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Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
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Nineteen Eighty-Four (original 1949; edition 2003)

by George Orwell, Thomas Pynchon (Foreword), Erich Fromm (Afterword), Daniel Lagin (Designer)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
60,0489629 (4.24)1716
Member:fakelvis
Title:Nineteen Eighty-Four
Authors:George Orwell
Other authors:Thomas Pynchon (Foreword), Erich Fromm (Afterword), Daniel Lagin (Designer)
Info:Plume (2003), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

1984 by George Orwell (1949)

  1. 876
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (JGKC, haraldo)
  2. 802
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (nathanm, chrisharpe, MinaKelly, li33ieg, haraldo, Ludi_Ling, Morteana, Waldstein)
    li33ieg: 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451: 3 essential titles that remind us of the need to keep our individual souls pure.
    Ludi_Ling: Really, the one cannot be mentioned without the other. Actually, apart from the dystopian subject matter, they are very different stories, but serve as a great counterpoint to one another.
    Waldstein: It's essential to read Huxley's and Orwell's books together. Both present the ultimate version of the totalitarian state, but there the similarities end. While Orwell argues in favour of hate and fear, Huxley suggests that pleasure and drugs would be far more effective as controlling forces. Who was the more prescient prophet? That's what every reader should decide for his- or herself.… (more)
  3. 726
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (readafew, hipdeep, Booksloth, rosylibrarian, moietmoi, haraldo, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    readafew: Both books are about keeping the people in control and ignorant.
    hipdeep: 1984 is scary like a horror movie. Fahrenheit 451 is scary like the news. So - do you want to see something really scary?
    BookshelfMonstrosity: A man's romance-inspired defiance of menacing, repressive governments in bleak futures are the themes of these compelling novels. Control of language and monitors that both broadcast to and spy on people are key motifs. Both are dramatic, haunting, and thought-provoking.… (more)
  4. 381
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (citygirl, cflorente, wosret, norabelle414, readingwolverine)
  5. 382
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (wosret, Anonymous user)
  6. 271
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (hippietrail, BGP, soylentgreen23, roby72, timoroso, MEStaton, Anonymous user, Sylak)
    hippietrail: The original dystopian novel from which both Huxley and Orwell drew inspiration.
    timoroso: Zamyatin's "We" was not just a precursor of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" but the work Orwell took as a model for his own book.
    Sylak: A great influence in the writing of his own book.
  7. 3913
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (vegetarianflautist, avid_reader25)
  8. 224
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (readerbabe1984)
  9. 192
    V for Vendetta by Alan Moore (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: The world of V for Vendetta is very reminiscent of the world of 1984.
  10. 216
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (cflorente, readerbabe1984)
  11. 111
    Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (thebookpile)
  12. 91
    Kallocain by Karin Boye (andejons, Anonymous user)
    andejons: The totalitarian state works very similar in both books, but the control in Kallocain seems more plausible, which makes it more frightening.
  13. 91
    Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (pyrocow)
  14. 80
    Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (BGP, ivan.frade)
    ivan.frade: Both books talk about revolution and the people, individual rights vs. common wellness. "darkness at noon" is pretty similar to 1984, without the especulation/science-fiction ingredient.
  15. 92
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (infiniteletters, suzanney, JFDR)
    JFDR: 1984's Big Brother is Little Brother's namesake.
  16. 40
    The Archivist's Story by Travis Holland (catherinestead)
    catherinestead: Two very powerful stories of what happens when a very small cog in the machine of a dictatorship decides not to turn anymore.
  17. 40
    Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov (BGP)
  18. 40
    The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: If you read only one other dystopian SF story, make it this one.
  19. 30
    Swastika Night by Katharine Burdekin (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Huxley and Zamyatin are practically the canon recommendations for this work, so much so that they hardly need to be mentioned, let alone mentioned again.. Therefore, let me instead recommend a lesser-known work that likewise influenced Orwell's work: Burdekin's dystopian future-history, Swastika Night… (more)
  20. 41
    The Circle by Dave Eggers (JuliaMaria)

(see all 61 recommendations)

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This may be more timely then when it was written. Winston Smith is not following the Party's rhetoric. He is thinking and realizes he has other memories and thoughts than what the Party wants good Party members to have. He finally sees a way to rebel but the Party gets to him.

There is so much in this book. It is a story of a regimen that controls everything including people's thoughts. It is also a story that can be likened to our day and society. Power and money are held by a few who control everything. Winston thinks the proles will one day rise up but those in power know they won't because they don't think for themselves. They listen to what the Party tells them and believe it and never question it. Those in the Outer Circle of the Party believe what is told them also. If they are caught thinking and remembering other pasts, they are arrested and tortured, reeducated, and eventually murdered so that they fall back into the Party line. I thought Winston would make it. I hoped Winston would make it. But the Party got him. It broke my heart.

This is my first time reading 1984. I have to admit I wish I could write an essay about it and how our politics and society are becoming what Orwell was warning us about. He talks about the technology, the oligarchy, the Newspeak used, emotions voided, everyone thinking the same, . I see it so much of his vision happening today. We grow further apart from one another. We use technology instead of communicating face to face. Families are broken and fewer marry and have children. Education becomes rote because of teaching to tests. 1% of the population has more money than over half the lower income people. Corporations have more rights than people. Wages have frozen and backslid because of rising costs of housing, transportation, and food. The government does not help the proles. It keeps them downtrodden and poor. So much could be expanded upon.

I also enjoyed this book because it made me think. It used 50 cent words. I had to use a dictionary. I haven't had to do that for a while. It is not a book I will forget any time soon. If you haven't read it, I urge you to read it. Wow! ( )
  Sheila1957 | Aug 31, 2018 |
Do you think it matters greatly that Orwell may have plagearised a good portion of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" because of the significance of the novel? Funny how soon this novel has passed the 60 years mark and we're just now "finding this all out". In our world - the age of the internet, it seems these things are found out immediately.

I was always aware that "Nineteen Eighty-Four" was about Russia/Soviet Union given his experience fighting on the communist side during the Spanish Civil War and all that entailed. Due to the Stalinists executing the Trotskyites (the POUM) on whose side Orwell fought, he left Spain after almost being murdered himself disillusioned with Communism altogether. Then he wrote and published "Animal Farm" and "Nineteen Eighty-Four". In the US, students in the 1960s and 1970s always assumed "Nineteen Eighty-Four" was about us in Europe. It became popular and a part of our culture to think Orwell had Europe in mind as the state on which his novel was based. Big Brother indeed has been alive and well, along with all the conspiracy theories we hold so dear to our hearts here (grassy knolls abound all over the country).

Interesting that those authors who predict futures - Phillip K. Dick and J.G. Ballard are other examples - aren't the greatest of prose writers. The urgency to communicate their ideas must bypass the need to edit out the stodge/purple prose passages.

I find all Orwell's books have that same problem - great ideas and images but solidly written rather than inspiring and then I think if he's managed to plant those ideas and images into the imagination - does it really matter? I'm not suggesting for one moment that artistry isn't vital but you do remember Orwell for the images rather than his prose style. I think writers are motivated in two different ways mainly: one is to entertain, the other is to represent life as truthfully as possible. The latter sort are usually interested/driven by social conditions of the time and seek to put their concerns into the novel form; they rarely make great novels but they do make good interesting ones.

Charles Reader in “Never Too Late To Mend” did this and he seemed in doing it to be really a sociologist/philosopher who wanted to reach the mass audiences that were spellbound by Dickens. He produced a fair read revealing the inhumanity of the treadmill in a London prison, and the humiliations of the Australian gold rush. Social concern also is the driving force of “Mary Barton”, Elizabeth Gaskell's novel of the extreme pressures working class people were under in the throes of Industrial England. Not great literature but a most interesting read; a novelised pamphlet. Thackeray's “Vanity Fair” is a great work of literature because he manages to prioritise the aesthetics of plot and characterisation so that the social and political aspects don't come across as 'messages'.

Orwell was political through and through but not a great novelist; he was more interested in revealing the class system as an exploiter of humans to the extent of degrading humanity to a pathetic degree. Many readers see this as more a service done to the reader; one feels that the eyes are opened to life as it really is. I thought the “Road to Wigan Pier” was a good book, and “Coming Up for Air” showing that he could be very funny about social change as well as deeply serious. But “Nineteen Eighty-Four” is really frighteningly relevant to today and one feels that he got it wrong only temporarily; it is slowly happening.

'Plagiarism' is often used but seldom understood and it would be fairly impossible to 'plagiarise' a novel written in a different language since to plagiarise you would need to copy parts of the book word for word, which would be pointless if writing for an English readership. Happily, writers are free to use ideas they come across and make something of them in their own way but this isn't plagiarism. I think the only way this can be rectified in the future is to give both authors credit for having written “Nineteen Eighty-Four” with a portion of any royalties to Zamyatin's heirs if there be any. ( )
  antao | Aug 27, 2018 |
Awesome and terrifying. Review Coming Later ( )
  shedhippie | Aug 16, 2018 |
I read 1984 in high school and didn't think as much of it as I do now, with the rise of populism especially in the US but also abroad. It's eerie how accurate Orwell's statements are in this book and how insanely applicable they are to those in power (and individuals' lack of willingness to stand up or to even understand what's happening around them). ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 1, 2018 |
I really enjoyed reading 1984. I had some idea what the book was about but not the details. The first part of the book is mostly about Winston Smith living life in a monitored world where he feels completely alone in knowing that everything is a lie. The 2nd part is about him defying the government for love/sex and joining a underground organization that was dedicated to taking the government down. The third part is the most impressive, it's revealed he was set up and monitored more closely than he thought, he is brainwashed into loving the government only to be killed once his brain is "pure" he thinks he can hold onto his sanity and have the final laugh but he doesn't. I felt part of the book was predictable, the secret organization was a set up by the government, what I didn't expect was for him to be brainwashed into loving big brother the ending was the most shocking and different from what I expected because I did think he was going to manage to do his last minute laughs at big brother and corrupt, but he didn't and I loved it. ( )
  wellreadcatlady | Jul 9, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 892 (next | show all)
"Nineteen Eighty-Four" is not impressive as a novel about particular human beings. Its account of life thirty-five years hence has little fanciful or gadgety interest. But as a prophecy and a warning it is superb. The ultimate degradation of a totalitarian sates is here portrayed with repulsive power.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, Orville Prescott (pay site) (Jun 13, 1949)
 

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orwell, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dean, MikeRetold bymain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Audiberti, AmélieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baldini, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chiaruttini, AldoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davids, TinkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frank Kelly freasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fromm, ErichAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmberg, NilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacoby, MelissaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kool, Halbo C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pimlott, BenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pynchon, ThomasForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Qoserî, Salih AgirTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Talvitie, OivaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vos, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagenseil, KurtTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walter, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warburton, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
1984 (1956IMDb)
1984 (2009IMDb)
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.
Quotations
"BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU."
"WAR IS PEACE. SLAVERY IS FREEDOM. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."
Freedom is the freedom to know that two plus two make four.
Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two plus two might make five, but when one was designing a fun or an airplane they had to make four.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
"George 1984 Orwell" is a cataloging error for 1984 by George Orwell.
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Book description
L'azione si svolge in un futuro prossimo del mondo (l'anno 1984) in cui il potere si concentra in tre immensi superstati: Oceania, Eurasia ed Estasia. Al vertice del potere politico in Oceania c'è il Grande Fratello, onnisciente e infallibile, che nessuno ha visto di persona ma di cui ovunque sono visibili grandi manifesti. Il Ministero della Verità, nel quale lavora il personaggio principale, Smith, ha il compito di censurare libri e giornali non in linea con la politica ufficiale, di alterare la storia e di ridurre le possibilità espressive della lingua. Per quanto sia tenuto sotto controllo da telecamere, Smith comincia a condurre un'esistenza "sovversiva". Scritto nel 1949, il libro è considerato una delle più lucide rappresentazioni del totalitarismo.
(piopas)
Haiku summary
The hero battles
A government dance of words.
"++good, Comrade."

(one-horse.library)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451524934, Mass Market Paperback)

Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life--the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language--and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:05 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014118776X, 1405807040, 0141036141, 0141191201, 0143566490, 0141391707

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