Genres: Dystopia, Classics,
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: 1949
Find The Author: Website
Abe Books ¦ Book Depository ¦ Goodreads
Winston Smith works for
the Ministry of truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big
Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every
act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that
life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new
possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle
overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn
towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in
the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101 . . .
Ninteen Eighty-Four is George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime.
1984 isn't the usual sort of book I would pick up, you only have to see my Goodreads page or my blog to know that. I usually stick pretty solidly with young adult books, but I've always been curious about cult classic like Fight Club and A Clockwork Orange, both of which have movies I love. I thought 1984 would be a good choice for me because I love the Dystopia genre but sadly, I was wrong.
I spent a lot of time hating reading this book, but I was determined to finish it, just to say that I had read it. I found a lot of problems. The first was the characters. Winston himself and most of the other characters are just... cardboard. There's nothing really there. Easily forgettable, and I never cared very much for Winston or whether he would survive the book.
Another problem was well, the whole concept. I did have a little difficulty swallowing the idea that in about 20 years, the entire world had changed so much as to divide into 3 super states, or whatever they were called. It just seemed too far fetched that anyone could take over that quickly, and have the entire population under their thumb that quickly too.
I was expecting that introduction of Julie to really speed up the story, and it did a little. Guess what, I had a serious problem with Julie too. You may have heard this term attributed to John Green's girls, but Julie really was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She had no real personality and I had no idea why this young girl loved Winston, a guy in (or nearing?) his forties.
Julie did start off Winston questioning the system, breaking the rules and starting to do something, as per her MPDG requirements... even if breaking the rules was so they could have somewhere quiet to have sex. A lot. Thankfully, Julie magically never got pregnant, because if she did there would sure be a lot of questioning going on.
About three quarters into the story we come across what can only be described as a text book by me, and wonderful by Julie. We're 'treated' to this text book for freaking thirty pages without a break inbetween, which has a lot of details about the war, without me actually understanding how these powers took over so quickly. I nearly fell asleep on numerous occasions.
The ending was okay. It was certainly stronger than the rest of the book and it wasn't the ending I was fully expecting, which was a nice surprise. Honestly, I was just glad to finish it finally, it took me about 6 days in total, rather than my usual 1-2. I don't think I'll be picking this book up again.