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1984 (1949)

by George Orwell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
65,58610549 (4.24)1803
Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.
  1. 877
    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 him- 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. 391
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (citygirl, cflorente, wosret, norabelle414, readingwolverine)
  5. 372
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (wosret, Anonymous user)
  6. 3913
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (vegetarianflautist, avid_reader25)
  7. 272
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (hippietrail, BGP, soylentgreen23, roby72, timoroso, MEStaton, Anonymous user, Sylak, humashaikh)
    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.
  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. 90
    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. 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. 91
    Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (pyrocow)
  15. 102
    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
    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)
  18. 40
    Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov (BGP)
  19. 40
    The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: If you read only one other dystopian SF story, make it this one.
  20. 41
    The Circle by Dave Eggers (JuliaMaria)

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Showing 1-5 of 971 (next | show all)
This book is the quintessential dystopian fiction. I read it every few years and the messages are still so relevant. It's bleak look at life in a totalitarian regime should serve as a tremendous warning for everyone living today. The year 1984 has since come and gone, but Orwell's vision could still strike in any year. ( )
  tkfinch75 | Jul 7, 2020 |
1984 is a classic novel by George Orwell that brings readers into a dystopian society where citizens know “Big Brother is watching you." It follows the life of Winston Smith, a low ranking member of ‘the Party’, who is frustrated by the pervasive eyes of the party, and its ominous ruler, Big Brother. Winston lives in a bleak, totalitarian world where his job is to rewrite newspaper articles to support present political propaganda. His world is squalid, regimented, and violent.

I know I read 1984 decades ago, but didn't remember how well Orwell takes us into this dark and brutal world. The message it delivers seems to become more relevant as modern technology continues to expand. I tend to believe (hope and pray) that society will never reach this depth of surrender but it was still very depressing, confusing, and frightening to imagine. If you haven't read it, you need to!

WTR - 1305 ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
The main character in 1984 is Winston Smith. Winston can remember a time before Big Brother and the Party that eventually comes into power that rules what people say and even think. Winston as a character goes from heartbreaking (when rembering his mother) to vaguely repulsive (listening to his initial inner thoughts about Julia) and back to heartbreaking again.

Orwell does a great job of showing Winston as a man who wonders about a time before Big Brother and has his eyes opened to the fact that the Party lies and he doesn't have the same fervor that his fellow comrades do.

Realizing that his own thoughts can lead to his eventual death Winston still pushes on documenting his thoughts on paper the Party and the history he has been spoon fed. At this point in time I wondered about Winston's intelligence. He knows about the public executions and how many of the children nowadays even go and turn in their own parents.

Eventually we have Winston and a woman who he initially loathes coming together and they fall in love. The parts of the book dealing with Winston's happiness are sad since even he realizes that it can't last forever.

Additionally, Orwell does a great job of setting the scene in so many places. Winston's apartment and building smell rancid and like cabbage. The taste of the food sounds barely edible and everything feels bleak. Even when we have moments of happiness (Winston and Julia stealing away time together) it is quickly crushed with them being bitten by bedbugs and lice. This whole book had my stomach turning and scratching. I felt like this book should only be read on bright sunny days.

The only flaws I felt in this book were when we get to Winston receiving a book by the Brotherhood and the discussion of the proles.

We have Winston reading what he calls the book and so as he reads, we read. The whole thing went on way too long in my opinion and I found myself getting bored. I think a few short lines of what Winston was reading would have gotten the same point across.

Regarding the proles (proletariat) in 1984 who have more freedom in order to stop them from revolting since the lower classes were less likely to revolt. I thought that it was a nice way for Orwell to handwave the whole concept of keeping tight rein on one class and ignoring the other.

I would probably as a history major argue against anyone thinking that most revolutions are started by the middle class. Look at the October Revolution in Russia. That wasn't started by the middle class. And allowing them access to booze, born, and a lottery system just seemed if I can say goofy. The 1984 we hear about is pretty awful. It just seems pretty short sided to have a large population of people that could turn against the higher classes of the Party. That could be what Orwell was trying to say here though. That any uprisings that were to happen couldn't come from the middle class.

One likes to think as you read this book that a world like this can never come into existence, that people would never allow it. However I think of what is going on right now in Russia and North Korea and realize that it can happen, just not world wide.

When we get to the ending you feel as if you have just been put through the ringer like Winston and that his end will be coming soon. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
4.5 stars

Re-read Feb 2020

First read Aug 2014 ( )
  angelgay | Jul 1, 2020 |
Incredible writing. Laugh out loud funny and very sad at parts.

A classic for a reason. Still relevant and doesn't at all feel like an old book. ( )
  Graduate | Jun 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 971 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orwell, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Audiberti, AmélieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baldini, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chiaruttini, AldoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davids, TinkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davison, Peter HobleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Facetti, GermanoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
fairey, shepardCover designersecondary 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
Pearson, DavidCover designersecondary 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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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
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Arguably the 20th-century's most famous novel, 1984 is a dystopian study of political tyranny, mind control, paranoia and secret mass surveillance.
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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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