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The Ministry of Truth

The Biography of George Orwell's 1984
Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

1984 isn't just a novel; it's a key to understanding the modern world. George Orwell's final work is a treasure chest of ideas and memes - Big Brother, the Thought Police, Doublethink, Newspeak, 2+2=5 - that gain potency with every year. Particularly in 2016, when the election of Donald Trump made it a best seller (‘Ministry of Alternative Facts’, anyone?). Its influence has morphed endlessly into novels (The Handmaid's Tale), films (Brazil), television shows (V for Vendetta), rock albums (Diamond Dogs), commercials (Apple), even reality TV (Big Brother). 

The Ministry of Truth by Dorian Lynskey is the first audiobook that fully examines the epochal and cultural event that is 1984 in all its aspects: its roots in the utopian and dystopian literature that preceded it; the personal experiences in wartime Britain that Orwell drew on as he struggled to finish his masterpiece in his dying days; and the political and cultural phenomena that the novel ignited at once upon publication and that, far from subsiding, have only grown over the decades. It explains how fiction history informs fiction and how fiction explains history.

©2019 Dorian Lynskey (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

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  • William Lowry
  • 12-06-2019

Terrifying

I really enjoyed this. It takes you through attitudes to totalitarian governments over the last several decades and how Orwell could see that the worst could happen in the right circumstances.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Julian
  • 07-06-2019

Fascinating and terrifying

A fascinating exploration of one of my favourite books. The idea of writing a biography of a book works really well in this case as there’s so much to unpick before and after its publication.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon
  • 06-06-2019

The story of a book and an idea

Excellent and well thought out story of one of the most important books of the 20th century. When Trump talks about his warm welcome in Britain to 'cheering crowds' and about 'alternative truths' you know we need George Orwell like never before! It kills off a few of the myths around the title 1984 and gives you a good understanding of the man who wrote it. W

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Asmodeous
  • 05-06-2019

Outstanding book and essential companion to 1984

I was so impressed with this book. It is everything I hoped for, shedding valuable insight and context to the George Orwell novel 1984. It is a true companion piece narrated by the very same person who did a great job of the audio version available on audible. Indeed it reads like a thriller in places and offers insight into the writing and significance of the work in the decades leading up to the publication and into the current era. I found it fascinating in its depth and was grateful for the clarity of is subject matter. A brilliant piece for any student of the text and such an entertaining and illuminating read. What is impressive is how the author brilliantly shows how the work resonates today and how the powerful elite use various ways to control and manipulate the masses. It outlines the depth and themes of the novel and the thinking and works that inspired Orwell himself. Really wonderful and so worth a credit. If you have an interest in the book, or an interest in the author or the political themes that drove Orwell then this is highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Olly Buxton
  • 10-06-2019

First half good. Second half bad.

the first half of this biography of George Orwell's 1984 is an excellent and imaginative read. There is good background and history of Orwell's life and political engagement which is interesting, and an excellent survey of utopian and dystopian literature from HG Wells onwards. The second half of the book is totally inessential, and includes a needless and sophomore review of Bowie's early 70s catalogue, together with other modern pop artists who have in some way or other engaged with nineteen eighty-four. The most aggravating thing about this book, however, is the narrator who reads it in a melodramatic and affected tone which i found thoroughly irritating. All narrators, i suppose, aee equal. But some are more equal than others.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful