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2024 Hardcover – May 1, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Combining the most depressing aspects of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World, Ted Rall's 2024 shows us where turn-of-the-century corporate America is heading if we don't collectively wake up. Yet, like most of Rall's work, it's not a downer. Even when the reader sees a not-so-twisted reflection of his or her own life in Winston and Julia's horrifying misadventures in neopostmodern "Canamexicusa," it's usually more of a belly laugh than a gut punch. Tearing away at the shrouds of irony that keep us from experiencing our lives more directly for all their faults, Rall captures the essence of our reactions to soft oppression by having his characters repeat the mantra "Yes. No. Whatever." If the best criticism is satire, then 2024 is as good as it gets. --Rob Lightner

From Publishers Weekly

Executed in his familiar black and white blockish graphics, Rall's latest (Search and Destroy; My War with Brian) takes place in a future where blind consumerism has rendered history and human consciousness irrelevant. 2024 is meant to be a sly, 1984-inflected commentary on the shallowness of our times, but it never quite manages to measure up to its formidable literary model. In Rall's vision of the future, Web TV is omnipresent, and the economy is run by megacorporations that exploit ethnic tensions in trade wars. As in 1984, the protagonists are named Winston and Julia, and share a fickle dissatisfaction with the corporate system that dictates and monitors their lives. They live in a world where news and history are easily revised digitally, and shopping and pornography substitute for social interaction and passion. It's a "future where the past doesn't matter and no one cares" and where the key to life, says Winston, is to "keep yourself entertained, stave off boredom... hope for a way out before you come up for euthanasia." Rall's view of the future's social contract is a razor-sharp, irony-saturated parody of today's pop culture/consumerist consciousness. But his bleak lampoon of the mindless consumer state requires a lot of exposition, and, at times, his bold-faced text boxes threaten to visually overwhelm the exploits of his characters. Indeed, the characters sometimes function more as talking points than as protagonists. Even his updates of Orwellian doublespeak ("Assumptions Permit Imagination," etc.) are used to poor effect, with frequent, text-laden shifts of events undercutting the work's narrative logic. Undeniably smart and witty, the book can also be a bit awkward and disjointed.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: NBM Publishing (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561632791
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561632794
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,740,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ted Rall is a nationally syndicated political cartoonist, columnist, graphic novelist, editor, author and occasional war correspondent.

Twice the winner of the RFK Journalism Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Rall's important books include "Revenge of the Latchkey Kids," about the travails of Generation X, and "Silk Road to Ruin," a survey of ex-Soviet Central Asia. He traveled to Afghanistan during the fall 2001 U.S. invasion, where he drew and wrote "To Afghanistan and Back," the first book of any kind about the war. He was also one of the first journalists to declare the war effort doomed, writing in The Village Voice in December 2001 that the occupation had already been lost.

Rall's latest book is "The Book of Obama: How We Went From Hope and Change to the Age of Revolt." His next book, "After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan," comes out in November 2013.

Inspired after meeting pop artist Keith Haring in a Manhattan subway station in 1986, Rall began posting his cartoons on New York City streets. He eventually picked up 12 small clients, including NY Weekly and a poetry review in Halifax, Nova Scotia, through self-syndication. In 1990, he returned to Columbia University to resume his studies, from which he graduated with a bachelor of arts with honors in history in 1991. (His honors thesis was about American plans to occupy France as an enemy power at the end of World War II.) Later that year, Rall's cartoons were signed for national syndication by San Francisco Chronicle Features, which is no longer in business. He moved to Universal Press Syndicate in 1996.

His cartoons now appear in more than 100 publications around the United States, including the Los Angeles Times, Tucson Weekly, the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Pasadena Weekly and MAD Magazine.

Rall considers himself a neo-traditionalist who uses a unique drawing style to revive the aggressive approach of Thomas Nast, who viewed editorial cartoons as a vehicle for change. His focus is on issues important to ordinary working people--he keeps a sign asking "What do actual people care about?" above his drafting table--such as un- and underemployment, the environment and popular culture, but also comments on political and social trends.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Munawar Ali on February 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I dont' care what the other reviewers claim, this comic is depressing. I can't drink my starbucks coffee the same way anymore. :) Rall does his thing, were he keeps nailing shocking concepts into your head. You'd be reeling from the last page, before he hits you again with something else just as shocking.
Overall a quick and very enjoyable book. If you take out the 1984 satire stuff, the book is funny, intriguing, insightful, and downright scary. It left me a couple of nights thinking about how screwed up Western Society really is. Buy it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shin Gallon on May 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
While the idea of updating Orwell's book 1984 is a good one and in the hands of a master could be gripping, this is by Ted Rall and thus the delivery is simply abysmal. I never laughed, the main character is thoroughly unlikeable and has zero redeeming qualities, and as usual Rall's art alternates between being merely terrible and being the worst child-like scrawls ever printed. I'm not sure if his inability to convey action through art (which, being an "artist" he should be able to do rather than rely on giant caption boxes in 95% of the panels) or his utter inability to draw faces expressing emotion is the worse crime, but either way the art is somehow, miraculously, not the worst thing about this book.
There is no momentum. Each page seems to be from a different narrative and there is zero consistency with Winston's personality, sometimes changing several times on the same page. Every time it seems like the plot is about to get going it just derails into another non-sequiter. Reading this was a Master's thesis on tedium. It's not funny, it's not insightful, and Rall's art doesn't even give an attractive window-dressing to the work. I deeply regret wasting my time reading it and wish I'd just quit because there's no payoff.
1/10
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DWD's Reviews VINE VOICE on July 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Tad Rall's "2024" promises a look at "A terrifying future where the past doesn't matter and no one cares!"

It was not particularly terrifying nor particularly original. Rall says he is inspired by George Orwell's "1984", but he has really ran smack dab into Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and George Lucas's "THX 1138" - a future society in which people are controlled by drugs, interactive video porn and other distractions. Not only is Rall's book derivative of the two I mentioned, he didn't even do work up to their standards of quality.

If you want brief entertainment (less than an hour for this reviewer to read the entire thing) and a "lite" version of some deeper works that covers no new ground and features artwork that reminded this reader of Matt Groening's "Life in Hell" series, than this may be your book. Heck, even one of his best lines is a direct rip-off of an old John Cougar album title: "Nothing Matters and What If It Did".

I give this one a "C-" - it is not totally without merit and maybe it will encourage a reader to pick up any of the other works that I have mentioned (including the John Cougar album) for better insight.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Hanks on January 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
This graphic novel is basically just a satire of "1984". The storyline is kind of erratic, but if you have read "1984" you will completely understand what is going on. "2024" is a humorous prediction from Ted Rall on what the future will be like. Instead of Big Brother watching, it is us who are watching each other, and it is scary look at what the future will be like. Of course since it is Ted Rall, this sad look at the future of society is completely hilarious. If you've read "1984" and are a fan of Ted Rall or just curious, then by all means purchase this book. The only downfall of this book is that it is sort of short but it is still a funny read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've seen Ted Rall's gloopy-nosed box figures, you'll know it. He has a distinctive style and a distinctive wit, which is informed here by Orwellian nightmares as our "hero", Winston, not only copes with fickle neopostmodernism but embraces it. It is a thoroughly depressing vision of the future, but somehow it is funny too. So perhaps Ted Rall is part of the problem -- getting us to laugh instead of fight as we enter the slaughterhouse gates? Yes. No. Whatever.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Robert W. Holzbach on September 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
... But even Ted Rall's best work doesn't merit 5 stars. 5 stars should be reserved for the giants of the graphic novel medium, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore etc. I can understand how someone could like 2024, but five stars?!? I mean, come on!

I've liked Rall's comic strips. His drawing style is unique and fun, and he's an intelligent guy. He also has a lot of high quality ammunition to fire at this distopian comsumerist/techno crazy society. Yet, 2024 lacked the #1 thing I've gone to his comics for ... humor!

Yes, there were a few funny parts, but not nearly enough to justify this much ink shed.

As for the politics, I'm afraid he's just going to be preaching to the converted here.

Try his web page for his free stuff, and maybe his collections (the worst thing I've ever done) before buying this.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert P. Chatham on July 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Ted Rall parodies Orwell's 1984 while satirizing the consumer-oriented lifestyle of the 1990s/2000s and he hits the nail on the head. Funnier than anything else I've read this year, you'll probably wince a few times, recognizing yourself or someone you know. Plotline: A Gen-X consumer in the year 2024 spends all day playing video games and buying crap online. When the chance is presented to have an affair with a higher class worker, he goes for it, until both are arrested by one of the large corporations for being selfish and hurting profits. Unlike Orwell's Winston, we never see a change in any of the characters... they're happily stupid and want to stay that way... but there's still an uncomfortable feeling when we see how close society's heading down this path.
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