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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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This is one of my favourite novels and no matter how many times I read it--probably about a dozen times--the more treasures I discover. The current socio-political situation in the United States and across the globe more than ever relate to what is spoken in one of Orwell's masterpieces. I ordered two of these novel because I find it crucial to contextualized our zeitgeist with young minds today.

As a Vine Voice reviewer, I find that writing reviews is particular challenging because of the responsibility the title carries, and as an Amazon consumer, I know that we must have the highest possible confidence when buying products and the best possible experience when using them.
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on December 3, 2016
I felt the need to write a review on this book, I have not actually purchased it from Amazon, because every time I try to explain the importance of privacy to people who say to me “We have nothing to hide!” I find myself automatically saying to them, “Read 1984!”

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.
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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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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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 20, 2016
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 March 24, 2016
J'ai aimé le livre en lui même, par contre la mise en page pour Kindle est vraiment mauvaise, les chapitres commencent au milieu des pages, il y a des sauts de pages incorrectement placés. Ça n'a l'air de rien, mais c'est assez perturbant quand on est plongé dans la lecture
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on September 5, 2016
The penultimate paranoia book and Orwell classic. A great allegory for government and censorship. Lots of good reviews cover this so I'll just say that you should read it without focusing just on the totalitarian aspects but also on the ideas of media and how media shapes the world in the book and in the real one.
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on August 14, 2016
I was introduced to this novel and author in High School English and even after a number a years I still enjoy reading this novel. The enjoyed every page and especially the ending, which I won't ruin for anyone. There is also a film based on the novel. Just wonderful.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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