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1984 (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1950


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classic (July 1, 1950)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451524934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451524935
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life--the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language--and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Yet before one has finished reading the nearly bemused first page, it is evident that this is fiction of another order, and presently one makes the distinctly unpleasant discovery that it is not to be satire at all. -- The New York Times Book Review, Mark Schorer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

GEORGE ORWELL (1903-1950) was born in India and served with the Imperial Police in Burma before joining the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was the author of six novels as well as numerous essays and nonfiction works.

Customer Reviews

George Orwell was a very political writer in books such as '1984' and, this book, 'Animal Farm.'
yoshiki
This book is written in simple English making it easy to read and understand for all readers ranging from school children to adults.
Elijah Chingosho
Very well thought our characters, a good symbolic story line and other ironic twists make this a good story.
The Great psychic_x

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

687 of 768 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Alcat on August 7, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Eric Arthur Blair was an important English writer that you probably already know by the pseudonym of George Orwell. He wrote quite a few books, but many believe that his more influential ones were "Animal farm" (1944) and "1984" (1948).In those two books he conveyed, metaphorically and not always obviously, what Soviet Russia meant to him.

I would like to make some comments about the second book, "1984". That book was written near his death, when he was suffering from tuberculosis, what might have had a lot to do with the gloominess that is one of the essential characteristics of "1984". The story is set in London, in a nightmarish 1984 that for Orwell might well have been a possibility, writting as he was many years before that date. Or maybe, he was just trying to warn his contemporaries of the dangers of not opposing the Soviet threat, a threat that involved a new way of life that was in conflict with all that the English held dear.

Orwell tried to depict a totalitarian state, where the truth didn't exist as such, but was merely what the "Big Brother" said it was. Freedom was only total obedience to the Party, and love an alien concept, unless it was love for the Party. The story is told from the point of view of Winston Smith, a functionary of the Ministry of Truth whose work involved the "correction" of all records each time the "Big Brother" decided that the truth had changed. The Party slogan said that "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past", and they applied it constantly by "bringing up to date" the past so as to make it coincide with whatever the Party wanted.

From Winston Smith's point of view, many things that scare us are normal.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 13, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1949, George Orwell (pen-name of Eric Arthur Blair) published what many consider his magnum opus, Nineteen Eighty-Four. In this dystopian future, Great Britain is part of an ideological superstate that maintains a totalitarian grip on society that is all-encompassing, with the population being monitored by round-the-clock surveillance, with government agencies that control all aspects of daily life, and with the very language manipulated to stifle un-approved thinking. It's the story of Winston Smith, who dreams that it might just be possible to oppose "the Party" and bring about change, and it's about the lessons he learns about the true nature of power in the modern world.

I first read this book in 1988, and while I did find it interesting, I thought that it went too far in expanding the Communist system of oppression to the entire world. But, watching the world around me I am astounded to find that Mr. Orwell's dystopia is actually beginning to have its echoes in my reality. I reread the book, and was surprised at just how prescient the book really was. The government wishing to monitor people without search warrants, the limitless laws that seem to reach into every aspect of everyday life, and even the manipulation of language to remove certain words or ideas as "politically incorrect."

Just how much does this book reflect reality? For those who would lead us, is it true that, "power is not a means, it's an end"? Is it true that, "If you want a vision of the future...imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever"? Or perhaps it's a boot on a human neck?

Whether this book is a prescient look at a future that is already being built, or a piece of doomsayer literature that goes too far, it is a classic of English literature that cannot be ignored. I find this to be one of the most interesting and disturbing books that I have ever read, and it is definitely one that I think should be read by EVERYONE.
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144 of 160 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Alcat on September 15, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Animal farm" is to this day one of the best attempts to criticize a totalitarian regime through the means that literature provides: the power of words. George Orwell (1903- 1950) wanted to help others to realize things that for him were evident, and attempted to do so by writing a fable that can easily be read as a satire of the Russian Revolution. Orwell said in an article that "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it. It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects. It is simply a question of which side one takes and what approach one follows".

Orwell also pointed out that "Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole". He succeded beyond his wildest expectations, even though at first nobody wanted to publish this work because it was too controversial.

The plot of this book is relatively easy to grasp, and I think that is probably one of the reasons why it is so popular. Some animals decide to take over the conduction of a farm, because they believe there is too much injustice, and that they would improve the situation if they had the power to do so. They make a revolution, and end up evicting Mr. Jones, the owner of the farm. From that moment onwards, the farm is called "Animal farm"...
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