1984 (Paperback)

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By George Orwell, Thomas Pynchon (Foreword by)
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Staff Reviews

This review might seem redundant (given that the word Orwellian is a part of our cultural lexicon) but I really want to impress upon you how, personally, this book was at least 75% wasted on me when I read it in High School. As an adult, I was really blown away at how obnoxiously good it actually is. George Orwell's mind is so razor-sharp and he is so well-reasoned, that this book does the best job of, perhaps any piece of fiction I've read, identifying the essential social and psychological mechanisms of totalitarianism. The highest aim of the Party is to control language, and in doing so they not only control how people speak to one another, but even more importantly, how they speak to themselves. In other words, Big Brother destroys language, therefore destroying the mind's ability to think and conceptualize beyond certain set parameters, and he effectively claims ownership over consensus reality. Orwell thought that this message was important enough, and that totalitarianism stemming from both extreme Far-Right and Far-Left governments was an imminent enough danger, that he desperately worked to complete this book, an artistic and political last will and testament, practically on his deathbed.   — From Salvatore's Picks


Written 70 years ago, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, his dystopian vision of a government that will do anything to control the narrative is timelier than ever...

•Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.

Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching...

A startling and haunting vision of the world, 1984 is so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the influence of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

Includes a foreword by Thomas Pynchon

About the Author

George Orwell (pseudonym for Eric Blair [1903-50]) was born in Bengal and educated at Eton; after service with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, he returned to Europe to earn his living penning novels and essays. He was essentially a political writer who focused his attention on his own times, a man of intense feelings and intense hates. An opponent of totalitarianism, he served in the Loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil War. Besides his classic Animal Farm, his works include a novel based on his experiences as a colonial policeman, Burmese Days, two firsthand studies of poverty, Down and Out in Paris and London and The Road to Wigan Pier, an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, Homage to Catalonia; and the extraordinary novel of political prophecy whose title became part of our language, 1984.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780452284234
ISBN-10: 0452284236
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 6th, 2003
Pages: 368
Language: English