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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meant as a warning, not as a guide
I first read 1984 as part of my High School curriculum.
At the time, it was amazing to think that a book written before any but the earliest forms of computers, when most people had never heard of television, and before CNN existed could have so eerily predicted things like Flat-screens in every house, and ministries in charge of controlling the news and pop...
Published 10 months ago by Paul

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3.0 out of 5 stars what i thought of animal farm
Do you ever wonder what would happen if animals could fight for themselves; if they overthrew their masters? Can you imagine what terrible things could happen? Find out in the fantasy Animal Farm by George Orwell.
I learned a lot from this book. I already knew that communism was a bad thing but Orwell really demonstrates illustratively what horrors could surface...
Published on Oct. 13 2003 by a


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meant as a warning, not as a guide, Nov. 1 2013
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Ce commentaire est de: Nineteen Eighty Four (Paperback)
I first read 1984 as part of my High School curriculum.
At the time, it was amazing to think that a book written before any but the earliest forms of computers, when most people had never heard of television, and before CNN existed could have so eerily predicted things like Flat-screens in every house, and ministries in charge of controlling the news and pop culture.

I re-read it some years later and it was scarier still, as the world was at war, only now our enemies were the same band of merry outlaws we had allied with against the Russians. To watch Rambo III, and CNN during Operation Desert Storm, and then to re-read 1984 was an interesting experience.

Now, I think it is even more relevant. With everyone up in arms about the NSA scandal, figures like Osama Bin Laden, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange popping up in the State Controlled news casts, and more and more men and women in North America sporting "smart phones" equipped with great tools like GPS, geo-tagging, facial recognition software and fingerprint pass-protection I shake my head.

Every time I hear a song on the radio that I find my feet tapping along to, and realize the words make little to no sense - they just sound good together, as if synthesized to appeal to as many people as possible - and every time I see some news about climate change, genocide, or an environmental disaster overshadowed by the latest celebrity spotting I cringe and wonder if Orwell understood that he wasn't writing a warning for the public, he was writing a playbook for the elite.

Even if you think, "LOL - this guy is crazy!", you should do yourself a favour and really read this fantastic bit of fiction. Some would say it is a spectacular example of a literary endeavour. Others would say it's a really, really good book. I would give this 2 + 2 stars out of 5. So 5 out of 5 stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy, enjoyable, and important book to read, Nov. 4 2008
Ce commentaire est de: Animal Farm (Paperback)
In terms of reading books that are classics, this one is pain free. The language is easy and it's short enough to get through in a day, and best of all the story is entertaining. My advice would be to spend a few hours on the net reading about the Russian Revolution and Stalin's bio before reading to make sure you appreciate all the allusion, allegory, metaphors and all that blah blah stuff that makes it an important book. This is the one book I actually liked when I had to read it in highschool, 10 or so years later I still enjoyed breezing through it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grim warning, Oct. 6 2006
By 
Mark Wakely (Lombard, Illinois) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: 1984 (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a story that, unfortunately, seems to be slowly coming true. Many science fiction titles are escapist literature that either imagine a very different world(s) from our own, or at the very least, hold out some hopeful message - in other words, the good guys usually manage to win. This is neither kind of book. And it is science fiction because the sinister use of technology is what allows Big Brother to invade everyone's privacy and dictate what the characters can do or say, with severe, nightmarish punishment for "disobedience." There have other novels that have seized upon this idea of an anti-utopia, but Orwell was one of the first to place it in a realistic future, and in a chilling this-is-all-too-possible way.

And the parallels with our modern world are especially profound, parallels that are obvious all around us. The growing number of surveillance cameras on street corners, the ironic (but deliberately) named Patriot Act in the U.S., the rise of political and religious intolerance in the world...all of it does not bode well for the future of our basic liberties. Orwell got in right back in 1948, and although he was primarily referring to the "red menace" of his era, the tactics used by suppressive governments are tempting for any government because of the control such tactics provide, liberties be damned. Your agenda- whatever it is- can more easily be achieved if you can identify your enemies early on and thwart their every move. The problem is, when your enemies are law-abiding citizens whose political (or religious) views don't match your own- and that's the only "crime"- you've stepped over the boundary of national security and entered the realm of repression. And to stop open criticism of these tactics, these governments (including the repressive one in 1984) invariable claim that the critics are "unpatriotic," "traitors," maybe even "terrorists." Sound familiar? Repressive governments have been using these tactics for centuries; only now, modern technology makes it a whole lot easier- and yes, unfortunately, a lot more tempting.

Of course we don't want real terrorists. The problem is, a "quick fix" of sweeping powers put into the hands of a relatively few like-minded individuals- with checks and balances muted if not totally brushed aside- can, will, and has lead to abuse of those powers, primarily for political and personal gains. That was the real message of 1984, and it's one we should never forget. And if the citizens of a repressive government either don't recognize the danger- or worse yet, vigorously defend it under some mistaken notion of being "patriotic" themselves, surrendering their own liberties in the process- that just makes it all the easier for the incumbents to remain in power, with little chance for genuine reform or change.

It's all there in this great book, 1984, which deserves to be widely read forever and amen.

-Mark Wakely, author of An Audience for Einstein
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillian Fairy Tale for Adults..., May 3 2004
By 
Every time I read something by George Orwell, I'm convinced what a genius he was. This novel, along with 1984, is so entrenched in our collective consciousness now that it is difficult to remember a time when they didn't exist. I think that political extremists on either side would like to subvert Orwell's message for their own purposes. What makes Orwell great however is that he is not simply skewering the left or the right, but politics itself. To paraphrase Woody Allen in Sleeper (his take on 1984) "It doesn't matter who is in charge - they're all terrible."
Historically, Animal Farm was written as a polemic against Soviet communism after Orwell returned from fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Even though the USSR is his main target, Animal Farm reads like a blueprint for every violent revolution ever. I'm also reading a book on the French Revolution, and I'm amazed at how much the two link up. First comes the idyllic phase when the oppressors have been overthrown. Next, the "liberators" soon set themselves up as demi-gods. Next comes marshal law. Eventually, it does become impossible to distinguish the men from the pigs. "All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
This book, written before 1984, introduces some of the themes that Orwell will do much to develop later. For instance, like Big Brother, Napoleon - the leader - gradually does away with the animal's history and memory. He gradually alters the Seven Commandments of animals, while maintaining they were "always" that way. ("We are at war with Eastasia. We have ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia.")
This book is so spot-on in its depiction of human (animal) behavior its scary. Whenever Napoleon institutes another sacrilege, the "sheep" are quick to shout down any opposition with their cry of "Four legs good, two legs bad." Inevitably, this becomes, "Two legs good, four legs bad." Four legs are bad, four legs have ALWAYS been bad...
If you were forced to read this in school, or haven't read it in a long time, give it another chance. It's extremely short and you'll enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deviates corrected for their own good, June 10 2004
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Ce commentaire est de: 1984: Centennial Edition (Paperback)
In a society that has eliminated many imbalances, surplus goods, and even class struggle, there are bound to be deviates; Winston Smith is one of those. He starts out, due to his inability to doublethink, with thoughtcrime. This is in a society that believes a thought is as real as the deed. Eventually he graduates through a series of misdemeanors to illicit sex and even plans to overthrow the very government that took him in as an orphan.
If he gets caught, he will be sent to the "Ministry of Love" where they have a record of 100% cures for this sort of insanity. They will even forgive his past indiscretions.
Be sure to watch the three different movies made from this book:
1984 (1954) Peter Cushing is Winston Smith
1984 (1956) Edmond O'Brien is Winston Smith
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) John Hurt is Winston smith
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Animal Farm for Adults, April 23 2004
By 
J. R. Veber (Salem, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: 1984: Centennial Edition (Paperback)
Well, not exactly Animal Farm, but the same themes are pushed to their maximum logical end. Orwell writes of a government bent on controlling the people that obviously stems from a comunist base. his stark future is frighteningly belivable and his characters are human to a fault. they live fictiotuious lives to the best of their abilities. they are individuals in a see of conformity no matter what the goverment may say.
The book makes the reader aware of any numerous ways that people can be controlled. After reading it, any action heard taken by the government becomes suspect. As good literature should, it demands the reader superimpose the book onto daily life and do all they can to prevent such a future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wrote this review for a book project in my English class., Jan. 1 2004
By 
Ce commentaire est de: 1984: Centennial Edition (Paperback)
1984 by George Orwell was brilliant, disturbing, excellently written, depressing and most of all eerily predicting of the future. I enjoyed reading it very much. Orwell's writing is phenomenal. The way he describes things is incredible and beautiful. I admired his bold statement against socialism. His book was extremely persuasive and should be read by all that have not yet read it. It is a classic, yet it holds all the contemporary aspects of a newer book. No part of this novel was unsatisfying for me. There were no parts of the novel that did not keep me waiting for what would happen next. This could quite possibly be my favorite book that I have read yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Any praise is too little., June 22 2004
By 
Joshua N. Mitchell (Denver, CO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: 1984: Centennial Edition (Paperback)
It's nearly impossible to overstate the importance of this book. In all the discussion about its influence on modern thought, however, the fact that it's a fantastically good read is often overlooked. Orwell's characters are crisply drawn and the world they inhabit startlingly real.
Certainly it's one of the most important novels of the 20th century; just don't forget that it's also one of the best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The power of words ..., Jan. 10 2007
By 
M. B. Alcat "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Hanoi, Vietnam) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Ce commentaire est de: Animal Farm (Paperback)
"Animal farm" is to this day one of the best attempts to criticize a totalitarian regime through the means that literature provides: the power of words. George Orwell (1903- 1950) wanted to help others to realize things that for him were evident, and attempted to do so by writing a fable that can easily be read as a satire of the Russian Revolution. Orwell said in an article that "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it. It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects. It is simply a question of which side one takes and what approach one follows".

Orwell also pointed out that "Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole". He succeded beyond his wildest expectations, even though at first nobody wanted to publish this work because it was too controversial.

The plot of this book is relatively easy to grasp, and I think that is probably one of the reasons why it is so popular. Some animals decide to take over the conduction of a farm, because they believe there is too much injustice, and that they would improve the situation if they had the power to do so. They make a revolution, and end up evicting Mr. Jones, the owner of the farm. From that moment onwards, the farm is called "Animal farm"...

The animals establish seven "commandments", that they are supposed to obey at all moments in the new "Animal farm": 1- Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy, 2 - Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend, 3- No animal shall wear clothes, 4 - No animal shall sleep in a bed , 5 -No animal shall drink alcohol, 6 - No animal shall kill another animal , 7- All animals are created equal. At the same time, all commandments can be comprised in a maxim: "Four legs good, two legs bad".

Everything seems all right for sometime, and all the animals work together for the success of the revolution, obeying the commandments and striving for a new order of things. However, after a while the pigs begin to think that being part of the animal revolution is not enough: they want to dominate it. After that first realization things take a quick turn for the worse, and we cease to be in the presence of a "wannabe utopical society", having instead to be unwilling witnesses to the birth of a new totalitarian society.

At that moment, the pigs even change some of the commandments. For example, the fourth commandment turns into "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets", and the sixth commandment says "No animal shall kill another animal without cause". Now, the commandments can be reduced to "Four legs good, two legs better". Finally, all the commandments will be replaced with one: "All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

All in all, I consider "Animal farm" extremely interesting, even though it is somewhat sad and pessimistic. The language is clear, and you won't find yourself wondering what the author meant by a phrase, or needing to read a paragraph again. From my point of view, that makes the reading process even more enjoyable.

Despite that, I believe that this book will be considerably more appreciated by those with some basic knowledge regarding the Russian Revolution. Only then will the reader be able to take full advantage of what this short fable can offer him, due to the fact that he will realize without too much effort that some of the fictional characters in "Animal Farm" were inspired by historical characters. For example, Napoleon (one of the pigs) was quite possibly inspired by Stalin, and Snowball (another pig) by Trosky. When you read this book, try to find the characters that represent the proletariat, the Communist Party, the intellectuals, etc... :)

On the whole, I regard this book as one of those you just need to read, but that fortunately you can also enjoy. The messages implicit in "Animal farm" are many, and the questions it makes you pose yourself are even more. But then, what better than a book that makes you THINK ?.

Belen Alcat
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4.0 out of 5 stars Near perfect novel, Sept. 15 2006
By 
Ce commentaire est de: Animal Farm (Paperback)
Like all classic novels, this one is bound to irritate a few, and delight others. The story begins when Old Major (a prize winning white boar) tells the other animals the dream he had had the night before when all humans are gone and all animals will be free. He tells them about the rebellion, but warns them if it should ever happen the animals must never adapt to human traits or intimidate others. George Orwell's satire represents the Russian Revolution of 1917. Every different character represents a different leader, social group or historical event that happened surrounding the Russian Revolution. For example the pigs represent Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky, and Vladimir Lenin. Mr. Jones, representing Czar Nicholas II, spends a lot of his time drinking and neglecting his work. During the reign of Czar Nicholas II, the Russian people experienced terrible poverty and turmoil just like the animals under Mr. Jones lead lives of hunger and want. When Jones neglects feeding the animals, they rebel. After the rebellion the struggle between Napoleon (Joseph Stalin) and Snowball (Leon Trotsky) for control over the farm escalates into major disturbances. When Snowball is run off the farm, Napoleon and Squealer (representing the communist newspaper Pravda) separate themselves more and more from the other animals. Squealer helps Napoleon in twisting the truth to tell the animals. Who is left with the farm? Is the animals' worst fear about Jones coming back going to become a reality? Will the other animals realize a dictator is ruling them? I really enjoyed reading this book because it was easy to follow and didn't use many difficult terms that were hard to understand. Animal Farm is an example of one of those books you would stay up all night just to finish. Must also recommend another great Amazon pick: "Katzenjammer" by Jackson McCrae--very funny and a great glimpse into New York and what one person does to get published.
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Animal Farm
Animal Farm by George Orwell (Paperback - July 29 2008)
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