granted. The book speaks to the heart of the political ¿human condition,¿ writing a manifesto against the apathy of constituents. 1984 tells the story of a single character who lives in a futuristic England, know ruled by a totalitarian government that is designed to keep it¿s citizens uninformed and uninterested. We watch as the main character descends into the bowels of the government, and meets a political leader who speaks to the way the government is constructed, and why it is ¿designed¿ in this way.

1984 holds on, sweeping the reader into the plot, and holds on to the very end. A great read for those interested in politics, and even those who simply want to be thrilled by a great book.
bah_bah_black_sheep-mh More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, and would recommend it to anyone, especially people who are interested in politics and current affairs. 1984 is mostly symbolic and highly philosophical; I think Orwell's goal in writing 1984 was to explain his thoughts on Totalitarianism, and the power of [big] government; this book was written around the time of the spread of communism, a time when Orwell wanted to warn Western nations about why communism is ultimately bad. It's highly effective, and chilling to the core when you start to make parallels between Orwell's society and our own.
This book made me see the world, and governments in general, in a different light. Once you read this book, you will see allusions to "Big Brother" everywhere, mostly on cable news stations and radio talk shows. When bored, I often think about the concept of "doublethink", "proles", and constant surveillance; thinking about it never gets old. I still crack open my copy to read an excerpt or two from time to time. I would recommend that anyone else should do the same.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Literature is the ability to make the reader think. It spawns thought of the plot, the setting, and the subject matter. 1984 achieves this. I had to force myself to read this book because it attacked my view of the world, and I found the basis improbable. But as I read, the development amazed me. Everything about this book is brilliant especially how it unfolds. If you enjoy literature and not entertainment fiction, then this is a book for you to read. If you enjoy to think, purchase it.
Author_DB_Pacini More than 1 year ago
I first read this book as a teen, it was a class assignment. I recently read it again and I'm still blown away by it. I don't know many people that have not read this masterpiece. It was first published about sixty years ago. In today's times it is definitely a profound and visionary book to read again. I assume that it is still recommended reading to students. It certainly should be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So much depth! What a cool world Orwell has created here! What interesting characters! What a relevant story! Help me, God, I never thought a book this great was possible. This book transcends all thoughts that it is "just a book"; it feels so real!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Isaac Deutscher said it best in his justifiably hostile critique of this book: 'Orwell borrowed the idea of '1984', the plot, the chief characters, the symbols, and the whole climate of his story' from Russian writer Evgeny Zamyatin's 'We'. Orwell's true genius was not his spinning of this 'literary masterpiece', but his interpretation and subsequent modification of Zamyatin's novel. I do believe that on its own '1984' could merit some positive criticism, but when it is held up next to the original the cracks begin to show through. Do yourself a favour, don't get caught up in the 'pop culture' of Big Brother, Newspeak and Doublethink. Read 'We' instead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good.... i couldn't put it down when i was reading it ... The only thing was the ending was pretty sad and it was kind of generic(no element of suprise)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely amazing but you can read it for free online if you look it up on google.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book that can really excercise the "inner good" portion of your brain. Orwells writing style can be a bit dry but that is quite fitting in this novel. 1984 is a reminder that government and "Big Brother" only have the control we allow. It would seem hard to write a book as this and not pander to either political faction but as "right-wing" as I may be this book didn't offend. Rather it gives quite a timeless lesson on our ability to recognize when were being duped by the powers that be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book and the characters Orwell created were compelling and completely believable. Sadly there are many vast similarities in this book to today's times which really make you stop and think where this world is heading. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is sooooooo good!!!! Although some parts were confusing, overall it was great!!!! It almost changes the way you think about society as a whole and if you think about it, some of the content is coming true!!! I highly recomend reading this book!!
Ianv More than 1 year ago
The novel 1984 by George Orwell is one truly deserving of praise. A novel depicting the at the time fears of communism by providing the reading public with a "painting" of a true dystopian society: Oceania. This picture of a truly unfavorable future is the exact message Orwell tries to convey in his book. His portrayal of a somewhat rebellious main character shows the dangers of a government too controlling, any consequences it could have, and what people feel under that influence. The book, being written after WWII focuses on the dangers of extreme communism, and it does a marvelous job at conveying its anti-communist message. One simply can't say that this book is one of the books that fails at carrying out its designed message, or that the author is one that is new to this topic. As with the novel Animal Farm, George Orwell successfully provides us as readers with dramatic plot developments, dynamic characters, unforgettable settings, and a sense of intellectuality that not most authors are capable of delivering. The novel is centered on the character of Winston Smith, a member of the controlling government party controlling Oceania (Future UK), although he is not high ranking. From the beginning Winston is shown to be more adventurous and rebellious than most of the members of the party, engaging in acts with prostitutes, visiting old world antique stores, even purchasing the at the time illegal Journals to write his OWN thoughts in, an act considered one of the most dangerous in the government. As the party begins to prepare for Hate Week (A holiday where they "celebrate" their hatred for their enemies), Winston is captivated by the beauty of a young woman, who unbeknown to him shares those feelings. The two secretly begin exchanging messages, which lead to a full blown sexual rebellion against the party. Their relationship furthers, his acts plunge him deeper into rebellious acts against a totalitarian government, and it shows no sign of stopping, and just when it seemed to be at the peak of rebellion, Winston meets a man by the name of O'Brien, who introduces him to the dark world of The Brotherhood, the anti party entity that goes against everything he's been taught. Treason with a side of sexual betrayal. Will Winston escape from his rebellious actions, or will he live to suffer the consequences? Unfortunately, I am only a reviewer, it's up to you as a reader to choose weather it peeks your interest. All in all, George Orwell succeeds once again at showing the downsides of improper governmental control, and gives us a greatly captivating story to boot. Once you start you won't be able to stop. Five Stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading the book was a boring struggle for me, but i absolutley loved the entire idea of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am going to be honest with you. I thought no one could predict the future that lies before us. Then, my 12th grade English teacher had us read this book as an assignment. We read it together as a class. She said it would blow our minds because of how the author George Orwell was able to come up with such a novel that was portraying a future much like ours today. Of course we laughed and said no one could. She then told us that once we read the book we could determine that for ourselves. After we read it, we then realized what she was talking about. In the novel 1984, the citizens are always watched by Big Brother and as a result of that they constantly fear for lives. Now I'm no genius, but if I were inthat situation I would be too. George Orwell was able to write this book by either having a dream or an inkling of the future... I don't care how he was able to come up with it. What matters is that Big Brother could be our Government in a year, 10 years, maybe even 50-100 years from now. The point is he was able to predict this happening. He may not have known it, but he did. I admire this book for that purpose. It may not have been the cleanest the book by all means, but neither are we or our Government and in some ways we know it and in others we don't. But, we do question it; that makes us who we are. Life goes on. Our Technology is rising and so are we, the People.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mine is formed like a poem and its making my life hard
chris-ho More than 1 year ago
1984 is very well written, the first few chapters reads very much like a modern day North Korea account. It’s hard to believe that this was actually written more than 60 years ago! I wonder how Orwell himself would have been astonished at how accurate a picture he is able to paint about the communist regime. There is very good flow in the text, the book gives a very good feel as you read it, it is not too fast-paced for you to want to take a break while reading, neither is it too slow paced that makes you want to give up reading the book. The book is split into 3 big blocks, each taking almost equal portion of the book, which is a good accomplishment, Orwell does not, like many contemporary authors rush through the ending giving a huge sense of dissatisfaction as you draw to a close. The first part deals with the relative joy and dissatisfaction of Winston, the main character of the story, and his romance with Julia. The second part mainly deals with his imprisonment and betrayal. (Sorry this is really a short statement on a big block, but to go anymore will spoil the whole story. Read it yourself!) The third part deals with his re-education and re-assimilation back into his society. Highly recommended for those who are interested in North Korean or communist life, or any history major who just wants to have a vivd picture of life under the communist regime. Ratings: 5/5
emariscal More than 1 year ago
The novel 1984 by George Orwell (published in 1949 hrm hrm) portays a man, Winston Smith, and his journey of rebellion toward a corrupted totalitarian society. Winston’s blooming understanding of the humanity the society is deeply deprived of leads to an illumination on the capability of a person’s determination to remain human as well as the frailty of withholding true humanity. The text’s writing style is written in tone that reflects the twisted society as well as the characters’ feelings. Winston Smith’s characterization was definitely made relatable, being an average man, as well as a character to sympathize for throughout the text. Each other character also played their role in the novel well to provide a deeper meaning to the text, such as Syme being in charge of NewSpeak. The theme of the text revolves around the idea of humanity, whether or not humanity can truly and indefinitely be preserved. The novel is definitely of literary merit.
JakeNJ More than 1 year ago
Very interesting example of despotic society. Big brother is always watching, hence big brother ideal and reality. If the past doesn't agree with current, change the past and change the narrative. We have seem something like this currently and recently over and over. Who said this? "I didn't set the red line, the world did", when we all remember who made big statements, "RED line if Assad uses chemical weapons". Red line in Chief, Mister Twister!! "Those who control the past, control the future and those who control the future, control the present" - 1984. Control is the key word in this novel, but also in reality of such society of "everyone is or should be equal". "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." Brilliant quote about proles, the lower element of society who are more concerned about petty items than their livelihood or their past, present or future. A Party slogan "proles and animals are free" from this novel is one of the major points that resonate with anyone who is consciously thinking about reality of this fiction. Depending how you measure freedom of course. Everything is relevant and all depends on how you measure freedoms. As this book portrays, but not too fore fetched, for those of us who have actually lived in society designed to break the human spirit, your individual thinking, it is how you make people perceive their reality, their past, present and their freedom. Perception is reality, so if you alter perception, you just changed the reality. I couldn't help by compare this book to "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley. The differences are significant, but the underlining fact is the same, that you trade your individual perception of reality for actual freedom. "Brave New World" is different in the sense that it portrays a society where everyone is conditioned to be happy, to enjoy what they have, what they do and how they do it, so there is no need for excessive measures and 'tortures', but at the same time, it also portrays the reality of the human will to always think for him/her self. One of the reasons the forced social justice, for "people's own good", for the "good of the society", could never work. The individual human spirit to have a free will, to love, to hate, to feel and to think. Perfect example is "Brave New World" in fiction, but fiction resembles reality. In "1984" it is a lot easier to see that the social justice of forced, torturous "education", "conditioning" and police state, is the actual reality of any social justice forced society. Sure, one might say that it is a fiction, a fairy tale, a myth, but in actuality, except for a few items that technically didn't yet exist in the time of this book, the myth is the theory of "everyone is equal" society. Man are not created equally, not in the sense of having the same things, same life, same skills, same talent and same needs. Even if you pretend that everyone can and should be equal, those who pretend and force it, know perfectly well that they are not and never want to be themselves. As George Orwell phrased in his novel "Animal Farm", "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." "Ignorance is strength" - 1984. Brilliant!! There is a great explanation on why and how it is so. Perfect example that the poor, even though promised everything and always given nothing, don't ever change their situation, no matter what some tell them and promise them, they just change their master. Lenin and Soviets through and after revolution proclaimed "Who was nothing, will be something". Something what? When you pretend that you will change your situation by relinquishing power to a group of those who work for "your better good", you better be sure that those whom are working in your favor have someone, some many, watching over them, because the spirit of humans not wanting to be "equal" is the same spirit of those who pretend that they can be, by taking more for themselves and making everyone else miserable...aka social justice...aka "1984" and all the societies which are, were and will be based on that "everyone equal" principle. This is one great book. Dark, but great!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love reading books about the downfall of human kind. This book shows how society can go askew when higher authorities try to control everything.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i recommend for everyone to read this book.