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Nineteen Eighty-Four First Thus Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 634 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0679417392
ISBN-10: 0679417397
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Outside, even through the shut window pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no color in anything except the posters that were plastered everywhere."

The year is 1984; the scene is London, largest population center of Airstrip One.

Airstrip One is part of the vast political entity Oceania, which is eternally at war with one of two other vast entities, Eurasia and Eastasia. At any moment, depending upon current alignments, all existing records show either that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia, or that it has always been at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia. Winston Smith knows this, because his work at the Ministry of Truth involves the constant "correction" of such records. "'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"

In a grim city and a terrifying country, 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. He knows the Party's official image of the world is a fluid fiction. He knows the Party controls the people by feeding them lies and narrowing their imaginations through a process of bewilderment and brutalization that alienates each individual from his fellows and deprives him of every liberating human pursuit from reasoned inquiry to sexual passion. 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.

Newspeak, doublethink, thoughtcrime--in 1984, George Orwell created a whole vocabulary of words concerning totalitarian control that have since passed into our common vocabulary. More importantly, he has portrayed a chillingly credible dystopia. In our deeply anxious world, the seeds of unthinking conformity are everywhere in evidence; and Big Brother is always looking for his chance. --Daniel Hintzsche --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Nineteen Eighty-Four is a remarkable book; as a virtuoso literary performance it has a sustained brilliance that has rarely been matched in other works of its genre…It is as timely as the label on a poison bottle.” –New York Herald Tribune

“A profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book…Orwell’s theory of power is developed brilliantly.” –The New Yorker

“A book that goes through the reader like an east wind, cracking the skin…Such are the originality, the suspense, the speed of writing, and withering indignation that it is impossible to put the book down.” –V. S. Pritchett

“Orwell’s novel escorts us so quietly, so directly, and so dramatically from our own day to the fate which may be ours in the future, that the experience is a blood-chilling one.” –Saturday Review
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Product Details

  • Series: Everyman's Library (Cloth)
  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library; First Thus edition (November 3, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679417397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679417392
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (634 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nothing needs to be said about 1984 as a story - it's an excellent read.

However, the publisher should be ashamed of the "Kindle edition" of this great novel. Page numbers (which mean nothing on a Kindle) frequently show up in the middle of sentences. It seems that the publisher scanned the paper text, ran it through some OCR software, and published the work without a human reviewing it for quality.
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The Kindle Edition of 1984 is incredibly sloppy. There are some blatant typos I'm surprised weren't noticed by editors, but the real slap in the face is when there are page numbers (from the print edition) in the middle of sentences that someone didn't bother removing when they copy/pasted the book from whatever was on file.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Great book, but its already happening in real life. This is a book that should be taught in our schools, but of course they dont want to teach this side. For a possible outcome after 1984, read "Truth's Blood."
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Format: Kindle Edition
If you have not yet read this classic, you absolutely MUST. That is all that can be said about the book itself. Its impact on popular culture alone necessitates a careful perusal.

However, after paying almost $9 for this Kindle version (when I'm fairly confident that a trip to a used bookseller would have uncovered a physical copy for less than $5), I was disappointed to find typographical errors everywhere.

I can understand that the publishers are rushing to make their books available electronically, but surely, even Spellcheck would have found some of these errors. Am I the only one bemoaning the lack of craftsmanship in publishing anymore?
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I have a hard time putting this book down. It is chilling how much control the government has. We couldn't imagine having "telescreens" in our house that watch our every move. "Big Brother" is always watching members of the Party. People are heavily controlled. The past is rewritten to fit with Party goals of the present.

Honestly, though this book is far fetched in the scope of government control, I think it is riveting because we are seeing our civil liberties eroded away in America. The government recently seized 2 months worth of phone records from the Associated Press, exposing their sources, which are supposed to be confidential. Wiretaps are placed on people simply because of their religion. Government whistleblowers are being prosecuted, such as a few who have blown the whistle about torture of detainees. All of this says that our government is leaning towards more and more secrecy which is dangerous in a democracy.

I highly recommend this book. Thought provoking. A classic.
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I had read this novel long before 1984 and with all the references to it in the latest "big brother" news leaks, I thought i would do a re-read. Glad i did!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am on a kick of re-reading books that changed the way I see the world when I was younger, books like Atlas Shrugged, Brave New World and 1984 -- they're all pretty heavy-handed. To be sure, Atlas Shrugged is the worst if for no other reason than it is painfully long. But all make a sort of attempt to build a plot and sooner or later digress into some sort of manifesto. In the case of 1984, the main character finds a banned book from the leader of the resistance and several chapters of the real book are from the fictional book.

One thing I do recall from learning to write in high school and college is: show, don't tell. All of these books, in particular 1984 are pretty thin using the fiction and plot as a thin veneer over their views. In each case, they fall into long monologs or sections that suggest the author is bored of trying to present their dystopian worlds as a canvas. I would have gotten a C+ at best for any of these had I turned them in.

What's interesting to me why these books are so different now. In the case of 1984, I read it when that year was still in the future and it wasn't quite so dated. But I was also 16 and perhaps not as critical a reader as I am now. Or perhaps the end of the cold war and all that has happened since has just changed the way the world is. Or maybe in my youth or ignorance I was more tolerant of these black-and-white views of the world.

So in a way, it's worth re-reading as a way of reflection on ones past. Perhaps I won't be as disappointed as I delve back into the three books that made me appreciate literature: The Sun Also Rises, Crime and Punishment, and The Red and the Black.
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Phenomenal book. Too bad it's not required reading before citizens are allowed to vote. I read this in high school and it was just "ok" at he time. Now that I've lived a little, it's worth every penny.
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