Nineteen Eighty-four

Nineteen Eighty-four

Book - 1992
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While the totalitarianism that provoked George Orwell into writing 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' seems to be passing into oblivion, his harrowing, cautionary tale of a man trapped in a political nightmare has had the opposite fate, and its relevance and power to disturb our complacency seem to grow decade by decade.
Publisher: New York : Knopf/Penguin, c1992
ISBN: 9780679417392
Branch Call Number: ORW
Characteristics: xlii, 325 p. ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: 1984


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Aug 24, 2019

5 stars - a must read
There are bad books, good books and important books, 1984 is an important book.
Orwell's 1984 is a warning against an over bearing and corrupt government (dystopia society throught too much control of our daily lives by the government.
Some people think this book to extreme. Orwell was using the USSR as an example, read up on the USSR and see what Orwell was warning against. People flee dictatorships, it is not hard to see why.
This novel gave us the line "Big Brother is watching". This is a world where even your thoughts are not your own. Imagine living in a one party system and you let it slip that you hated that political party. In a dictatorship with no tolerance or free speech, that person could land in legal trouble. Perhaps not every scenario described in the book seems like it could happen (if say, you are using the USA as your point of reference). But, the daily life of the average North Korean person is as foreign to an American, as say the gravity on the moon is to the gravity on earth.
1984 is more then a book that repeats over and over that dictatorsips and big government is bad, it is about losing your humanity in a dystopia. Toward the end, the main character is tortured, starved and talks about his legs getting so thin he can wrap his hand around his thigh.

Aug 18, 2019

further reading:
“Democracy and Its Crisis”
A.C. Grayling 1949-
Oneworld Publications 2017, hc, 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1786072890, ISBN-13: 978-1786072894
Anthony Clifford Grayling CBE, 1949-
“Enemies of Freedom : Understanding Right-Wing Authoritarianism”
Robert Anthony “Bob” Altemeyer 1940-
Jossey Bass Social and Behavioral Science Series
Jossey-Bass 1st edition 1988, hc, 378 pages
ISBN-10: 1555420974, ISBN-13: 978-1555420970
“Fighting Back the Right : Reclaiming America From the Attack on Reason”
David Niose 1962-
St. Martin's Press 2014, hc, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1137279249, ISBN-13: 978-1137279248
“Fixing America : Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media, and the Religious Right”
John Buchanan (author), John McConnell (foreword)
Trine Day 2005, pbk, 270 pages
ISBN-10: 0975290681, ISBN-13: 978-0975290682
“F.U.B.A.R. : America's Right-wing Nightmare”
Samuel L. Seder 1966- and Stephen Sherrill 1961-
Harper 2006, hc, ISBN-10: 0060846712, ISBN-13: 978-00608467182006
“The Party of Fear : From Nativist Movements to the New Right in American History”
David H. Bennett
Vintage Books Revised edition 1995, pbk, 608 pages
ISBN-10: 0679767215, ISBN-13: 978-0679767213
“The Politics of Fear : How Republicans Use Money, Race, and the Media to Win”
Manuel G. Gonzales, Professor of History at Diablo Valley College
Paradigm Publishers, 1st edition, 2006, hc
ISBN-10: 1594512418, ISBN-13: 978-1594512414
Paradigm Publishers, 1st edition, 2006, pbk,
ISBN-10: 1594512426, ISBN-13: 978-1594512421

Aug 06, 2019

While I understand Orwell's wish to argue "communism is bad" &c. he takes his world building to an impossible extreme that it makes his entire argument laughable. On top of this, the protagonist is far from likable.

Aug 04, 2019

I read this book many years ago as a much younger person, and as some other reviewers have said, I did not appreciate its darkness the way I have at this reading. It is a disturbing read in and of itself, but it particularly disturbed me now because so many of the things Orwell wrote about, that seemed so far-fetched years ago, are actually happening now - for instance the listening devices most people are subjected to, such as Smart TVs, Alexa, Siri and iPhones (don’t believe it? See Edmonton Journal, August 3/2019, page NP7).
Then there the appalling things happening in the U.S.A. For instance, presidential rallies that are very similar to the Two Minutes Hate rallies, removal from government websites of scientific knowledge about pesticides and climate change, division of the world into three superpowers (China, Russia, U.S.A.?) and much more. George Orwell was a prescient writer and thoughtful people who follow world politics might find this a compelling and interesting read. But it won’t make you feel better, it will just give you more to think about.

Jul 29, 2019

I can’t believe I didn’t read this until 2019. Better late than never, however. There are good reasons why it consistently makes “top” lists. The year 1984 may have come and gone but this book is still incredibly relevant and important.

I had originally wanted to read this book when I was younger, but I realize now that I would not have been able to understand the dark undertones that it implied. I felt that the book moved very slowly, but I was worried for the main character's life on each page. While reading, I was also shocked at the similarities I found between our present world and the world under Big Brother. The book also creates a very detailed depiction of the world, with a new language and even a list of vocabulary with definitions. It introduced me to many concepts I had not heard of or thought of, and made me think very deeply about things that go on around me. Overall, I highly recommend this book for young adults who love dystopian novels.

onehalfofyouth May 25, 2019

“1984” by DAVID BOWIE: Bowie wrote this as the theme to a musical version of George Orwell's novel 1984. The musical never surfaced as the Orwell estate would not authorize it. (via

May 21, 2019

While I understand that the point of "1984" is to warn readers about totalitarianism by painting a detailed future dystopia, I find this book's plot to be extremely disappointing. Throughout the book, it seems as if all the events (Winston's love for Julia, meeting O'Brien, joining the Brotherhood, reading Goldstein's book, etc) are leading up to, perhaps, a rebellion; but instead, Winston and Julia are suddenly arrested by the Thought Police, and "1984" ends shortly after when they have been utterly defeated by the Party. "1984" is a great book to make us aware of the possibility of a totalitarian future, but its plot is also quite dull and anticlimactic.

May 04, 2019

This novel by George Orwell is one of the most well known and famous dystopian stories I have ever read and heard of. Its strong storyline and harrowing picture of “Oceania” was something I never expected. It really connected to today’s society with all the high technology devices eavesdropping in people's homes, and secret agencies always listening in. A man named Winston Smith reminds himself that freedom means being free to say that two and two make four even though the Party force him to agree to think “two and two make five”. The Party makes you reject what you see and hear and Winston vows to defend “the true” and “the obvious”. I enjoy reading historical stories and this one was very intriguing and attracting. However this book may not be suitable for younger ages and should be read by people older than 16. I rate this book a 9 out of 10 stars, I would truly recommend reading this book. @YoumnaLovesBooks of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Johnny English Strikes Again is an amazing movie. Another installment in the Johnny English trilogy, this film brings back fan favorite elements that make you want to laugh, cry, and scream. In the film, Johnny English has retired, but the UK is in danger once more. As a result, Johnny English comes out of retirement to save the day. If you are a fan of the Johnny English series or enjoy a good comedy flick. This is the movie for you. I rate this film 4/5 stars. - @CoolReadz of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

An astounding book that is similar to animal farm but unlike animal farm the plot of this story has more to do with the effects of a totalitarian state rather than the process. The story follows Winston Smith as he tries to hide his distaste for the ruling party and its rules. In this book there are many examples of fictionalized phenomena that may occur in an authoritarian regime ranging from things likes “doublethink” to “newspeak”. This story serves as cautionary tale of what can happen when the primacy of the individual is overshadowed by forced conformity. This book keeps things interesting and for this reason I rate this book 5/5, it also set a basis for many other dystopian books to follow. Anyone interested in dystopian novels must read this book. @selfhelpguru of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Mar 23, 2019

I read this so long ago and remembered the tag lines, but not all of them. So young then and didn’t see the finer points of this foretelling of the future. This time around, I see some of it coming true. Although I hope and pray we never get there in the fullest extent, the culture of assigning to one race, religion or any other difference to be found, a demonizing without knowledge is a foreboding sign.

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Jan 05, 2019

"He remembered how once he had been walking down a crowded street when a tremendous shout of hundreds of voices women's voices--had burst from a side-street a little way ahead. It was a great formidable cry of anger and despair, a deep, loud 'Oh-o-o-o-oh!' that went humming on like the reverberation of a bell. His heart had leapt. It's started! he had thought. A riot! The proles are breaking loose at last! When he had reached the spot it was to see a mob of two or three hundred women crowding round the stalls of a street market, with faces as tragic as though they had been the doomed passengers on a sinking ship. But at this moment the general despair broke down into a multitude of individual quarrels. It appeared that one of the stalls had been selling tin saucepans."

ArapahoeKatieK May 23, 2018

“Big Brother is Watching You.”

Feb 05, 2018

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

Feb 04, 2018

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

Feb 04, 2018

“In the face of pain there are no heroes.”

Feb 04, 2018

“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”

Feb 04, 2018

“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

Feb 04, 2018

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

Feb 04, 2018

“We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.”

Feb 04, 2018

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”

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May 21, 2019

climbTheStairs thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Feb 03, 2018

itsapurplegiraffe thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 03, 2016

Calsx thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

May 12, 2016

mohandess2 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jun 02, 2015

Danuvius thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jan 28, 2014

liya6 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

SweetTreatsz125 Jul 22, 2013

SweetTreatsz125 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

platypus101 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

pratima1 Jun 18, 2013

pratima1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

neutravlad May 02, 2013

neutravlad thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

Orwell had a daunting task: creating a future nearly half a century away from the time period in which he was writing. This future had to be its own complex, independent society, but it also had to be the natural end result of the totalitarianism Orwell witnessed in the communist and socialist regimes of World War II. That's part of the horror of 1984: this future is a recognizable one, even in the 21st century. It's easy to see how those in control can, through manipulation and propaganda, maintain that control simply for the sake of sating their own power hunger. It's easy to say "no one could ever tell me what to think or what to do," but the Party's use of Big Brother, the Thought Police, the Two-Minute Hate, and Doublethink make it easy to see how a person's ability to think independently and discern fiction from reality can be eroded when there is no touchstone to fact. Revising and rewriting the past to make certain that Big Brother and the Party are always correct has effectively eliminated historical accuracy. How can one think and reason in a society where everything is a fabrication?

JennComishen Jul 17, 2012

Winston, a member of the straight forward, controlled society we now live in 1984, begins to question Big Brother, along with a collegue of his. The two of them get information and try to take down Big Brother themselves, however with the help of a betrayel Big Brother catches on to their plans. Using the dark methods of Double think and the haunting room 101, both Winston and his collegue are 'barinwashed' as the rest of society is, and taken over by Big Brother

Bayside Jul 02, 2012

Nineteen Eighty-four is about a Utopian society set in that year. In this society the government controls everything, including the past, the present, the future, privacy and language. Citizens are controlled by fear and brainwashing, and are always under direct supervision by telescreens, allowing little to no privacy. The novel revolves around a member of the society by the name of Winston. Winston is a relatively average member who, throughout the course of the novel, begins to secretly rebel against his government.


Add Notices
May 26, 2015

Sexual Content: Contains sex throughout. However, it is not particularly graphic. But it is throughout. There are some sex scenes, references, prostitutes (Man has a dream about going to a 60 year old prostitute: Disturbing) Sex talk throughout.

Jan 28, 2014

Violence: Contains violence

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