By George Orwell,

Book cover of 1984

Book description


1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In…

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Why read it?

37 authors picked 1984 as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

1984 is the better-known political work of Orwell. This was the author’s ninth and final book, and what a legacy it left for us.

Thematically, it presents its reader with the consequences of totalitarianism, repression, and mass surveillance of one’s citizens. The story is modeled on the brutal regime of the Soviet Union, but equally Nazi Germany, who, with such ease, manipulated truth and fact within a perpetual war.

This old science-fiction novel was recommended to me by a neighbor who let me borrow her copy.

It gave me some intriguing ideas to think about like how history may not always display the actual truth, but who decides what’s true in history? The book uses new forms of language to instill beliefs, which is also an interesting concept. I read this book after living in Thailand for three months, and it was something to sit down and reflect on as I returned to Alberta, Canada. 

I first read Orwell’s 1984 as a youngster, perhaps 50 or more years ago. It was a scary book then, and it is an even more scary book now!

First published in 1949, it was aimed at the then-Soviet Union and the totalitarian countries in its emerging ideological orbit. Today, one would list Russia, China, North Korea, and similar countries. But wait! With the advent of the internet, CCTV, “smart” phones and their data gobbling “apps” and (un)social media, data brokers, and the “dark” web, privacy today has vanished everywhere. State and corporate surveillance has become commonplace even in so-called…

I do not recommend 1984 because it is one of the most powerful books ever written. Readers know that. I love this book for its artful prescience.

While Yevgeny Zamyatin’s Me normally gets credit for being the first dystopian novel, Orwell perfected the genre. The novel becomes more important with each passing decade. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth altering documents for the government.

Catchphrases like “doublethink” and “thought police,” coupled with the pervasive use of surveillance technology highlight why science fiction shines a light on a future our “betters” had just as soon we not see and…

AI and the exponential rise of invasive technology make 1984 more relevant today than ever.

George Orwell’s prophecy of an oppressive society where privacy and their ability to speak and think freely is an uncanny premonition of our current and projected condition. Written over seventy years ago, 1984 reveals the deadliest form of control – the dissemination of selective information by an unseen group of totalitarian autocrats.

Hitler’s propaganda machine was testament to the consequences of this form of manipulation. For me, 1984 is Orwell’s warning that next time, we might not win the war.

I reread 1984 at the start of the pandemic when I started to research my book and was blown away by Orwell’s prescience and the quality of his writing. 

1984 is utterly enthralling and cuts to the bone of what it means to be human and the political dynamics of technological control. It is a warning that we have so far failed to heed but there is still time – read it now and be spurred into action.

With the growing fear of technology and the breach of privacy, as well as the way media consumption has been shaping audiences’ values, beliefs, and ideologies, never has this classic novel been more prevalent.

Given social media dominance, it feels as though we’re always being watched, that our actions are always being dictated by an outside force, whether it is Big Brother from the novel, or the watchful eyes of those who view our content. 

From Ai's list on reads for a glimpse at humanity.

This dystopian masterpiece has long been an inspirational book for me.

Written in 1948, it’s as just as relevant today. Orwell’s depictions of the Ministry of Truth, the “thought police”, NewSpeak and the ”memory hole” have entered our language, as chilling examples of the techniques totalitarian regimes use to suppress dissent and encourage ideological conformity among the populace. 

My own novel is also centred around this theme – in particular, how the Nazi government suppressed free speech, making German newspapers little more than vehicles for Nazi propaganda. Orwell’s classic is a constant reminder to us all that any government may…

There’s much to be said about the book which is set in a dystopian London and very little about the movie.

The protagonist, Winston Smith, works for Big Brother, changes the past for Big Brother, is monitored by Big Brother, while his every thought is monitored by the Thought-Police. After an inner battle with his own self-conscious, he sets out to defy Big Brother, first by having an ordinary sex life, then by joining the mysterious Brotherhood.

However things go astray quickly for him and his world is spun out of control. I won’t spoil you with the details because…

From Michael's list on book to movie adaptations.

You may have heard of this one. (Wait for groans and laughter to subside).

I’m recommending it because I recently read it again, many years after consuming it for a required middle school book report. I didn’t fully appreciate it back then, but I sure do now.

Across the world, autocracies are taking root, curtailing freedoms. Here in the United States, we’ve experienced the shock of a sitting president so intent on preserving his immense power that he orchestrated an insurrection. When I re-read 1984, the horrors Orwell describes no longer seemed so distant, so implausible. 

In fact, it…

From William's list on suspense thrillers to steal your sleep.

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