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

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
50,48774310 (4.25)1323
Member:cvanhasselt
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, Kindle Books
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction, classics

Work details

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (1949)

1940s (2)
Unread books (1,353)
  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. 70
    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.
  14. 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.
  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. 85
    Panopticon; or, The inspection-house by Jeremy Bentham (bertilak)
  18. 41
    This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (MMSequeira)
    MMSequeira: Another interesting attempt at a plausible history of the future. Definitely worth reading.
  19. 30
    The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: If you read only one other dystopian SF story, make it this one.
  20. 52
    The Managerial Revolution: What is Happening in the World by James Burnham (one-horse.library)
    one-horse.library: Orwell wrote 1984 as a reaction to Burnham, who argued that the communism of the USSR was no different than the capitalism of the USA; both were faceless technocratic organizations running society on a scale that beggars the human experience.… (more)

(see all 54 recommendations)

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» See also 1323 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 688 (next | show all)
El que el final me haya dejado traumatizada y frustrada no significa que no aprecie la calidad del libro. ( )
  5oclockgazpacho | Nov 22, 2014 |
Dystopian elements checklist:

-New names for current geopolitical locations (Britain --> Airstrip One);
-Forced propaganda consumption, often about vanquished foes ("The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big telescreen at the end of the room. It was a noise that set one’s teeth on edge and bristled the hair at the back of one’s neck. The Hate had started...The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in");
-Constant surveillance (telescreen: "Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plate commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.")
-Being forced to hide true emotions due to aforementioned constant surveillance ("Winston turned abruptly. He had set his features into the expression of quiet optimism which it was advisable to wear when facing the telescreen.")
-Remaining true to yourself "inside" despite aforementioned hiding of true emotions ("'It's the one thing they can't do. They can make you say anything — ANYTHING— but they can't make you believe it. They can't get inside you.'")
-Ironic government slogans (WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH)
-New gov't bodies/orgs (The Ministries)
-Scapegoat/victimize to consolidate power (Goldstein)
-Everyday resistance ("She must have slipped into some shop in the proletarian quarters and bought herself a complete set of make-up materials. Her lips were deeply reddened, her cheeks rouged, her nose powdered; there was even a touch of something under the eyes to make them brighter.")
-Organized resistance (the Brotherhood)
-Class structure, haves and have-nots ("It's Inner Party stuff. There's nothing those swine don't have, nothing.")
-New vocabulary (Big Brother,Thought Police, thoughtcrime, unperson, memory hole, doublethink)
-Remembering 'before' (the paperweight, his youth) ( )
  behemothing | Oct 25, 2014 |
I first read this book in the 1970s and I really did not get it at the time. The world was much different and I guess I could not see it ever getting to the point that there was one Big Brother and he would spend the time watching us. So much for my naivety.

However, after reading the book a second time, I believe Mr. Orwell was off by thirty of forty years. The book should have been called 2014 or 2024. It appears by my math that the world is dangerously close to Mr. Orwell's prediction. Capitalism is now considered by many to be a bad thing while socialism has grown in popularity. Many people have lost their abilities to critically think and spend their wasteful time in social media sites, watching the idiot tube, or playing video games. The government is now entwined in everything we do from healthcare to highways and has been caught spying on people and using the IRS as a bludgeoning club for those who disagree with their politics and policies.

Yes, you were right, Mr. Orwell. Remarkably well written, a great classic that I hope is not prophetic. Two thumbs way up. ( )
  branjohb | Oct 22, 2014 |
"Nineteen Eighty-Four" is one of the most depressing novels I have ever read. Written in 1949, Orwell depicts an eerie dystopian future - a grotesque totalitarian government modeled by Stalin’s brutal control over Russia. Just imagine if Stalin had obtained use of the technology available today - the ability to monitor the activities of everyone, the ability to control everyone’s actions and their thoughts. That is what Oceania’s all powerful Big Brother does in "Nineteen Eighty-Four".

Throughout the book are examples of Big Brother’s extreme social and cultural manipulation with brainwashing tactics that strangely parallel the moderate techniques used in our own culture today… like the fact that if the media tells the general public something enough times - even if it is not true - the public eventually becomes complacent and begins to believe it. And when rational people resist being brainwashed and insist on maintaining their own traditional beliefs, they are labeled as having a phobia or uneducated attitude. Forced mediocrity. Forced conformity. Forced unwarranted compassion. And forced acceptance of an amoral society.

And now in 2014, advancements in technology allow surveillance even in the United States as George Orwell only dreamed about. From cell phones that provide a person’s exact location to recording of phone calls for some future government use. And electrical “smart” meters that monitor activities in private residences. Then compare the philosophy of Orwell’s government-inspired language called “newspeak” where words are condensed (ie. texting), language is simplified to eventually diminish human thought and analytical reflection for the purpose of reducing personal intelligence and inducing controlled thinking. After several generations in Orwell’s book, no one remembered the original vocabulary. It became a world of primitive communication. Intentional “dumbing down.” U no what I mean?

In "Nineteen Eighty-Four", books no longer exist. Has anyone wondered where at this very moment is that book cloud? What if the cloud bursts? Where are the books then? Welcome to the “kinder gentler” reality of George Orwell’s imaginary new world order.

But that is not even the worst of the novel. The model for a good life was love and loyalty only to Big Brother. It was a world where there was absolutely zero trust of another human being. No loyalty, no love, no emotional attachment at all. A cold lonely detached life. A life where all activities... marriage, education, job, children, and social life are determined by the government. A life where nonconformity was a real detriment to ones well being, a life where agreeing with the policies of Big Brother was a matter of life and death.

In the 1960’s this book was already a classic… a novel filled with outrageous scenarios of technological advancement and government surveillance. At that time, this dystopian novel was beyond the comprehension of a society that had not yet reached the computer age. George Orwell was far-sighted beyond belief. But the unimaginable of 65 years ago is the not-so-hard to believe today.

"Nineteen Eighty-Four" holds the number 13 spot on the Modern Library list of the best 100 novels of all time, and rightly so. Generation after generation readers absorb the plot with bated breath - wanting to believe at least one sole individual could resist succumbing to Big Brother. It is a genuine classic for yesterday, today, and the future. ( )
  LadyLo | Oct 17, 2014 |
Amazingly written by Orwell about a dystopian London without free will and a survelliance society that has inspired many writers and movie directors. ( )
  Markthenils | Sep 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 688 (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 (44 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
Sutton, HumphreyCover artistsecondary 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
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
1984 (1956IMDb)
1984 (2009IMDb)
Awards and honors
Epigraph
[None]
Dedication
[None]
First words
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
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
Disambiguation notice
"George 1984 Orwell" is a cataloging error for 1984 by George Orwell.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
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."

(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 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 31 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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