2.5 stars

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.