1984 by George Orwell Book Summary

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

With extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity, George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life in this edition.

“Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. 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.

Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.

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1984 (George Orwell) Book Reviews

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- !5 star

Strongly recommend.

- Most relevant text you can read right now5 star

Change the title to 2021 and you’ll be reading non-fiction

- Much better than I expected5 star

Erie similarities to today

- Big Brother is Jack Dorsey5 star

This book is unfolding right now in America 2020! Lockdowns, groupthink and censorship are all the rave on campuses, Congress, and the liberal unfree press!

- The best (actually non) fiction of all time5 star

Orwell’s simple writing style draws you in. There is a familiarity with the characters that is not present in other novels. The story is palpable, riveting, and full of twists. Even one should read 2 books in their life and this is one of them.

- Best Novel of All Time5 star

I wish I would’ve been required to read this in grade school. Better late than never... EVERYONE. NEEDS. TO. READ. THIS.

- Classic5 star

Must read classic

- I hate this book1 star

Winston is gross. The concepts and ideas in the book are fascinating, but I can’t get past how boring and disgusting a person the main character is.

- Explained the Democratic Party4 star

Look at the USA we live in right now. Must read book!

- Mind and Body5 star

Eric Arthur Blair (known more commonly by the pseudonym George Orwell) encapsulates the horrific ends of totalitarian regimes’ physiological and psychological warfare. It’s not enough to enslave your body; they must also enslave your mind. A totalitarian utopia is one where any rebellion is not only impossible but imponderable. Every action is monitored and scrutinized, leaving no room for individualism. All must give way to oligarchical collectivism, and that which does not bend will break. Oft cited as a linchpin in the critique against the increasingly technocratic societies developing around the world, 1984 is perhaps more relevant today than when it was written. Whether it’s the exclusionary capitalistic practices of western civilization - where behavior is graded to permit access to services and social media is unceasingly and intently monitored for ad profiles - or the statistical despotism being employed in China - where the Communist government monitors all actions via their horrific social credit system - this book is a cautionary tale. Individuals should not sacrifice power to bodies, corporate or governmental, that would abuse it and stamp out what they see as opposition. Privacy and freedom of thought / speech are inalienable human rights that should not be infringed upon. No ideology - even the ones we are privately partial to - should have a monolithic dominion over mind, body, and soul. The flow and control of information should never be vested in one source, for those that absolutely own the present can and will manufacture their “objective” reality. Beyond its contemporary relevance, 1984 also serves as a fascinating look into the Red Scare mentality that pervaded the west post-World War 2. Having survived Earth’s most horrific calamity, weariness and fear abounded. People wanted to avoid another Great War and were inhospitable towards worldviews that enabled extremist authoritarian regimes (and rightly so). 1984 shows why the Cold War was waged and what the west sought to avoid. Were the west to forget itself and come to resemble their ideological foes, where novelists and news-reporters vanish in the dead of night, that would be a sorry sight. The western world has never been perfect - McCarthyism is a stark reminder. But it always tries to be better by adhering to a chaotic system of checks and balances. Hopefully the west will escape its fugue. Our infighting and absentmindedness have allowed for totalitarian regimes to recover lost ground. It has allowed us to slip far from our lofty ideals. Democracy, with strict previsions for privacy and freedom of thought / speech must prevail. The west must not forget itself and become what it has long sought to avoid. Sadly, as I write this, it seems the western world has built the tools necessary for a panopticonic society and is pondering whether to use these tools on themselves. Let us not be the dead.

- orwell is a GENiUS !5 star

definitely one of the best books I have EVER read.. and ngl it was because of this book that I want to read more and become more aware of my surroundings bcuz man this author really knows how to get to people’s minds and say exactly what needs to be said /pointed out and never ingored. I believe everyone should read this book, even if it’s just for a mere school project or test o whtv.. it’s enLigHtEninG

- Good idea but boring3 star

I did not get past Chapter 7. Interesting topic but the narrative overcame me. It is very boring, nothing happens. Only descriptions and more descriptions.

- Just keep coming back to it5 star

I read this story for the first time in 9th grade and since then I come back to it. If humanity follows the paths of some in our world, 1984 will become our future. I think some administrations used this as a play book in all honestly, it's a timeless classic like most of Orwell's books that show a glimpse in history or our future.

- Not my cup of tea1 star

I really disliked it for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is the protagonist, Winston Smith. As I read the description for the book, I got the impression that Winston was a heroic rebel... Well he was a rebel, but no hero. No, he was a creep. At one point in the book, he expresses to himself that he desired to rape and kill a girl, later that he wanted to smash that same girl's head in with a rock, and then again later, he said wishes all virtue and goodness didn't exist. Said he wanted all people to be "corrupt to the bone". I had expected a hero and got a monster instead. And it's not just him. The Brotherhood rebellion is just as evil as the people they fight against. They said they'd corrupt the minds of children, kill hundreds of innocent people, encourage prostitution, disseminate disease, even throw acid in a child's face if it'd further their cause. Those are the "good guys" of the story. How am I suppose to support that? How am I supposed to root against the Party when the people opposing them are no better? How am I supposed to care if Winston lives or dies, when he's a pervert, and no better than a criminal? Why do so many people like this book?

- Why pay?1 star

The book itself is superb, but apple's attempt to make money off of a book that is free press is not. Download a free PDF online.

- Surprised Me4 star

As an eighth grader, a teacher made me read this. I really didn't want to read it at all when I started but at the end of the book, I realized I had quite actually enjoyed the book. It really made me think and the book reminded me of North Korea and even America. It was scary to see how this book relates to the real world. Also, the beginning was a bit confusing to me with the title and setting being 1984, but then I realized the publishing date was 1949. I concluded that it was a futuristic book. The book has a somewhat interesting storyline but it has good psychology and thoughts. The ending of the book was bad though and I felt like it was too plain and bland. I definitely expected a more surprising and exciting ending. There's a part I found really boring where Winston read Goldenstein's book. I'm glad I read this book, but as an eighth grader, I feel like I didn't understand the book in it's fullest context. I plan on rereading it when I'm older and comparing my opinions about the book. Overall, great book, with few boring parts, and parts that really made me think about life. I would recommend it to some, who have the patience to read through this book and a more futuristic dystopian type. There were a few parts that were kind of unnecessary and more like fillers. Anyways, I rate it 4/5.

- Never more relevant.5 star

The more I watch the actions of the trump administration, the more I fear that this is our future. Please read this book and realize that if we ever support him this WILL be our future. Orwell might as well have been Nostradamus.

- good story5 star

the story seems to say the situation in China

- Incredible5 star

If you want to have your mind blown, read this book.

- Hmm.5 star

I have never been so scared of a book in my life. It was so convincing. I genuinely started to believe in big brother. WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

- A Warning5 star

Orwell wrote this right after WW2 when the Cold War began. Totalitarianism comes in many forms and can disable humanism and free thought. 1984 is a concept which unfortunately rings true. One only has to study human history and current events to see that it is indeed real and all around us.

- Im confused1 star

Why is this book so much longer and expensive than another book that seems to be the same but is smaller and cheaper?

- Amazing5 star

One of the best if not the best book I've ever read

- Life changing5 star

Truly one of the greatest stories every written

- Mommy I want to be 19845 star

Even if you don't believe in the view points in the book you can't deny the beauty of the writing. On such a melancholy tone of the book you continue to hope for the characters. Then it's completely destroyed in a beautiful mush that's so satisfying making yourself hate the world we live in. If I ever become a writer I would only see that I achieve success if my readers felt the way I did when I read 1984. If I got cancer and make a wish foundation asked me what my last wish would be to meet George Orwell and shack his hand.

- Absolutely Amazing5 star

I started this book simply because I like distopian literature, but I didn't really have very high expectations as distopian books tend to follow a formula. I was quickly proven wrong. This book fully immerses you in the totalitarian regime of the all-powerful Party, while still managing to remain connected with the characters. The plot, dangerous and exciting, will throw you for loop after loop, and you'll find you can't put it down. And the ending... you'll either find it brilliant or you'll hate it with a burning passion (me, I liked it, but that's just because it was so unexpected). If you like today's distopian works such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, read 1984. That's where it all began. It is a classic, after all.

- Great book5 star

I am reading this book right now(paper copy) because one of my friends recommended it to me. I am about 1/3 of the way through and so far it is really good. George Orwell's predictions were way off, but that, I think, is what makes it such a good book. So glad that this didn't happen!

- 1984 update2 star

Hey this is a good book. We'll worth the money, but what made me upset was the recent update... When I updated the book... All of my highlighted note disappear... Come man!

- Brilliant5 star

Book should be titled 2014

- XBOX ONE???5 star

Having to have the kinect 2.0 always on... I'm seeing a connection here....

- One of the most entertaining I've ever read!5 star

I had to read this for 12th grade, it was of those books that you want to keep reading once you dive into it. It's a must read!

- Review Of 19845 star

This book is excellent, I could not put it down from the second I picked it up. What with all the hubbub about Edward Showden and the NSA, I figured it's worth a read. Unfortunately, the book seems to be getting closer to our reality as time progresses which makes it even more interesting. I also found the term "Newspeak" in the book to be very close to how we text today. This book is genius!

- The Original and still champion5 star

Orwell was a visionary and soothsayer who saw what was happening to Germany and Russia in his times.1984 is the mother of all political paranoia thrillers before or since even Brave New World owns something to Orwell's brilliance.Since we now live in gloried police state thanks to the so called war on terror,1984 is more relevant than ever;a must read

- Great Book5 star

I read this for fun after Animal Farm...GREAT book. Incredibly relevant and creatively written. Not gonna lie, this book made me a tad paranoid!

- Big Brother5 star

I love this book!!! Big Brother is in today's society. The NWO is Big Brother.

- Still Chilling after all these years5 star

Unfortunately this book gets more relevant each year.

- Big Brother is watching you..5 star

Love this book. Read it in my Senior English class. Also watched the movie. The movie doesn't do it justice. It's kinda creepy how somethings mentioned parallel with the world today..

- Excellent5 star

I should have read this in English class twenty-five years ago. Instead I watched the movie... how stupid was I? This is an excellent book, written well, George's imagination and detail is award winning. Thank God... 1984 didn't become a reality. Enjoy this book! S

- One of my favorites5 star

It is really really a great book. Re-reading it after the out-springs that happened in the middle east just proves how this book will forever be one of my favorites.

- 19844 star

One word.....cool.

- Interesting4 star

Definitely a cerebral, mind boggling book. Things that make you go hmmmm...

- Excellent book!5 star

Those who do not know the past are doomed to repeat it....

- Great book, Cover Fail5 star

Should have bought this book when it was available with the "Eye" cover….

- ehh3 star

the general idea about this book is very creative and powerful. but it really annoys me that he repeats himself a lot and the things he writes sometimes is completly phycotic!👋

- Brilliant.5 star

Never read a better book.

- Wonderful Book5 star

My heart goes out to Winston, what a book.. couldn't put it down for days. Highly recommend.

- 19845 star

The year 1984 came and went, but the ideas are still alive. A must read for those interested in the danger of totalitarianism.

- Amazing5 star

This is hands down THE best book ever written. I'm very disappointed with some of the other reviews though. I'm in 8th grade, yet I understood this book in full. You and your class are just a bunch of imbeciles! If you don't understand it who cares? Don't write a review about that is clearly to complex for your simple brain! Also learn proper grammar! Another one of you wrote down a review based on the cover? This is just plain sad...

- Fantastic5 star

This book is one of my favorite of all time, hands-down. A chilling and haunting idea of the future, and so easily plausible...five stars any day.

- Wonderful5 star

At first it was hard for me to get used to the British literature but after understanding it was a great book

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- Lack of oversight?5 star

Did anyone actually review this iBook before it was published? Besides very trivial spelling errors, what appear to be page numbers start to creep into the text mid-way through the book. It's almost as if the publisher put little to no effort into porting the paper copy to an electronic format. I do call this a "port" (and a shoddy one at that) because it bears the unmistakable marks of someone shoving a paper book into a photo-copier (again, I cite the page numbers embedded in the text).

- :|2 star

I had to read this book in class and none of my classmates understand it...... Every time I read through it i get lost.. Btw we're 8th gr.. Lol I'm sure I'll like it once I understand it.. Lol 2 star.... For now..

- Must Read!5 star

This is one of my favorite books of all time. The tale is gripping, suspenseful, and and an emotionally stirring ride. The characters are relatable and the setting is dark and foreboding. "1984" is an amazing commentary on the dark path humanity might end up following, and a warning against fear and inaction in the face of tyranny. The book has one of the best endings ever, and the conclusion will both satisfy and tug your heartstrings.

- About time5 star

Only took apple a year and a half but finally some Orwell. One of the best novels of all time. Big brother is watching.

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@moviemenfes wonder woman 1984

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@UAE_sport_9 1/0 للشارجة

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@nikkan_editors: 【#日刊芸能】    三代目JSBの岩田剛典さんと ロックバンドI Don’t Like Mondays.ボーカルYUさんが特別対談 2人は幼なじみ。同じ塾に通い「牛乳瓶メガネをかけて勉強していた」という #JSOULBROTHER…

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On 21 Jan, 1950, the author of 1984 & Animal Farm died. His pen name: George Orwell. There are many of his books…

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George Orwell: la vita e i libri (dai romanzi ai saggi) dell'autore di "1984" Ne scrive su @illibraio…

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@Lecturalia: 📅 #TalDíaComoHoy hace 70 años fallecía George Orwell, autor de títulos como "1984" y "Rebelión en la granja", considerados…

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@franceculture: George Orwell est mort il y a 71 ans. Dans son roman «1984», il invente la «novlangue», un langage dont le but est l’ané…

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@TEXASROCKFEED: Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is (Subtitulada) - Agent Provocateur (December 7, 1984)

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@Roydini25: George Orwell's "1984" contains the lines: "Everything other than working was forbidden: walking in the streets, having fun,…

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📚1984'ten Önceki 25 Yılda Kürdlerin Silahsız Mücadelesi-%30 İndirimli . Yazar: Celal Temel . 🚚Kargo 👉Yurtiçi Kargo…

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@AlokTiwari9335: फिरोज खान मुस्लिम थे, इंदिरा गांधी हिन्दू थी, सोनिया गांधी ईसाई है, राहुल बाबा फर्जी जनेऊधारी पंडित बनते फिर भी 1984…

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@Bunnymen: This @Bunnymen classic was released 36 years ago today, 20th January 1984, what were you doing in 1984 ? ✊🏻 …

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@Alvaro_Pita: 'Escombros'/ 'Angel' (Robert Vincent O'Neill, 1984)

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@HareshK04248354: 1984 के सिख दंगों की जांच हुई है, आज भी हो रही है और पीड़ितों को न्याय मिलने की उम्मीद जगी है। 1987 के हशिमपुरा गोली…

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