Friday, September 16, 2016

1984 - George Orwell

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Publication Date: 1949
Pages: 268
Genre: Classic / Dystopian / Political / Fiction
How I Found It: 100 Best Novels
Date Completed: 8/1/16

Summary: The year is 1984 and civilization has descended into a dystopian state. Big Brother is watching everything.

What I Thought: I had read this before. Back in high school, I believe. I liked it then and I really liked it now. Particularly after enduring so much bland British literature on this 100 book march, this was a nice diversion.

Plus, I like dystopian literature and this is basically the original. I mean, it's not really if you look strictly at literary history, but it definitely had a big role in kicking off the influx of dystopian literature we see in the modern market.

Reading it this time around, I had much more of an understanding and appreciation for the genre. I was able to follow Orwell's technique and recognize his skill more so than I could have as a young student. Another enhancement in the experience also comes with age: I now understand how truly terrifying Big Brother is. Certainly as a teenager, I grasped the basic concept of eradication of privacy and government control. As an adult, however, I know a lot more about the realities of the world and how tangible this fiction could be with just a few small steps - at least in some countries.

I don't feel a need to really dive deep into the semantics of this book. I'm guessing that, like me, you read this one during some sort of educational experience. If not, there are countless places online where you can learn more about the plot, the literary technique, the symbolism, etc. I find it enough just to shout some praise for Orwell's work. If you have not read it, don't settle for SparkNotes. Pick up the real thing. I think you'll be surprised by how much modern literature and culture has drawn from it.

Rating: ★★★★☆
Will I Re-Read: Yes
If You Liked This, Try: Darkness at Noon / Blindness / The Circle

A Reduced Review: It's a classic for a reason. This dystopian novel is thrilling and terrifying and so well written.

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