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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 874 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on November 1, 2013
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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on January 13, 2014
This book caught my interest because of other good reads I've been doing, and recently, the radio hasn't stopped talking about how Orwell-ish our world has actually become. Orwell is a visionnary and it seems like even the book was written in 1930's, the relevance of this book is pretty astonishing. Alot of predition of the future he thinks will happen actually happens in the world today and points out to a terrifying future ahead. Love seeing how older generations had envisionned the future. Although this one is a fiction, ts not that far from not beeing one. And I think thats the most shocking part of it. Excellent red, a must read for every avid reader and a vision to share as much as possible.
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on October 14, 2013
I don't know exactly why I never sat down and read this book, but I'm really happy I did. I remember reading, Animal Farm, back in high school, but I think this would have been a better selection. The story is heartbreaking and disturbing and you can feel Winston's constraint as he struggles with his beliefs toward Big Brother and his feelings toward himself. It's truly one of the most profound things I've ever read.
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This novel is an amazing read! Orwell starts off by introducing the reader into the terribly grim dark world of Big Brother. The state controls everything and everybody. Orwell has written a fictional story, but you soon realize almost everything Orwell writes about, has happened somewhere in the World. I feel this was Orwell`s message, to warn people that Big Brother can and will spring up anywhere, and at any time. In the past one can look to the Stalin and Hitler regimes, for examples of what Orwell is talking about. In the present, North Korea is an almost perfect example of Orwell`s 1984 novel. And sometimes bits of Big Brother, pops up right in your own backyard. In the 2008- 2009 school year, Queens University introduced a "conversation police force" to monitor students living on Campus. This was done to prevent anything happening in the student living quarters, that was not deemed "politically correct". The controversial policy was later dropped by the University. This is the sort of thing that Orwell is trying to warn the reader about. Big Brother can suddenly appear, even in a place of higher learning. Orwell is trying to tell us, that state control is not just something that happens in far away places, such as North Korea.
There are also many smaller examples of state manipulation, such as control of the media, that are explained in the novel. The modern reader will have no trouble relating to media manipulation.
1984 is a novel that everyone living in a free society should read, at least once.
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I first read this book in spring of 1967 as a college sophomore. I thought it was interesting and easy to read. I thought it was a tale about a nation where government had gone to the extreme - a socialist bureaucracy. I never suspected that government could get this intrusive in a democratic-republic, the most freedom loving nation in the world!

However, I now wonder if we weren't on our way to bloated, over-powering government. And I wonder if socialism and bureaucracy haven't completely taken hold, entrenched large powerful government, unconcerned with individual rights??? Orwell… a genius or a prophet? Everyone should read this book accompanied by a copy of the Bill of Rights!
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on February 14, 2015
The shipment arrived well within the time line given yet I did have to wait longer than I usually do for a shipment from this website. Despite my lack of patience the product surpassesd my expectations! It was well worth the wait!
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on December 6, 2015
This is probably the best book I've ever read. It shines a light on our governments in the world today so well. While calling the Canadian government totalitarian is definitely far out there, it is definitely fair to say that our government shares similarities with the Oceanian dictatorship. Our internet communications are watched and spyed on, just like the telescreens in Oceania (which are like the cell phones today). This book also has an excellent, deep story to it. Overall, I highly recommend ANYONE to get this book. It will open your third eye.
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on October 16, 2015
This has got to be one of my all time favorite books. I never appreciated it when I read it as a young student. I finally got around to reading it again many years later and I was amazed. Seems like everything that is happening in our world these days was written in this book many years ago. A must read.
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on October 6, 2006
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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on August 22, 2014
I kept dropping the book because it was too hard to read, pacing nervously and picking it up 10 minutes later because I had to read it. Incredible. Much heavier than I like my books, but so so good.
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