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1984 (Signet Classics) by George Orwell

1984 (Signet Classics) (original 1949; edition 1961)

by George Orwell, Erich Fromm (Afterword)

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56,9418948 (4.24)1638
Title:1984 (Signet Classics)
Authors:George Orwell
Other authors:Erich Fromm (Afterword)
Info:Signet Classic (1961), Mass Market Paperback, 328 pages
Collections:Your library, Read & Own, Favorites
Tags:Read, Read Prior to 2010, Own

Work details

1984 by George Orwell (1949)

  1. 866
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (JGKC, haraldo)
  2. 812
    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. 716
    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. 391
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (wosret, Anonymous user)
  5. 371
    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. 193
    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. 112
    Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (thebookpile)
  12. 91
    Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (pyrocow)
  13. 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.
  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. 93
    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. 74
    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. 30
    Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov (BGP)

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Showing 1-5 of 829 (next | show all)
Now. I was looking for a book to read a couple weeks ago, by searching through my Amazon Wishlist. I stumbled across the book 1984 by George Orwell, and it was Kindle Unlimited so I decided to read it. And the whole Star Wars thing, and Utopian/Dystopian futures, and mosquitoes and everything made sense! I just had to read it!

Although now I forgot why it all made sense...

So bear with me, as we go to a Dystopian-or-Utopian-I-forget-which world. Cue the dark music (and don't judge).


In 1984, the whole principle is about a futuristic world where there are only three "countries." Eurasia, Eastasia, and Oceania. (These are pretty good names, by the way, although two of them are already places...)

Oceania, where the book is centered, seems to be the worst of these nations, although we never really find out. That's one thing I'll mention later.

The First Half
Honestly, this is the part most people hate on. They say it's too much world-building; they say Orwell is "just preaching." But I really like this part.

I read the book because I was too lazy to imagine a futuristic Dystopian/Utopian world for myself. If Orwell has to do some preaching and lots of explaining, that's perfectly fine with me. He's created a fascinating world and deserves the right to show off his intellectual skill, just like I do when I use the world "intellectual."


That's all I have to say. Doublegood, chap. Doublegood.


These two countries are the biggest missing puzzle in the futuristic world. We know nothing about them. Are they "good?" Why can't they win even a battle against Oceania? Do they know all the injustice going on?

In some ways, it wasn't that much different from World War II Germany, where the government was controlling, demanding, and cruel. However, in Oceania the government has crushed any resistance by changing them -they have made the enemies their allies.

All we know about the E-powers (my own naming hehe) is that they are evil, to the Oceania people anyways. I really was hoping for an Author's Letter-type epilogue, where Orwell would explain some of the missing pieces. Yeah, I didn't get that. Still a bit bitter.

Twist... of the Strange Kind
So about halfway through the book, something really odd happens. Yoda comes out and sits on the dude's bed and says, "There's been a change... Can you feel it?" (Star Wars quote anyone? Please say somebody understands me!!)

Well, that didn't actually happen. As you know. Because that'd be really weird and you would've heard about it by now. Stupid internet-talking-with-people-thingy makes it hard for me to fool you. But something odd did happen.

The main character Winston gets this book, and it's basically the philosophy of the rebels, who are anti-Ingsoc (the philosophy of Oceania's government.) They're pretty much like we are today, in terms of believing stuff about politics, war, all that drama. Well, Winston gets the book and reads it. And everything's set up for a big showdown with the government, and secret missions, and throwing acid in kid's faces (it says that in the book!!)... but then it doesn't happen.

There's a twist, I can't say what happens because it's a spoiler, and basically the book's over. There's just some talking, some thinking, and a little mental fighting. And then the book's over.

This last couple chapters are really foggy, compared to the crystal-clear earlier half. The book just progressively gets less clear as it goes on.


This book was unique, took place in an amazing setting, and is not an easy work for anybody to match. Because of this, I'm giving 1984 an 8. (I was tempted to do 8.4, but I've had enough jokes today. It's time to weep.)

QUOTE TIME: "It was a political act."

This is one of the best chapter-endings I've ever read. It's perfectly timed in the book, and just wraps up the whole ideology of the main character. If you read the book, you'll know what I'm talking about.

( )
  DavidKummer | Jul 22, 2017 |
One of my favorite books, hands down. Probably the top.

Read it. Relate to it ('cause you really will). And start thinking. ( )
  thursbest | Jul 17, 2017 |
Read it once, listened to its audiobook twice. I just love this book so much xD ( )
  Daan-Rook | Jul 14, 2017 |
1984 is a dystopian novel by George Orwell (probably one of the first) which follows the life of Winston Smith, a low ranking member of ‘the Party’, who is frustrated by the ever watching eyes of the party, and its ruler Big Brother. “Big Brother” controls every aspect of people’s lives. It has invented the language ‘Newspeak’ in an attempt to completely eliminate political rebellion; created ‘Thought crimes’ to stop people even thinking of things considered rebellious. The party controls what people read, speak, say and do with the threat that if they disobey, they will be sent to the dreaded Room 101 as a looming punishment. Orwell effectively explores the themes of media control, government surveillance, totalitarianism and how a dictator can manipulate and control history, thoughts, and lives in such a way that no one can escape it. Even though this novel was written in 1949—many of the themes presented resonant with our current environment. How different is “alternative facts” with Newspeak or the manipulation of history. Surveillance surrounds us today—not only by our government but anyone with a smartphone. Though this novel is 70 years old it is a must read today. 5 out of 5. ( )
  marsap | Jun 26, 2017 |
Describes very aptly, the future we are headed towards. Although it is horrifying to think of how we get there but given the recent exposures of various state surveillance agencies, it is plausible that by 2084 or maybe 2184 we will certainly be there if we don't make the right choices now. ( )
  uZiel_librarything | Jun 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 829 (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 meds 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.
The novel creates a world so plausible, so complete that to read it is to experience another world.
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.
"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 (37 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
Talvitie, OivaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vos, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warburton, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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1984 (1956IMDb)
1984 (2009IMDb)
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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.
"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.
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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.
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 28 descriptions

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Average: (4.24)
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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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