1984 by George Orwell

I’ve decided to post a review of 1984 by George Orwell to kick off my David Bowie top 1984100 books reading challenge because it also happen to be one of my own favourites. I have read this novel many times, most recently in November. I wrote an essay about George Orwell’s Why I Write, blogging, and the collapse of the private and public spheres. It was just as heavy as it sounds, but do have a read of Why a Write if you haven’t already!

I have no idea how to write this review without including SPOILERS, so please stop reading immediately if you haven’t read 1984 yet.

1984 was the very distant future at the time it was written in 1948…see what he did there? Obviously the world hasn’t turned out exactly the way Orwell imagined, but I often suspect that he wasn’t too far off the mark either.

Point 1: Orwell claimed that technologies such as TV and radio would be used to spy on and control citizens:

Not TV and radio so much, but the Internet obviously has an enormous amount of privacy concerns. Privacy is certainly a different concept now than it was in 1948.

Point 2: The media will be increasingly used to influence public opinion:

I think that’s obviously pretty accurate these days.

Point 3: The world will constantly be at war, but there will be no world wars or use of atomic bombs:

Spot on.

Point 4: Countries will become allies with former enemies and vice versa.

True again

I’ve heard a lot of people complain that 1984 is too slow paced, but I think this was intentional. Living in a dystopian world such as Winston’s would be a grim and dull existence. I know we’re used to a bit more excitement and action these days, but Orwell wrote this novel with one purpose in mind. To deliver a strong political message and voice his concerns about the way he saw the world heading.

Believe it or not, I can see similarities between Orwell and David Bowie. They both wanted to make the world a better place and used art to deliver their messages. Orwell was obviously much more abrasive and in your face than Bowie though!

As the line in Space Oddity goes:

Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.

I see this to mean there are some truly awful and horrific things in this world. Make yourself aware of what’s going on around you, but that is often all we can do. Look for the good and the beautiful anyway.

I consider 1984 to be a must read. I have too many favourite books to have one book I would call my favourite, but 1984 is definitely a contender if I had to choose just one. Please don’t ask me to choose though!

Description

The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “negative utopia” -a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions -a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

Details

Title: 1984

Author: George Orwell

ISBN: 0451524934

Published: 1949

Pages: 268

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy

Source: I own my copy

Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads

Amazon US

Amazon UK

The Book Depository

 

My Favourite Books

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I have recently signed up an account over at Goodreads which is an awesome social media network for all book lovers. Get yourself over there if you haven’t already! One of the first things I needed to do was let them know my favourite books so that they could automatically generate recommendations for me based on those. Well that’s a tough question for a Scatterbooker like me,  but I have managed to come up with a short but definitely not comprehensive list.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll,

The Power of One by Bryce Courtney,

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee,

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald,

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen,

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë ,

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger,

Bridget Jone’s Diary by Helen Fielding,

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory,

The Pact by Jodi Picoult,

The Kay Scarpetta Series by Patricia Cornwell,

1984 by George Orwell

It by Stephen King.

Over at Goodreads I have also joined the Aussie Readers group. It is full of very friendly Australian readers who have some brilliant book suggestions and they run seasonal reading challenges that everyone can join in with. I definitely recommend that any Australian readers head over and say hello to the lovely people over there.

I have decided to take part in the Aussie Readers December Challenge which is to read as many Christmas or New Year themed books as possible during December. So far I have decided to read:

The Perfect Christmas by Kate Forster

Yours for Christmas by Susan Mallery

Come Home for Christmas, Cowboy by Megan Crane

Also on my current reading list are:

Gray Mountain by John Grisham

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Explicit Detail by Scarlett Finn

I will also need to be offline for around two weeks starting from Tuesday 25th of November. I have created Scatterbooker as part of an assignment for one of my university subjects at Curtin University. So that means that while the assignment is being marked I won’t be able to make changes to https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/ or any of my social media accounts. I’m going to miss all of you so much while I am offline, but I will use the time away to work on getting some of these book reviews ready to post as soon as my assignment is graded. While I am in exile you can still contact me at scatterbooker@gmail. I would love to hear about your favourite books or any Christmas/New Year themed books that you love.

 

Image adapted from an image that was uploaded by FutUndBeidl (2012) which was sourced via Flickr and I’m am sharing under the Creative Commons License. Visit here to view the original image.

What is a Scatterbooker?

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A Scatterbooker reads books from far and wide, on any subject and from any genre. A Scatterbooker can never choose just one favourite book, author or even genre. If you ask them, they will probably give you a list of thousands. A Scatterbooker will usually have at least one or two books that they are currently reading at any given time and a ‘to read’ list a mile long. A Scatterbooker is well read on a wide variety of subjects which makes them exceptional conversationalists. They are up to date on current events and trends and are always the best people to ask “have you read any good books lately?”

If you are a Scatterbooker like me you might find some good books to read over at Scatterbooker on Goodreads.

Image adapted from an image that was uploaded by FutUndBeidl (2012) which was sourced via Flickr and I’m am sharing under the Creative Commons License. Visit here to view the original image.