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Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four (original 1949; edition 2003)

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
49,88973710 (4.25)1297
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

Work details

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (1949)

1940s (2)
  1. 795
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (JGKC, haraldo)
  2. 681
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (nathanm, chrisharpe, MinaKelly, li33ieg, haraldo, Ludi_Ling)
    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.
  3. 617
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (readafew, hipdeep, Booksloth, RosyLibrarian, moietmoi, haraldo)
    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?
  4. 361
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (wosret, Anonymous user)
  5. 341
    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. 3411
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (vegetarianflautist, avid_reader25)
  8. 161
    V for Vendetta by Alan Moore (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: The world of V for Vendetta is very reminiscent of the world of 1984.
  9. 194
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (readerbabe1984)
  10. 175
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (cflorente, readerbabe1984)
  11. 101
    Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (pyrocow)
  12. 91
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (infiniteletters, suzanney, JFDR)
    JFDR: 1984's Big Brother is Little Brother's namesake.
  13. 81
    Kallocain by Karin Boye (andejons)
    andejons: The totalitarian state works very similar in both books, but the control in Kallocain seems more plausible, which makes it more frightening.
  14. 71
    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. 72
    Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (thebookpile)
  16. 50
    The Archivist's Story by Travis Holland (CatyM)
    CatyM: 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
    The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe (aulsmith)
  18. 30
    The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: If you read only one other dystopian SF story, make it this one.
  19. 85
    Panopticon; or, The inspection-house by Jeremy Bentham (bertilak)
  20. 30
    Love among the ruins : a romance of the near future by Evelyn Waugh (KayCliff)

(see all 53 recommendations)


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» See also 1297 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 679 (next | show all)
Slavery is Freedom

War is Peace

Ignorance is Strength

It is 1984, give or take. Against the backdrop of a blustery steely spring day, Winston Smith commits a crime: he opens a diary and begins to record his own thoughts. Hidden, or so he thinks, from the omnipresent telescreen, Winston strives to recreate disparate fragments of memory, unvarnished impressions, unsanctioned thoughts. The subversive act of seeing through the facade of illusion maintained through violence and ignorance by the socialist government of Oceania. As a lower-level functionary of the Ministry of Truth, Winston sees first-hand how the government of Ingsoc (English socialism) strives, and succeeds, to control history, memory, language, and even thought. ( )
1 vote dschmersal | Sep 10, 2014 |
Creepy. Surreal. But then again, real. ( )
  alrtree | Sep 3, 2014 |
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

That is the opening line of 1984, and it immediately gives the reader the sense that things are off kilter. It's a great first sentence.

I first read 1984 in high school. My son is now in high school, currently reading it in his English class, so I decided to revisit this classic. There are so many things to say about it, I don't know where to begin. Besides being the most bleak dystopian view of a future in which the world's governments are oligarchies with a few individuals on the inside ruling through domination, and fear, I felt sadness at the plight of protagonist Winston Smith--Party member and simple cog in the bureaucratic wheel. He knows things aren't right in this world of cold, gray, bleakness where every thought and action is spied upon, known, and repercussions are certain. Winston gradually awakens to the notion that things might be better; that the world wasn't always dark and humans bereft of simple emotions. He begins to question the system of Big Brother's misinformation and the constant, as in daily, alteration of history.

His awakening is hopeful in a sense where you feel yourself rooting for his hoped for revolution to move society forward, but on the other hand, there's the sense that poor Winston's got one foot in the grave.

Orwell has created this fantastic tension. I was riveted, turning pages, even already knowing the outcome. The book within the book--a supposed text created by the underground opposition--while maybe a little on the dry side, was still a fascinating study in human nature and society.

1984 has had a profound effect on modern culture with many of its words and phrases becoming part of our vocabulary such as doublespeak, Big Brother, Ministry of Truth, Thought Police, among others.

Though quite depressing, this is a must-read. The ending will stay with me a while. ( )
  mclesh | Sep 2, 2014 |
I am more then halfway through the book and I felt compelled to write what I thought of it thus far.

The book reminds me of Anthem in many ways. It's almost like a pre-Anthem society that tells a very similar tale. Controlled society, man rebels, man meets girl, girl adores man and also rebels, etc. This story is a bit more involved though, especially regarding the Brotherhood and how there is not just one man against many, but an entire group rebelling (underground). Anthem's message skimmed the surface but so far 1984 has broken it down and analyzed it more, which I am really enjoying. This also makes me feel more connected to the story.

One of the thoughts that came to my head was: To fight against control, one must be controlled. The brotherhood controls the ones fighting against the Ministry (Big Brother), therefor using control to gain freedom from control. Dying for freedom is a scary thought but a big theme in the book which has awakened me to an understanding of survival of self vs. survival of the human race. So far the story is extremely entertaining, thought provoking and slightly scary.

After finishing the book, one word describes how I felt: Hopeless(ness). I cried a bit at the end but not from a loss of a character or from any tragic event but from a feeling of absolute hopelessness. My friend had said how he hated the ending, and I disagreed... I loved it because it created the strongest emotions from the message the author was trying to convey. If the ending had been victorious the feeling wouldn't have been as strong and the tone would have been completely wrong (in my opinion). ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
Amazing how close we have come. ( )
  selinalynn69 | Aug 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 679 (next | show all)
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 (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orwell, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baldini, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chiaruttini, AldoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davids, TinkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eco, UmbertoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fromm, ErichAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmberg, NilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacoby, MelissaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kool, Halbo C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:46 -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 30 descriptions

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Six editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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


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