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1984 by George Orwell
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1984 (original 1949; edition 1983)

by George Orwell (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
69,13111279 (4.24)1848
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.… (more)
Member:jennamozingo
Title:1984
Authors:George Orwell (Author)
Info:Berkley (1983), Edition: 60th Anniversary, 304 pages
Collections:Favorites
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (1949)

  1. 832
    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)
  2. 877
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (JGKC, haraldo)
  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. 401
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (citygirl, cflorente, wosret, norabelle414, readingwolverine)
  5. 382
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (wosret, Anonymous user)
  6. 4112
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (vegetarianflautist, avid_reader25)
  7. 282
    We: A Novel 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. 206
    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
    Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (pyrocow)
  14. 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.
  15. 102
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (infiniteletters, suzanney, JFDR)
    JFDR: 1984's Big Brother is Little Brother's namesake.
  16. 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)
  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. 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. 74
    Panopticon; or, The inspection-house by Jeremy Bentham (bertilak)

(see all 61 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1036 (next | show all)
This is a book I have read many times, as has many people out there. It's part of many High School English programs, and has been made into a movie, which I suppose isn't all too shocking. Its premise has been borrowed by countless other works in many different forms of media. So why am I featuring it as my selection this month?

Well, simply put, I think this book requires reading at several different points in life. I read it outside of the curriculum while I was a student and it scared the pants off me then, though I will admit, I didn't understand it all too well. I read it again at 20, understood more and was scared more. I read it again last weekend, with the current global situation and several Orwellian Clones well intrenched in recent memory, and it brought me nearly to tears. I am afraid to read it again, though I'm sure I will someday, if only because I am curious as to what new truths I will later find within its pages.

The point is this: there are some novels out there that are required reading for more reasons that simple appreciation of the english language. This is an important and often overlooked work that has more power in its first chapters than most everyday fiction can boast in their entirety. If you have not read this book recently (or, dare I wonder, ever), I highly suggest picking up this book at your soonest convenience. Though you may be wise in avoiding it on days otherwise reserved for cheer.
( )
  dowswell | Jul 25, 2021 |

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.


1984 is quite a novel. In a nutshell, it's the story of a dystopian society in which an overbearing totalitarian government controls just about everything by way of controlling the present, rewriting the past, and squelching any opposition.

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

In a nutshell, it's a story in 3 parts.

In the first, we learn about the society in which our protagonist lives. In a few ways, it's just close enough to reality to really sting. We're nowhere near that level of government control, but the idea of what we read being manipulated to control the world are ... creepily prescient.

In the second, our main character finds himself a co-conspirator, has lots of sex, and finds there there are in fact fellow revolutionaries*! This is probably the weakest section of the book, since we get a book within a book, detailing how the government took power and... it's a really dry pointless read. That could totally be cut, in my opinion, withing changing anything.

In the third part, the government wins. Torture and re-education ensues and terrible things happen. It's not your usual ending, but it fits.

Overall, it's a fascinating read and I really do see why it's on a lot of high school reading lists, although I probably wouldn't make people read it (or most things) rather than letting them come to it on their own. It's certainly a bit heavy handed at times and (as mentioned) you could cut large swathes, but I still found it worth the read.

Random bit I found interesting:


"How many fingers, Winston?"

"Four! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Four! Four!"

"How many fingers, Winston?"

"Five! Five! Five!"

"No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?"

"Four! Five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!"


I watched Star Trek long before I read this book. Seeing this scene, almost certainly the inspiration for Chain of Command (from the Next Generation, season 6, episodes 10 and 11) was somewhat bizarre out of order. Fascinating though. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Considerations of the quality of the writing, characterization, and plot are secondary in the case of this book. It earns its five stars on cultural significance, as well as for having one of the most chilling closing sentences in all of literature. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
As an HS English teacher, I've read this book every year for the past 3-4 years. I first read it in HS myself - not for a class but for leisure because my 12th grade AP English class was a bit of a letdown.

So, what's to say about this AMAZING book? It's a classic 5-star read every time for me. I am still blown away by the simple way Orwell conveyed the dystopia and sense of longing in his characters. The hopelessness between Winston, the Party, and what he actually believes. The imagining of a society so totally demolished by constant warfare, propaganda, constant government surveillance, and historical negation. Not to mention trying to figure out the doublethink the first time! One of my favorite in-class activities is one involving doublethink and Newspeak where the students have to interpret things...hilarious and frightening at once!

New readers may find this difficult to get into simply because the protagonist, Winston, is a much older character. If he were a younger man, they might connect more but it would also negate the emotional and psychological punch Orwell was getting at; especially with an older character who remembers the 'days gone past.'

It's literally one of those books that set the genre and a classic not to be missed. It also has a movie adaptation that is phenomenal starring John Hurt as Winston. [1984; d. Michael Radford, drama/sci-fi, R, 1:53m; released Dec.1984]

*All thoughts and opinions are my own.* ( )
  The_Literary_Jedi | Jul 17, 2021 |
I've read this book many times, but this time I read it in Spanish for practice. Orwell is one of my favorite authors, and he has a very clear, direct style that translates well. This particular edition was Spanish, so I also got to dust off some of my less remembered grammatical constructions.

He leído esta novela muchas veces, pero esta vez lo leí en español. Orwell es uno de mis autores favoritos y tenía un estilo claro y directo que traduce bien, incluso la "Nuevalengua". Esta edición es española, así que tuve que recordar formas como el imperativo de vosotros. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
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» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George Orwellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Audiberti, AmélieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baldini, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chiaruttini, AldoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corr, ChristopherCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davids, TinkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davison, Peter HobleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fromm, ErichAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmberg, NilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kool, Halbo C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manferlotti, StefanoTranslatorsecondary 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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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.
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.

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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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