Big Brother is watching you....
1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party’s power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party’s department for propaganda, Winston Smith’s job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words ‘DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER’, his personal rebellion begins....
George Orwell’s masterpiece is the definitive dystopian novel and one of the most influential works of the twentieth century.
©1949 George Orwell (P)2015 Canongate Books Ltd
"Why did I not read this earlier"
The story is just captivating. Decided to pick it up because it is a classic, and I have never read it, and how I regret that.
The story will change, i think, based on your own perception of your life. It is a story that is just complete, and well written.
Winston Smith. The way he rebels knowing he will (probably) get caught, but not realising the extend of cruelty the system is based on.
He works with great enthusiasm in rewriting history, and yet does all he can to resist the impact wanted by the rewriting.
O'Brien. He does all the characters really well, but here he really nails it. The fatherly old, evil, man who really believes all his ramblings and believes doublespeak. The dialogue about levitation is incredible, and if you are new to the story look forward to this.
The last reaction of Winston Smith moved me deeply.
"The object of terrorism is terrorism."
"The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”
― George Orwell, 1984
I had not read this book for years but it has been calling me to refresh it in my mind or test it against the reality of the future that never was but that almost is, a book that terrified me when I was young but informed me, inoculated me against accepting the belief that the ends justify the means, that power speaks for me, a book that taught me that the extremes are but reflections of of the desire to control to diminish the individual the singularity of thought or its possibility.
“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”
― George Orwell, 1984
If you have not read this book you are missing one of the most influential pieces of modern political thought and the joy of discovering a book that has influenced the english language itself with its existence.
A way of understanding the value of freedom, of defending the right of people to think and express their thoughts even when they insult one's beliefs; a parameter to distinguish what is totalitarian and an affront to the individual and its rights to express them in his or her life down to the most basic human acts like loving in freedom, without culture, religion or party regulating every aspect of your existence.
“Does Big Brother exist?"
"Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party."
"Does he exist in the same way as I exist?"
"You do not exist.”
― George Orwell, 1984
If you have read it early in your life see how much your life has changed your perspective and how many tricks your memory has played with you. One thing is certain it will not disappoint you in any way.
“Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn't matter; only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you-that would be the real betrayal.”
― George Orwell, 1984
“But you could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.”
― George Orwell, 1984
Andrew Wincott is a fantastic reader whose voice resembles Richard Burton adding a frisson to the reading especially when he impersonates O'Brien.
"Superb dystopian novel thoughtfully narrated"
I had not read this book since being a student many years ago. It was well worth revisiting. Although it is a critique of totatilatarianism (both fascism and communism) it has much to say to those of us living in 21st century democracies. Have we not got "thought police" and "newspeak"? Are we not under constant surveillance. Is not Big Brother watching us? Is this intrusion always as benign as we suppose? It is also a literary masterpiece. The narration is excellent. Orwell was prophetic.
"A Prophetic look at modern 'Politics of Fear'..."
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
Very well read.
This is a book everyone should read. It is almost impossible to imagine that it was written in the 1940's, as it is so amazingly accurate in relation to the kind of world we now live in, with the intrusive surveillance, the invasion of privacy, the never ending wars and the constant barrage of self-serving propaganda we are subjected to by our respective Governments. I read this book as a teenager and then listened to it again 30 years later as an audio book. It was only upon the second reading that I truly appreciated its true brilliance. It is one of the most spellbinding books I've ever read, Orwell was undoubtedly a genius and a prophet. If you look around, you can see all that he foretold...and more.
This book is shockingly relevant, it resonates so strongly in the modern day. The poignancy of the story and the incredible way it is written makes it a must read for everyone.
The description of the Prole women fighting over the pots in the city, Winston believes the sound to be the sound of some kind of uprising only to find that it is simply the women fighting over cheap pots, this just struck me as horribly pertinent after the incidents of 'Black Friday. '
Possibly Obrien is my favourite character, its his harsh personality that really brings the strength to this novel in terms of its authenticity. He makes no attempt to glamourise the rebels enterprise, instead he reflects the frank truth of the matter that in order to effect any change they will have to be brutal and its not going to be easy.
I was gripped all the way through this book, it was long and so I couldn't listen to it all at once- but I sure wanted to!
Andrew Wincott's well spoken yet haunting tone, richly captures Winston's story and elevates it to sound realistic, truthful and emotional in a world where 'reality', 'truth' and 'emotion' do not exist. Of course Orwell's writing is incredible and prophetic, all of this praise goes without saying. However, if you love this, then Down and Out in Paris and London is fantastic, and I would highly recommend it! I've read all of Orwell's works, but I've decided to go through the audio books while studying him again at uni to spice it up a bit, and the theatricality and voice acting really brings something new to each story! Homage to Catalonia next for me!
(One thing I will say was that Wincott's voice was quite slow, so I did speed it up to 1.5)
"Big Brother is watching you!"
Insightful, Though invoking
There is only one favorite - Winston. Resolute despite adversity. I won't spoil what happens by adding my final thoughts on dear old Winston!
His vocal quality is perfect for this book! It suits the style and atmosphere of the book. Dark, mysterious and moody.
Big Brother is ALWAYS watching you!
1984 is a thought provoking look at what could be. The date may be long gone, but don't be fooled into thinking that George Orwell's prediction of what might be is long gone! This book has a whole new meaning in light of the Edward Snowden revelations on Mass Surveillance.
The characters are well written and fit perfectly into a descriptive and sterile world.
"A must read (or listen)"
Despite its age, the story is still very relevant today, you can easily relate some of the thoughts in this book with modern day social and political conflicts. I think that it is a book everyone should either read or listen to at some point in their life, it has clearly inspired so many stories and worlds since it was written. The performance was also good, read clearly with an interesting voice that goes well with the dystopian world of 1984 and distinctive voices for all characters.
I was hooked from start to finish, the narrator got it spot-on. Although I read the book years ago the audio experience is much better
"Still seems remarkably prophetic"
Forget the date: much of this is relevant in the 21st century. Orwell's writing creates a disturbing atmosphere for a tyrannical world. The reader brought it to life with great tension.
Very depressing. Reminds me of the film "The Road" No upside to the story. Not for you if you like love stories.
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