4.10.2024 | Wednesday


category: Book Reviews

1984title: 1984
author: George Orwell
published: 8 June 1949
publisher: Secker & Warburg
genre(s): dystopian
pages: 388
source: bought
format: eBook
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | BookHype | Goodreads

rating: three-stars

the blurb

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.

  • a few notes
  • review

content warning: ❗some graphic violence, descriptions of physical/emotional torture❗

POV: 3rd person
keywords/phrases: control, totalitarianism, politics, oppression
tropes: double-cross, troubled protagonist, gaslighting
spice: 0/5
language: 0/5

1984 is inarguably a classic piece of dystopian literature, a genre I typically very much enjoy. But while I have respect for its importance, it was really an up-and-down experience for me.

What I enjoyed…

  • The way the world as imagined by Orwell feels tragically possible. As a child who spent the first 19 years of her life in the Cold War era, the book hits hard with its fear of the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent system of totalitarianism.
  • The portrayal of Julia. She felt very real to me, the way she accepted the way the world worked, even as she hated it, with little thought or care to change it. She had little thought beyond her own little world, all too willing to accept the bad things as a general rule, if they didn’t affect her.
  • The brutal reality of O’Brien. The blunt way he explains power and the future to Winston is chilling but thought-provoking.

What I didn’t enjoy…

  • The total lack of character arc/change. Maybe this isn’t fair of me, as that was the whole point of Orwell… that human beings are inherently flawed and slow to react and change.
  • The characters. Again, perhaps this is an unfair assessment for the same reason, but there was little that was redeeming about Winston or Julia. It was difficult for me to really care much about either of them.
  • The pacing. There were long stretches that felt like punishment to read through. There were times when it just felt overly repetitive to me.

Rating Report
Overall: three-stars

reading challenges:

  • 2024 52 Books Reading Challenge
  • 2024 Alphabet Soup: Author Edition Reading Challenge
  • 2024 Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge
  • 2024 Linz the Bookworm Reading Challenge
::spread the love::

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