1984 Mass Market Paperback – Mar 17 2006
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'It is a volley against the authoritarian in every personality, a polemic against every orthodoxy, an anarchistic blast against every unquestioning conformist... Nineteen Eighty-Four is a great novel and a great tract because of the clarity of its call, and it will endure because its message is a permanent one: erroneous thought is the stuff of freedom'-Ben Pimlott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
This is a testament to the importance of this book in our current predicament of choosing choice between the need for security and privacy; we tend to be offered one or the other as this is the only options we have.
Thus we are led to face the “Yes” and the “No” alternatives superbly explained by Albert Camus in his book “Betwixt and Between”.
There is the disturbing point of the “Two Minutes Hate” which we have extended to hours instead of minutes where some of us sit at the dinner table to watch extreme violence, part of the news, while we discuss our daily affairs.
I quote from a less known author: “Hate, just like love, is a propulsion force; it is also, to the unwise, a defining matter.” And I ask: are we defined by the “Two Minutes Hate”?
I let you be the judge after you read 1984.
There is also the disturbingly recurring and omnipresent leitmotif of “Big Brother is Watching You” which artfully haunts the pages of the book and is never fully grasped until one has read the book, put it aside, and looked around his own environment.
To summarize this is one of the best book I have ever read.