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Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four (original 1949; edition 2003)

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

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55,3818628 (4.24)1545
Title:Nineteen Eighty-Four
Authors:George Orwell
Other authors:Erich Fromm (Afterword), Thomas Pynchon (Foreword), Daniel Lagin (Designer)
Info:Plume (2003), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

1984 by George Orwell (1949)

  1. 791
    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)
  2. 846
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (JGKC, haraldo)
  3. 687
    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
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (wosret, Anonymous user)
  5. 361
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (citygirl, cflorente, wosret, norabelle414, readingwolverine)
  6. 261
    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. 3713
    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. 91
    Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (pyrocow)
  12. 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.
  13. 102
    Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (thebookpile)
  14. 81
    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.
  15. 92
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (infiniteletters, suzanney, JFDR)
    JFDR: 1984's Big Brother is Little Brother's namesake.
  16. 84
    Panopticon; or, The inspection-house by Jeremy Bentham (bertilak)
  17. 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.
  18. 30
    Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov (BGP)
  19. 52
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (mrkatzer)
    mrkatzer: If 1984 were written today, and written for an audience of teenagers and people who care about teenagers, the result would be Feed.
  20. 30
    The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: If you read only one other dystopian SF story, make it this one.

(see all 57 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 798 (next | show all)
Because I graduated from high school in 1984, I’ve always had a connection with both the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell and the rock album 1984 by Van Halen. Over the years, the former has grown in my estimation and the latter has declined. The album by Van Halen is something you outgrow. The novel by Orwell is something that grows with you.

I put Nineteen Eighty-four on my Classics Club list because I knew my daughter would be reading it in her senior high school literature class, and I wanted the chance to talk to her about it. Besides, it’s been at least twenty years since I read it, and I wanted to experience it again with more life behind me. I’m glad I did.

For those unfamiliar with the novel, it was published in 1949, and depicts a bleak world set thirty-five years in the future, hence the title, Nineteen Eighty-four. The protagonist Winston Smith lives in the totalitarian state of Oceania, in the province called Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain). Big Brother, the Party leader, watches everyone through two-way TV screens; independent thinking and individualism are snuffed out by Thought Police; and the past is constantly being rewritten to support the Party’s agenda. Winston gets curious about the world before Big Brother, and as he begins to assert his independence he has to watch his every step to evade the Thought Police and avoid being sent to the dreaded Room 101.

The last time I read Nineteen Eighty-four I was teaching Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 to seventh graders, and I was trying to educate myself in classic dystopian literature. At the time I also read Huxley’s Brave New World, and I watched Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil. Honestly, in the years that have passed since, they had all blended together like some kind of dystopian goulash. It was good to read Nineteen Eighty-four on its own.

Of course, there were some things that I remembered clearly from Nineteen Eighty-four: Big Brother, doublethink, the Thought Police. But I had no clear memory of how the novel ended, and I must say that Part III was as harrowing and disturbing as anything literature has to offer.

If you’ve never read it before, Nineteen Eighty-four is one of those books you shouldn’t miss. And if you haven’t read it since high school or college, pick it up and see how much it has to say to you now. ( )
1 vote nsenger | Jan 6, 2017 |
1984 was doubleplusgood and my mind is doubleplusblown.

I can't help but think that the world that George Orwell created in 1984 is a close description in many ways of the world of today and the direction it seems to be heading towards. A world where unorthodox thoughts are almost literally impossible, where privacy is abolished and mass surveillance is the essential tool for maintaining power, where family ties are destroyed and basically any pleasure is taken away from you.

"The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you know already."

The main character of the story, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party and works on the Records Department (Recdep in Newspeak) in the Ministry of Truth. His job is to continuously alter and falsify the past to suit The Party's needs and to make any unwanted facts disappear:

"Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it."

Winston would seem like he's just a normal Party member, unconscious of the real shit going on, or that's at least the appearance he has to continually maintain since the state watches your every movement and monitors your every thought, and even the least eccentric behavior or thought would draw unwanted attention and might even be considered a thoughtcrime! But Winston resists the continuous massive brainwashing going on and considers himself among the very few sane people left in a sea of insane and lunatic people. Or is he making all this up when he's really the insane minority of one?
"Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal."

The story unfolds and takes unexpected turns when Winston meets Julia and he can finally be himself and share his thoughts and hatred for The Party with her. They both try to find a way to join the Brotherhood, an underground organization of rebels founded by Emmanuel Goldstein, people trying to overthrow The Party. Does the Brotherhood even exist? Will Winston and Julia succeed in their mission?
That, my friend, "[...] you will never know.[...] you will never learn whether the answer to that question is Yes or No. As long as you live it will be an unsolved riddle in your mind."
... that is until you decide to read this fantastic book :D !

But remember, you just have to keep one thing in mind...
( )
  d3vr | Dec 28, 2016 |
The ending made me so mad! ( )
  PBugriyev | Dec 24, 2016 |
The book 1984 by George Orwell is a historical books which talks mostly about the governmental and the attitudes of the governments. Just like human, every book has its own strength and weakness. The only thing to be able to persuade reader is to overcome those weaknesses by the strength within. No human is perfect, so does book. Being a reader who is able to forsee the strength rather than the weakness is what we need to become.

The weakness in this book is the language. It uses hard vocabulary that I find it hard to understand. This book allow me to open my mind to those new vocabularies. I also used many other resources as my translation for those words that I do not understand; for instance, I used Oxford Dictionary to see more explanation or description of each word, I also used Thesaurus to see the synonyms and antonyms, and if I still do not understand, I used google translate.

On the other hand, I really like the plot of this book and as for me, that is the strength of this book. The plot is such an interesting one for it tells the suffering of Winston. The book is just like whispering me the feeling of betrayal by my very own lover and best friend. The flow of the story which is not so usual story catch my attention.

Therefore, I encouranged those affectionate reader to read this book for it may challenge you guys to be a better reader and to understand those hard vocabularies. ( )
  natasyajunus | Dec 12, 2016 |
1984, a novel published by George Orwell in 1949, mainly talks about the dangers of Totalitarian government. It warned us what may happen if we live in a totalitarian government.

One of the strengths of 1984 is its plot. Winston, the main character, is frustated because of the government that always keep their eyes on them. I'm amazed by how the author have thought of its plot and tells us the dangers of totalitarian government later in the future. On the contrary, one of the weakness is its use of words. The first time I read this novel, it was hard for me to understand because the words are making me confused. But, as I read more, I came to understand more about the book.

As a result, I recommend this book for many people to read because it warned us many things about the real world that we live in. ( )
  ktjie | Dec 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 798 (next | show all)
Londres, 1984: Winston Smith decide rebelarse ante un gobierno totalitario que controla cada uno de los movimientos de sus ciudadanos y castiga incluso a aquellos que delinquen con el pensamiento. Consciente de las terribles consecuencias que puede acarrear la disidencia, Winston se une a la ambigua Hermandad por mediación del líder O’'Brien. Paulatinamente, sin embargo, nuestro protagonista va comprendiendo que ni la Hermandad ni O'’Brien son lo que aparentan, y que la rebelión, al cabo, quizá sea un objetivo inalcanzable. Por su magnífico análisis del poder y de las relaciones y dependencias que crea en los individuos, 1984 es una de las novelas más inquietantes y atractivas de este siglo.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
Most novels about an imaginary world (e.g., Gulliver's Travels, Erewhon) have as their central character, or interpreter, a man who somehow strays out of the author's own times and finds himself in a world he never made. But Orwell, like Aldous Huxley in Brave New World, builds his nightmare of tomorrow on foundations that are firmly laid today. He needs no contemporary spokesman to explain and interpret — for the simple reason that any reader in 1949 can uneasily see his own shattered features in Winston Smith, can scent in the world of 1984 a stench that is already familiar.
added by Shortride | editTime (Jun 20, 1949)
"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)
It is probable that no other work of this generation has made us desire freedom more earnestly or loathe tyranny with such fullness...the terrific, long crescendo and the quick decrescendo that George Orwell has made of this struggle for survival and the final extinction of a personality.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times Book Review, Mark Schorer (pay site) (Jun 12, 1949)

» Add other authors (38 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
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
Talvitie, OivaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vos, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warburton, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
1984 (1956IMDb)
1984 (2009IMDb)
Awards and honors
First words
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
"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
Disambiguation notice
"George 1984 Orwell" is a cataloging error for 1984 by George Orwell.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Published in 1949, it is set in the eponymous year and focuses on a repressive, totalitarian regime. Orwell elaborates on how a massive oligarchial collectivist society such as the one described in Nineteen Eighty-Four would be able to repress any long-lived dissent. The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime's propaganda by falsifying records and political literature. Smith grows disillusioned with his meagre existence and so begins a rebellion against the system that leads to his arrest and torture.
Haiku summary
The hero battles
A government dance of words.
"++good, Comrade."


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)

» see all 33 descriptions

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


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