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by George Orwell

Review of 1984 by George Orwell


Get 1984 Audiobook now from 1984: New Classic Edition (Unabridged) 

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       Well, much as I hate to admit it, I am here to recant my former review.  I recently went back through this book, and after giving it much thought, I think it is great.  Don't get me wrong, it's by no means the greatest, and a lot of things could've been done differently to improve it.  But taking it for what it is, I still like it very much.  Also, although this review does recant my former opinion of 1984, it does not recant my opnion of Amanda as expressed in my former review.  She is still an intellectual defecit to all who use this site.  Have a nice day.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Count Orad

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       I love reading all the reviews AFTER I have read the book. It's hilarious how people rip on one another for disagreeing and almost none of the people that talk smack can spell.

       Anyway, I found the book interesting. I thought I had read it before in HS but thinking perhaps I found it boring then and stopped reading. Today I think it is almost timely in the way the government tries to keep tabs on everyone and everything. I found myself disappointed in the ending, but mostly b/c it wasn't what I had hoped would happen to Winston and Julia. I guess doing the unexpected can sometimes make it great.

       By the way, if you haven't read a book, don't review it! Seems like common sense.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Sophie

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       Well i have not read the book yet i came onto this site to find a good book to read and i think this will do just fine thankyou.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by yewur uyf

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       I found this a conceptially original book and relevant to todays society.  I thought it a good book when i read it , depressing at times and smetimes unemotional.  But i can say this book will haunt me forever , and it is welcome.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by cameron

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        As I mentioned before, I haven't read this book (and I don't intend to read it). It might be a masterpiece, but remember it is a masterpiece about communism. So I think books that talk about real life things, larger than communism, like family (Anna Karenina), religion (Brothers Karamazov), love (Lolita) are greater than this book. That's why they deserve #1. And I don't know why western countries put this book in schools. COMMUNISM IS OVER. Read other things.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by a 14 years old boy who hasn't read this book

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        Orwell demonstrates incredibly enlightening views in this novel, some of which include tactics used by governing systems to achieve a uniform mentality, the dissection of the structure of governing systems, and uncovering the key to true manipulation- psychological self-sabotage. He's no genius or revolutionist like Hawking, but for a mere author, Orwell presented ideas that were extraordinarily beyond his time, with key concepts he discussed still being relatable and eye-opening to this day. Although it's a slow read, it's a worthwhile one. It's one of my personal favourites, but I can understand how the 'lazy' style Orwell uses to get his point across isn't everones cup of tea...but it's deifnitly a must-read!

       And to the 14 yr old Zac, now that's a scholar. Maybe Amanda should invest more time in articulating her ideas more clearly and concisely instead of trying to sound abnoxious and condescending. Although some of her vocabulary may be an decent attempt at sounding intellectually advanced, her ignorant incapability of seeing all sides and ridiculously lose use of the term 'genius' shows her age.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by me

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        This Book started out dull then started to pick up. I really got into this book and it really made me think. Cell Phones, Facebook, and the like are a form of "Big Brother". It's amazing that Orwell saw this and how it's almost to real today. I recommend this Book to anyone who wants to read something that will open up there mind. The Book is boring for a reason, that's how life is there. Telling you what to think, do, and always watching you, hearing you. It's crazy, I liked it and it made me an instant fan of Orwell.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Ken C.

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        For all those complaning that nothing happens are missing the point. Orwell is using the lack of action to show how mundane and controlled the world presented is. Still, I agree with those who say it is ranked too high. Animal Farm for starters is better.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Homer

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        Very pleased to see 1984 as the #1 novel. Everyone who reads it will be more enlightened.  Above any, the word to describe this read is 'chilling'.

       I read this book a while ago, and though I'm no scholar, it moves me still. As I study economics and global politics today, this story comes back in to mind vividly. The bare bones of the society that Orwell imagines - thinking about it in retrospect stops me in my tracks. While I think and hope we are moving away from government control, I find the messages in this book essential to consider while judging our society.

       I think this novel will remain powerful and relevant for many many years.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by poncho

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       Ive got to say, I was pretty disappointed when I finished this book. It wasnt bad, but when it was called the number one best novel of all time I think I expected a bit more. The ideas and themes of the book are great, and I give Orwell credit for being able to get his political views across in the form of a novel. The character of Big Brother is terrifying and ageless, and I think that the author does an overall good job at getting this across.

       However, these themes and ideas are not at all supported by the plot or the characters. When I read a book, the thing that I latch onto more than anything else is the characters, and in my opinion, there wasnt really much to latch onto. Winston is boring and basically useless, OBrien doesnt come off as menacing as I suppose he should, and Julia just seems to tag along for the ride.

       The first 70 pages of the book or so just consist of Winston waking up and going to work, and the last 5 to 10 left me feeling a little let down. It takes too long for the plot to pick up, and then as soon as we hit a climax, Orwell flash-forwards into the future.

       Despite all that, I am glad that I read it. This book truly was an eye-opener, and I feel like I did get a lot out of reading it. It wasnt the most enjoyable book, nor was it the most well-written, but it certainly has its upsides; I dont think 1984 is the best book ever written, but it is definitely a good read.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Domenic

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        I just finished reading 1984 and it was brilliant. The plot is amazing.

       This book is a must read for everyone who is above 25 .It will take you to a journey of your own extreme fears, but it will give you a kind of uplifting effect (that you know the worse which can happen). I think we are most scared of the unknown but if someone can write on a peace of paper the worst which can happen it takes away some of our fears.
So please read this book and realize the importance of staying human in the worst of time

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by shweta choudhary

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        This review goes out to Amanda, who is apparently 15.  I jst finished reading 1984.  I can honestly say that it was an overall waste of time.  The book has so many good ideas, but the plot cannot even begin to support them.  These wonderful ideas are totally overshadowed by the fact that NOTHING happens throughout the majority of the book.  The ideas are great, and the enviorment is scary, especially at the end.  But the story which is supposed to give greater depth to the ideas and the horror of them is terrible.  Even the character of Winston, though I agreed with his ideas, I still felt no sympathy for him.  I felt no like or dislike for any character, no matter whether their beliefs were, by our definition, good or evil.  Even O'Brien, I felt no malcie toward.  They just were bland, like the stroy.  It gets points for good ideas, but for nothing more.  Most of the time, I only found myself completely bored.  Now, I have no disrespect for those of you who love this book.  I respect everyone's opinion and their right to that opinion with only one exception.  Amanda, who do you tink you are?  You call yourself a scholar.  You are a close-minded fool.  From that review that you posted, it is obvious that you failed to graps what little in the book there is to understand.  And what is with that quote at the end about you being 15.  Who cares?  I believe one reviewer stated that it is just a silly, juvenile attempt to get attention.  They are correct.  People like you truly need to keep your opinions to yourself.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Count Orad

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        As an intellectual I personally find 1984 as easily one of the greatest novels ever written. Orwell manages to depict the struggle of man's freedom and how we thrive on freedom and we are powerless and our minds are stagnant when we aren't free. We feel Winston's pain and we feel the world and visualize it so clearly because of how beautifully written it was.  This book is loved by people from all walks of life because we can all relate to it. George Orwell brilliantly succeeds in creating a terrifying world which we are all intellectual midgets and enslaved by the brutal insidious totaltarian governement.  Overall whom ever tells ye that 1984 isn't a masterpiece and work of literary art is an ignorant fool,  this book managed to spark my love for literature again.


1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Malek

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        I'm going to have to agree with 14 year old zac. by the way zac, cudos on the very calculated and not rage filled post. Because I for one was pretty enraged when I read amanda's post as well. The book was good not great. Orwell was a visionary as seen in both this book and animal farm but not a genius. I myself prefer Steinbeck. Thank you again zac what you said needed to be said. I too am 14 so maybe only fourteen year olds are outraged by annoying things.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by frizworth townsend

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        Just finished reading it for the second time and i loved it even more.  It does what many novels fail to do, Create an exciting storyline and atmosphere but still manage to incorporate George Orwells theme of a totalitarianist future and show the big questions and views he has.  Phew.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Mr Sedgewick

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        I wouldn't rank 1984 as the best novel of all time, but it's definately a masterpiece of political and social significance.  Many ideas and concepts in the novel have become part of our daily political discourse, such as "doublethink" "thought crime" "thought police" and, of course, "Big Brother".  1984 should rank as one of the best science fiction stories, I believe, since it  vividly captures the brutal methods of information and mind manipulation of past, present and possible future totalitarian regimes.  Amazingly, so many ideas and concepts in his "imaginary" story have come to past since the publishing of this book.  For example, the concept of an "endless war" that seems to have no start and no beginning, in which enemies are real or imagined or manufactured, seems to match real life events in the Iran-Iraq war, the so-called "war on terror", and the Palestine-Isreal conflict.  The concept of doublethink and the inherent hypopricy of the world's superpowers can be seen especially during wartime, when we hear that "democracy" and "freedom" and so on can be brought to peoples, while bombs and missiles and bullets rain on enemy combatants, real or imagined, and on innocent civilians.  The concept of "Big Brother is Watching" becomes realer and more chilling as satellites and GPS devices can track one's every move.  The concept of rewriting history and historical revisionism to justify current political or social realities been used by every government and nation in existence. The concept of erasing, revising or altering political borders is used  by all nations and governments as well.

       Anyways, the reason that I have always loved this novel, despite its dark nature, and yes, depressing ending, is that it serves as a warning to all freedom loving, democratic peoples of the dangers of censorship and excessive government control of  our lives.  It is no coincidence that this novel was banned in the previous USSR, is despised by any dictatorship, and is especially disliked by politically correct extremists.  The extreme left wing, like the extreme right wing, are the greatest danger to freedom and human dignity in the world today, and 1984 teaches us what we could expect if they were to ever seize power

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Robert Consiglio

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        To Amanda, the 15 year-old and self-proclaimed scholar-

       Books are written to be realized and enjoyed, but more realized. Different attitudes are assumed by many different people while reading a novel as popularized as 1984. Some attitudes are, in fact, counter-productive. I strive to have an attitude and a mind-set while reading which allows me to both criticize and enjoy the work. While reading an author which many believe to be genius/brilliant, I feel as though a reader cannot search for this genius, because they will end up just plainly agreeing that Orwell (for example) is indeed brilliant out of pure laziness.

       This is, for the most part, why I condescend your entire post, but not to the enjoyment of myself (believe me). A reader who "undermines" a work of Orwell is one of two things:

1) One desperate for attention.
2) One who thoroughly read the novel, and after educated thought, decided they didn't like the book/thought Orwell could have done better with his idea (if not one of those two).

       By no coincidence do I see mostly underminers of type "2" on this website...

       But what annoys me is that you don't see both sides of this. People who AGREE that Orwell is indeed brilliant are one of 2 things:

1) People who are desperate for attention.
2) People who thoroughly read the novel, and after an educated and honest thought process, decided that he is indeed brilliant and enjoyed the book.

       The fact that you (Amanda, 15 year-old intellectual) wrote a comment claiming Orwell and his book brilliant, shows me that you are a rare species of reader: the one who not only reads the book over and follows hype to the extent to which she is calling men geniuses, but one who is ALSO desperate for attention (the latter shone clear in stating your age).

       You pretended to write your comment in a sophisticated rage, which was funny, due to the lack of "underminers" of 1984 on this page.

       P.S. I stated my age for respect of my argument. I don't want people thinking that I'm taking advantage of you, do?

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by 14 Year Old named Zac

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        I'm not going to come out typing that this is the best book ever, many others will tell you that. I enjoyed this book, certainly pleased me. For those people saying that 'everyone who enjoys this book hasn't read many other books' you certainly have a point. To be honest, I have not read many (serious) books, maybe this fact detriments my opinion's worth. I can understand your displeasure when you see/hear people who have only read this book and then call it the best ever. Or maybe you have read the book and thought it inadequate yourself. I will agree with you that the style of writing is quite old.

       Superficially, this book is dark and raw. I conclude this is why so many are attracted to this novel because of this. But for others this book is so much more complex. My point is: people can love a book for two completely different reasons. Just because someone superficial can enjoy something doesn't mean the complex can not either, the two are not mutually exclusive.

       But this is only what I think and I have made mistakes in the past.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Jay Campbell

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        I realize that this book is very good and that it examines both the human brain, and the various aspects of a possible totalitarian society. Yet i fail to see how this is the greatest book ever written. I think the beginning and explanations about ministries and INGSOC was more interesting then the unconventional love story of Winston and Julia (which is most of the book.) It almost droles on towards the last hundred pages for a book which isn't even 350 pages. And What's up with the 30 pages of Goldstein's novel. That was a bit of a bore. But to wrap it up, i WOULD recommend this book to other people just to get a peek at the human mind and the horrors that we can inflict on eachother. This book is most certainly in the top 20 best books ever written, however, not #1.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by me

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        1984 by Orwell is probably one of the greatest depictions of totalitarinistic society behind Huxley's Brave New World.

       Just saying. Don't diss Orwell. Huxley, Steinbeck (Grapes of wrath and of mice and men are also good ones), and Orwell had great minds.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by David Song

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        So in the past couple years (high school years), I have read many classics (i.e. Jane Eyre, Great Gatsby, etc.) although no where near covering even a dozen of the books on the list. I used to love to read as a middle school student, and sort of stepped off that wagon in high school because of the large amounts of required reading (because of enrollement in the IB program). Now as a college student, i decided to pick up reading for pleasure again, and since science fiction is my favorite genre, what a great place to start but the classic "1984". Now I don't understand the animosity that this book is getting from self-proclaimed "avid readers", but I will certainly have to side with the 15-year-old commentator because he/she certainly hit the nail on the head. Not only is this book packed full of suspense and twists, but also an incredible self-examination of the nature of the human mind and freedom. For any of those who have actually read the book, the last line that states "I love Big Brother" is really the key to understanding the entire book. Along with concept of "doublethink" (which is utterly brilliant philosophy) one comes to realize the capacity of society on the human mind, as well as, the capacity of the human mind to subjugate itself.

       I don't know if those who found it a bore were reading it just to get it over with, or were caught in the monologue on political, economical and social theory in the middle of the book. Maybe some thought they could get as much mystical action as the Harry Potter series... who knows. But the most important thing to realize is that George Orwell wanted to make a starkly realistic world (which may bore some people) in order to drive the point home that those ideas that he brings up in the novel are not far off, rather they actual exist within the capacities of our own societies and our own minds.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Carol

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        1984 is a masterpiece. Easily the most chilling and thought-provoking novel ever written.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Jones

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        A deeply interesting and thought provoking novel. Just as relevant to today's world as the time it was written. Somewhat let down for modern readers by a writing style which would be considered as sub-par today. However, if you transcend that and commit yourself to read through it the ideas behind the book are fascinating. The book and it's concepts stayed in my mind long after I finished reading. I imagine this is a book I will be re-reading again and again.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Matthew (17)

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        I loved the book,yet it is not one that i would recommend to anyone.The book starts off beautifully and carries it off until the last one third part when things just get more and more miserable.By then i was just skimming over so i could finish the book as fast as possible and watch an episode of friends to cheer me up.It's not even an ideal novel as in it does not intend to tell you a story, but rather the plot is just a device for the author to express his thoughts about the future of a totalitarian regime.In that aspect its more like fountainhead where the story was secondary to the psychological and philosophical ramblings that Ayn Rand wanted to promulgate through the book.So despite the book having a lot of brilliant and ingenious ideas, ultimately the reason behind reading a novel is to read a good story which entertains you and then provides some fodder for thought on the side.That criteria this book does not fulfill.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Anuj

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        Apart from the brilliant name given to the protagonists I had no real affinity towards the stroy. Was a bit of a chore to read, actually. Dont get me wrong, i can't begin to comprehend the genius of writing such a novel, i just dont feel it makes for the best 21st century read. Though under the ambiguous title of 'best 100 novels' its not something really worth arguing. but wow can anyone else believe that last comment was written by a 15 y.o.  What a precocious and confidant young lass, don't we all feel so silly.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Winnie

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        Those who undermine the genius of this book are idiots who don't understand one of the few master pieces of this time. Gerge Orwell is a Genius. The world of 1984 was written has a world George Orwell thought would come to reality in 1984 hence the name. If you truly read the book you would see the horror and desperation one would go to retain ones freedom though they didn't they even lost it. 1984 is not a depressing book in the end Winston gets his freedom by defying Big Brother and the CHOOSING to love big brother. Our freedom isn't the rights we are given it is the right to choose. Those of you who undermine 1984 only pay attention to the surface of the book you only see what you choos to read. 1984 takes only a few hours to read but a lifetime to read. So all of you so called avid readers who have more books than you can count or anyone you have ever met should stop reading because if you want to disrespect 1984 then you will never belong in the world of scholars such as myself. By the way I'm 15.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Amanda

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        Was this book enlightening for its time? Yes. Was it an entertaining read otherwise? No.

       I think that most people put this book as the "Best Novel Ever!!" because it's one of 6 they read between 13 and 22, and it just so happens that most everybody read this book between 13 and 22. I believe there are numerous other novels that depict "Big Brother" theory WAY better. Ideas and themes were shoved down your throat, while many situations were repeated to remind the reader what they needed to pay attention to. I think it's a great book for high schoolers.

       As a side note, it reminded me of my last job. So, yes, behaviors like trashing any past information that conflicts with current ideas does happen, has happened, and will always happen. BUT very few people are going to lock you in a box with a rat if you disagree with them.

       Good idea, poorly written. Definitely not the best novel on any list..

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Amanda

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        This is a book I find myself admiring more than loving. That is probably the necessary outcome in a story where things are dictated more by an author's message than by a story motivated by characters and plot. As such, I am glad I read it, but it is not a book I would ever care to reread.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Jeff

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        1984 would not even be in my top 100. This book is so depressing. Yes it is a good book for getting you to think about Government. I also thought it was interesting to compare big brother to the Communist party in China during Chairman Moa, but that is it. This is NOT the best book of all time.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Shannon

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        The book is a biting satire with crystal  clear prose (except for the Newspeak language of course ). Banned in totalitarian regimes such as Soviet Russia when smuggled in and read   by citizens of these states many  could not believe that Orwell had not  actually lived there .

       In fact Orwell had  fought in the Spanish Civil War and had seen the infighting amongst left-wing groups which led to control and manipulation of the media. Involved with the BBC himself in the Second World War he again experienced censorship and use of the media for political purposes   (he wasn't above this himself of course ).

       Out of all this  experience Orwell fashioned a terrifying   picture of a future dystopia which has relevance not only for those unfortunate's in countries controlled by "Big Brother " type leaders or political elites.  Every time that language is twisted by a politician with spin or political correctness imposes manacles upon free expression or  your every move is recorded on CCTV   turn to Orwell and i't's all there in this book.

       1984 In its use of language bears comparison with that other great satirist Jonathan Swift and it combines with this the political awareness of a Machiavelli.

       As a novel it has it's faults in characterisation and plot but cannot be beaten on what it sets out to achieve and is  more effective than any  Politics course   in giving the lesson - certainly a top 10 book.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Snowball

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        Okay, I've been an avid reader my whole life. I'm not even 19 yet and I've probably read more books than most people will read in their lifetime. Saying that, 1984 is a great book. I read it for the first time in 10th grade. However, I do not think it deserves to be number one on any countdown list. Seriously, it was good, but I think most people say this is the best book ever because it's the only novel they've ever read for pleasure and not because someone was forcing them to. No joke. People read this book and think they've become enlightened, especially punk rockers and hipsters. I dated this guy in high school for three years. During that time, the only books he read were Cash by Johnny Cash and 1984 by George Orwell, and that was only because I bought them for him as gifts. Consequently, all of his friends that didn't read books for pleasure also read 1984 (as well as my friend Jack, who spilled bong water on my copy). Now, they all have 1984 listed as a favorite on their Myspaces and Facebooks, along with a required reading book or two from high school (i.e. To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby). I love this book but it is absolutely one of the most overrated novels of all time.

       My favorite quote from the book that sums it up pretty damn well, "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a book stoping on a human face... Forever."

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Erica

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          This novel is not only great, but i think the word "great " was created for this novel. I join everyone else and i say that it is a must read, believe me, you'll regret every single second you've known it's existance and yet not started reading it. Orwell is a genius.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by soufaine baikou

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          This is one of my favorite books of all time! It is an incredible book, i couldnt put it down! It should be a must read for everyone, its incredibly insightful...

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Sara

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         A great work indeed, but very depressing. Even more so as it clear that Orwell's predictions of a future Britian where the state controls everything and free expression is not permitted are rapidly becoming realised.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Paul B.

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        Whoa. This book absolutely blew me away. The last 100-ish pages are awesome...I could read them over and over for the rest of my life and never get bored.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by McCarthy

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  1984 by George Orwell is a novel written in 1948 depicting the future as the author imagined it could be if the Soviet social trend went too far. The novel is highly political in nature but still an outstanding read. The reader follows our hero, Winston Smith, through his struggle, against the inner party, to enjoy the most basic freedoms.


  1984 opens with Winston Smith working for the ministry of truth in futuristic London. His job is to basically rewrite history so that it fits in with whatever the present agenda of “Big Brother” might be. As the story progresses we find out that all members of society are monitored at all times and anything out of the ordinary can be considered a crime punishable by death. Such crimes even include having thoughts that are contradictory to the interests of the party. Winston soon begins to realize that there was a time when things were different. He also realizes that men were not meant to live in constant fear and under scrupulous supervision. He realizes that a person’s right to privacy and right to be happy aren’t things that a political faction has the right to take away.


  Orwell’s 1984 is a must read for several reasons. The first of which is that it’s simply a very entertaining read. It’s a well written novel with a great story behind it. It also gives readers some insight into the extreme end of the spectrum of what could be when citizens begin to give their government too much control.   


  I give 1984 two big thumbs up. It’s a must read.


1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Dave Patron


Best 100 Novels - George Orwell's 1984



  1984 Is a masterpeice..a must read for everyone...Big Brother concept is superb..


1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Abhishek Shekhar

nineteen eighty four by orwell

  In many ways, the current society is moving towards the kind of totalitarianism depicted in 1984. This novel is a good warning.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Jocke

100 greatest books nineteen eighty four

  The premise of 1984 is both breakthrough and lasting to this day. The novel is beautifully written and extremely thought-provoking... especially considering recent events in American governmental history. People should be required to read this book before they are allowed to vote.

1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by The Jackal


nineteen eightyfour


  This book is easily the BEST book I have EVER read! Anyone who hasn't read it is really missing out! Orwell was a genius!


1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Tom Hankon


best 100 books


  This is an absolutely wonderful yet terrifying book. Terrifying in that society as we know it is so close to becoming a clone of this imaginary world. This book is thought provoking and intense. It pulls you in and won't let you go. You become a part of this book. It should definitely be mandatory reading in our school systems.


1984 by George Orwell was reviewed by Ruthann


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