A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick
With extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity, George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life in this edition.
“Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.
Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Maybe you've never read 1984, or maybe it's been a while. Whatever the case, we can't think of a better moment to pick up George Orwell's dystopian vision of a society under absolute government control, where no person or "fact" is free from Big Brother's shadowy manipulations. Orwell's dark tour de force clearly still resonates—it regularly appears on our charts decades after its publication.
Lack of oversight?
Did anyone actually review this iBook before it was published? Besides very trivial spelling errors, what appear to be page numbers start to creep into the text mid-way through the book. It's almost as if the publisher put little to no effort into porting the paper copy to an electronic format. I do call this a "port" (and a shoddy one at that) because it bears the unmistakable marks of someone shoving a paper book into a photo-copier (again, I cite the page numbers embedded in the text).
This is one of my favorite books of all time. The tale is gripping, suspenseful, and and an emotionally stirring ride. The characters are relatable and the setting is dark and foreboding. "1984" is an amazing commentary on the dark path humanity might end up following, and a warning against fear and inaction in the face of tyranny. The book has one of the best endings ever, and the conclusion will both satisfy and tug your heartstrings.
Orwell wrote this right after WW2 when the Cold War began. Totalitarianism comes in many forms and can disable humanism and free thought. 1984 is a concept which unfortunately rings true. One only has to study human history and current events to see that it is indeed real and all around us.