BOOK REVIEW: 1984 – by George Orwell

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Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Genre: Classics, Science Fiction, Dystopia
First published: 1949
Finished reading: July 6th 2014
Pages: 326
Rating 5

“Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

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How to begin describing this little masterpiece… As you read 1984 it becomes clear George Orwell was way ahead of his time when he wrote his novel back in 1948. The vision of his negative utopia is easily to be called brilliant: a world set in the nearby future where personal identity doesn’t exist, collectivism is the key and war is used as a way to suppress the masses. Reading about the lives of the two main characters Winston and Julia in this dystopian world where ‘Big Brother is watching you’  is both interesting and disturbing. Orwell definitely hit the mark with certain points in his book… Examples include the mass media trying to control life, politicians preferring people to be ignorant and politicians using the continuous war as an excuse to keep peace and order. A definite must read!

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Life in 1984 is made into a routine where individualism is a crime and everyone should live exactly as the Party orders. The world in 1984 can be seen as an aftermath of the Second World War and is divided into three states: Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia. The three states are in continuous state of war and all governments use the war as an excuse to suppress their population. Every single movement people make is controlled by the state and disobedience detected by the Tought Police, by the telescreens placed in every home and public space and even by their own children who will betray them within a heartbeat to the authorities. Punishment? Getting arrested by the Tought Police and a almost certain one-way trip to the Ministry Of Love. And trust me, things inside that ministry aren’t that rosy at all; you can say things get pretty ugly inside.

Winston works for the Ministery Of Truth where he is one of the workers in charge of revising and changing past newspapers and any other messages so they don’t contradict the current situation in Oceania nor the authorities. The Party with Big Brother as their leader believes that ‘he who controls the past controls the future.’ And that ‘he who controls the present controls the past’ . In short, they are falsifying history and people are behaving like brainwashed zombies and don’t even seem to realize it. Unfortunately for Winston, he is different. He does notice something is off, but even only thinking about that is a crime (thoughtcrime) in Oceania and he knows it. The authorities are doing everything in their power to make people ignorant, even altering the language into one where there are no words left to express yourself.

Even when he knows it will be his end, Winston tries to defy the Party anyway and starts a diary. Things become even more dangerous when a co-worker called Julia expresses her love for him and soon start a love affair… They have to hide their every move since love for the sake of love is forbidden in Oceania and can get them arrested. People aren’t suppost to have physical interest in each other and only state approved marriages are allowed to ‘fulfill their duty’ and create the next generation. Winston and Julia also get involved in an underground organization against Big Brother and manage to hide their relationship for quite some time. But no good things can last forever, and soon the day they dreaded arrives at last…

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 I think this novel by George Orwell was one of my favorite reads of this year. Or at least one of my favorite classics. If you haven’t read 1984 yet, I strongly suggest you do. Trust me, it’s worth it. And if you already have, you probably know why I am lost for words describing this story…

WWW Wednesdays #4 – July 9th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW Wednesdays is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

boneeeI’ve seen Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo around quite a lot during the last few weeks, and I’m glad to have chosen it as my last YA read for now (a break that probably won’t last long though). I’m not too far away in the story yet (still in the first half), but until now I’m definitely enjoying it. Hopefully I can find some time soon so I can try to finish it.

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

1984I finished 1984 a few days ago, but because of a messed up computer I didn’t have a chance to finish the review just yet. In short, I can say this novel by George Orwell was absolutely doubleplusgood (those who read it will understand 😉 ). A very interesting vision of the future with some disturbing similarities…

 

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

glassI’m not completely sure yet since I have a huge list of books waiting for me, but it is probably going to be The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This one has been waiting on the shelf for quite some time now, and I’ve heard good things about it. It would also be a part of taking a break from YA for a little while… Although I like that genre, I want to read different genres too, like in this case a contemporary memoir involving Jeannette’s family.

WWW Wednesdays #3 – July 2nd

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW Wednesdays is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

1984I was planning on reading 1984 later this month, but after all the positive comments on my Top Ten Tuesday post, I decided to start reading this classic by George Orwell right away. I’m not too far into the story yet since I only started yesterday evening. But until now I’m glad I choose to read this one next.

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

graveyard2I just finished The Graveyard Book last night. I will probably write the review later today or tomorrow, but what I can say for now is that I enjoyed the way Neil Gaiman told this children fantasy story. The ghosts in the story aren’t scary, and for the main character Bod it’s the most normal thing in the world growing up living in a cemetery. Interesting indeed.

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

boneeeI’ve seen Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo around quite a lot during the last few weeks. Apart from the various positive reviews I’ve read, the cover is really convincing me to read this one. I love simple covers with pretty calligraphy and a splash of color…

 

 

These are my answers; how about you?

Top Ten Tuesday #2 – July 1st: Classics

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The Broke And The Bookish presents us every week a new top ten with a different theme. And this Tuesday it’s time to post my Top Ten Classics I’ve Read Or Are TBR! These ten books below are a general representation of the classics I’ve read during the last few years, with a few of them still waiting on my TBR pile… In no particular order and with short descriptions copied from Goodreads:

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: “A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author’s generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology.”
  • Finished: March 7th 2014 // Review: here

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  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: “To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos.”
  • Finished: February 10th 2014 // Review: heremockingbird
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell: “Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs…”
  • Finished: January 27th 2014 // Review: here

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  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey: “Ken Kesey’s hero is Randle Patrick McMurphy, a boisterous, brawling, fun-loving rebel who swaggers into the world of a mental hospital and takes over. A lusty, life-affirming fighter, McMurphy rallies the other patients around him by challenging the dictatorship of Nurse Ratched.”
  • Finished: January 7th 2014 // Review: here

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  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: “Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.”
  • Finished: December 22nd 2013 // Review: here

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  • One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: “The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind.”
  • Finished: April 23rd 2013 // Review: still pending

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  •  The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank: “Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.”
  • Finished: before starting this blog // Review: N/A

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  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: “Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Civil War, Margaret Mitchell’s epic love story is an unforgettable tale of love and loss, of a nation mortally divided and its people forever changed. At the heart of all this chaos is the story of beautiful, ruthless Scarlett ‘O’ Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.”
  • Finished: still on my TBR list

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  • 1984 by George Orwell: “Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. 1984 presents a “negative utopia,” that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world—so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish.”
  • Finished: still on my TBR list (to be read soon!)

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  • Lord Of The Flies by William Golding: “William Golding’s compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic.”
  • Finished: still on my TBR list

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