1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell1984 by George Orwell
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: June 8, 1949
Publisher: Signet
Source: Gift
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-half-stars

While 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is more timely than ever. 1984 presents a "negative utopia", that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world — so powerful that it's completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions — a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

1984 is another of those annoying mixed-feelings books. Don’t you just hate those? I sure do, because I never know if I’m going to change my mind later on, or if I did actually enjoy the book. For that reason, I am rating this as Hodgepodge, because I don’t even know what my thoughts are. Also, this is the first time I’m reviewing a classic on this blog. It’s not even really a review, just my thoughts. But isn’t that what reviews are?

– The whole concept of big brother. And the government in general, really. What I’m saying here is that I enjoyed the dystopian aspect of the novel. A world in which the government controls everything you do, and is always watching? That shit is creepy. And I’m not going to lie, this book may have made me a tiny bit more paranoid than I was before. As you’re reading this, I’m covering up my webcame and turning off the wifi.

– The ending was unsettling. No, I’m not going to spoil you, but I’m used to happy YA endings and this was just… hopeless.
– Newspeak. Because this is happening already! It’s like internet-speak for extremists, and I loved every second I spent reading about it. It also made me realise that I basically speak a whole other language when I’m with my closest friends. I’m pretty sure my mum or brothers wouldn’t be able to read the majority of what we say to each other.

– No connection with the main character. He was a boring guy and his narrative was completely monotonal. Intentional? Perhaps. But still, I didn’t like the guy and he kept talking about doing things before deciding against it. Just… grow some balls.
– It dragged on the middle. There was no action! Perhaps this was to be expected from a classic, I don’t know, but I was expecting more action, less talking, less monologuing, less Winston.
– Things were repeated a lot. Okay you’ve told me about this aspect of the government several times now, I think I get it.

I think I built this book up far too much. I much preferred Animal Farm. While I did like some things about this book, it definitely felt more like an essay than an actual novel. I’m glad I took the time to read it, but 1984 definitely won’t be on my list of annual re-reads.

18 comments on “1984 by George Orwell

  1. whynoteveryday 08/08/2013 9:53 pm

    I read it this year for university and I thought it was horrible. I don’t mean it as in a bad book, I think it’s an impressive and realistic story, but it was a horrible reading. I believe that that is our future, sooner or later. I never pay attention to politics, but this book made me reflect a lot. The same happened to me with Animal Farm last year. I guess that was the purpose of these books, anyway.


    • Amber (Books of Amber) 18/08/2013 11:13 am

      So true! Orwell did really well in getting the point across, it’s just a shame it was such a dull read.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 18/08/2013 11:15 am

      Hahaha my reviews were short and freakin’ awful when I first started blogging. I think you did pretty well in comparison 😀

      Definitely give Animal Farm a go! As I said, I loved it.

  2. Fly to the Sky 09/08/2013 11:44 am

    I read this book last year as part of my summer reading project. (I was one of two people to pick this book because its so big) and I hated I with a burning passion. But I think that without it I would have had no chance of passing my AP Euro exam. This book relates to so much that has happened in our history. Especially the Russian Revolution. You brought up some great points in your review. The main character was sooo hard to relate to and I kind of hated him! The packing was insanely slow. But I thought the ending was great just because it was so hopeless. Also the chapter in the book where the characters were reading out of the other book was so boring…. Great review!!

  3. Tatum Turtle 09/08/2013 3:03 pm

    ‘Hodgepodge’ is a glorious addition to your ratings section tbh.

    I enjoyed 1984 but Orwell terrifies me; I finished the book and it kept me up thinking about it the whole night.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 18/08/2013 11:18 am

      Why thank you 😀 I have to give Hannah all the credit for that, though. She came up with it when I was panicking over what to rate The Collector.

      Did you think about it in the shower though, because we all know that’s where the proper thinking happens.

  4. Debby 10/08/2013 6:51 pm

    Hah, I actually didn’t really like Animal Farm, but I LOVED 1984. Then again, it’s been a while since I read it, so I wonder how I would feel about it if I read it today. I just like the chilling feeling of big brother and everything and… yeah. Lack of action, slow plot, that might bother me more today. Glad you finally read this though 🙂

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 18/08/2013 11:19 am

      *cries* but Animal Farm is awesome! Whatever, whatever. I can’t really talk since I wasn’t a huge fan of this one and yet you were XD

  5. Mel@Thedailyprophecy 11/08/2013 1:02 pm

    To me, this book sounds boring, haha. And I need to feel something for the MC to truly like a book, so that doesn’t sound too appealing.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 18/08/2013 11:20 am

      Hahaha, it is quite boring, yes! And characters are the most important draw for me, so for this book to have such a crappy character really put a downer on the whole thing. But Big Brother *___*

  6. Christina 12/08/2013 3:50 pm

    Bahahah, 1984 will always be one of those books for me. On the one hand, the concept is brilliant and I really appreciate what it’s doing. On the other, it’s really slow-paced and not good on characterization, though that’s part of the point. So yeah, basically what you said. It’s good to read because it had such an impact and the historical resonances are fascinating, but as a novel…eh.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 18/08/2013 11:21 am

      Eh, indeed. I’d quite like to read some essays on 1984, actually. I think they’d be pretty good reads, and like you said, it’s rather fascinating.

  7. Jessica @ Books: A true story 16/08/2013 7:52 pm

    I agree – the idea of big brother is really creepy – especially now when the “fictional” technology actually exists now. I thought it dragged in the middle too, but I’m glad I read it. Great review!

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