1984 by George Orwell
(Signet Classics)

75%

23 Critic Reviews

Composed, logically derived, this grim forecasting blueprints the means and methods of mass control, the techniques of maintaining power, the fundamentals of political duplicity, and offers as arousing a picture as the author's previous Animal Farm. Certain to create interest, comment, and consideration.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

In 1984, London is a grim city where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston 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.

 

About George Orwell

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George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in 1903 in Motihari in Bengal, India and later studied at Eton for four years. Orwell was an assistant superintendent with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. He left the position after five years and then moved to Paris, where he wrote his first two books, Burmese Days and Down and Out In Paris. Orwell then moved to Spain to write but decided to join the United Workers Marxist Party Militia. After being decidedly opposed to communism, Orwell served in the British Home Guard and with the Indian Service of the BBC during World War II. He started writing for the Observer and was literary editor for the Tribune. Soon after he published the world-famous book, Animal Farm, which became a huge success for Orwell. It was then towards the end of his life when Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four. George Orwell died on January 23, 1950 in London.
 
Published October 17, 1983 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 322 pages
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Critic reviews for 1984
All: 23 | Positive: 20 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Above average
on Nov 02 2011

Composed, logically derived, this grim forecasting blueprints the means and methods of mass control, the techniques of maintaining power, the fundamentals of political duplicity, and offers as arousing a picture as the author's previous Animal Farm. Certain to create interest, comment, and consideration.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Saptarshi Ray on Aug 06 2011

On any day in Kolkata, the sensory overload is palpable as people snake through the unkempt avenues and the heat and the rains lash you alternately. But that trip and that book in concert left me dizzy...I already loved the city, but on that trip I learned to love Orwell.

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The Independent

Above average
Reviewed by Jonathan Freedland on Jul 02 2015

...when people read the book, as I did as a young teenager, what holds them is the fate of its protagonist, Winston Smith, his lover Julia, and their doomed attempt to taste freedom. The book succeeds because it is no manifesto, but an absorbing, deeply affecting story.

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Suite 101

Above average
Reviewed by Nicholas Morine on Nov 03 2009

This dark literature is ominous, warning man not to become complacent nor to surrender his individuality nor sovereignty – lest a yoke be placed upon his shoulders and his future be stripped from his own hands.

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Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by James Parsons on Mar 31 2009

...the book is as readable, thought-provoking and relevant as it was when first published in 1949...He especially inspires the reader to greater vigilance in times of national threat and war, for these are times when the infringement of personal liberties are most easily justified by the oligarchy.

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The Uncustomary Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Kat Kiddles on Jul 29 2013

I absolutely believe in equality in terms of our basic rights, and especially in terms of respect. Deep down, I think that is what we are all after, to not be walked on and to be spoken to as if we matter. I make an effort to that end every day.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by cheywan♥♥ on Aug 27 2014

One of the books I read this summer is 1984 by George Orwell. The theme of this book is power by control. It is about a totalitarian government.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by lazydude on Aug 27 2014

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy stories about dystopian futures, such as V for Vendetta, which is similar to this story.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Aug 27 2014

...this book opened my mind to aninteresting political subject. At least attempt to read 1984. It's certainlyworth the effort.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Tracy E. on Jan 27 2014

Orwell had an uncanny knack for forcing his readers to reflect on and acknowledge the freedoms that many of us take for granted.

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EzineArticles

Excellent
Reviewed by Luke Bodell on Jul 16 2010

This book can be read as both a highly interesting story as well as illustrating the dangerous, destructive nature of totalitarian governments. One of the most widely read novels in modern times, 1984 is recommended to all.

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Brothers Judd

Excellent
on Aug 27 2014

...Orwell went beyond these easier targets and attacked Socialism and centralized government in general...1984 is clearly the greatest novel of the 20th Century and should be #1 on the Modern Library list.

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Parental Book Reviews

Above average
on Aug 27 2014

I was, of course, hoping for an ending in which Winston, who I grew to relate to throughout the novel, came out the hero, somehow overthrowing the Party and saving the magnificence of the human race; but this was not what the novel intended to illustrate.

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Between The Covers

Good
Reviewed by Jamaal on Jun 21 2011

Revolutions occur when enough like-minded people feel that they are being oppressed; but if the oppressed people do not realize that they are being held back, those who truly feel oppressed are few and far between. 1984 was an enthralling, interesting read, and out of five stars, I eagerly give it four.

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http://roofbeamreader.com

Good
on Aug 27 2011

...the follow-through and lack of happy ending, though part of me was hoping for something else, is actually what makes 1984 such a stand-out novel – powerful, thought-provoking, and terrifyingly possible.

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Reading to Know

Good
Reviewed by Carrie on Apr 30 2015

I found 1984 to be rather depressing. However, I think it's a book we should all read. We can see the dangers of socialism.

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Pages Unbound

Good
Reviewed by Krysta on Sep 12 2013

Though it presents a gloomy vision of the future of the world (if it continues in the course Orwell sees it following),1984 is ultimately a celebration of the beauty and power of the human spirit.

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Tales Untangled

Good
Reviewed by Michelle on Oct 19 2012

This is not a book to read for a fun, fluffy time, and it is not enjoyable in that sense. It is valuable and we can see shades of warning in our time.

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http://www.challengingdestiny.com

Below average
Reviewed by James Schellenberg on Mar 15 1999

Unfortunately, the last half of the book is not very interesting. Yes, Orwell continues to use many fascinating ideas, and the images of Winston under torture are indeed horrific. But the story comes to a crashing halt.

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Booking Through 365

Excellent
Reviewed by Emma on Sep 11 2013

This book is a must-read for every person who is currently alive. It shows how cultures can be destroyed, and how truly important free speech is. It's also spectacularly crafted.

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Story Treasury

Good
Reviewed by Sonia Lal on Oct 08 2011

...Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers...

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Blurb Book Reviews

Below average
on Aug 27 2014

Maybe I’m being ignorant. Maybe I’m missing something fundamental or didn’t look into the text in enough depth but I didn’t enjoy this book and I was glad to move onto reading something else.

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http://www.theargus.ca

Excellent
Reviewed by Alex Calnan on Sep 26 2012

...I want to stress that everyone should read this novel at some point in their lives.Indeed, it is such a seminal piece of political literature because it will always be applicable to our culture.

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Reader Rating for 1984
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