George Orwell's celebrated 1948 vision of a world subsumed in tyranny and war describes the process of events by which Winston Smith, a London clerk at the Ministry of Truth, comes to understand the true nature and aims of the government he works for, and portrays his doomed attempt to create a private life for himself and his lover, Julia. One of the bleakest political novels ever written, 1984 illustrates Orwell's despair that democracy could ever summon the strength to overcome totalitarianism in his lifetime.
"A book that goes through the reader like an east wind, cracking the skin, opening the sores; hope has died in Mr. Orwell's wintry mind, and only pain is known. I do not think I have ever read a novel more frightening and depressing; and yet, such are the originality, the suspense, the speed of writing and withering indignation that it is impossible to put the book down. The faults of Orwell as a writer--monotony, nagging, the lonely schoolboy shambling down the one dispiriting track--are transformed now he rises to a large subject." - V. S. Pritchett 06/18/1949 New York Times Book Review
"[I]t is probable that no other work of this generation has made us desire freedom more earnestly or loathe tyranny with such fulness....It is in the intimate history, of course, that he reveals his stature as a novelist, for it is here that the moral and the psychological values with which he is concerned are brought out of the realm of political prophecy into that of personalized drama....'Nineteen Eighty-Four', the most contemporary novel of this year and who knows of how many past and to come, is a great examination into and dramatization of Lord Acton's famous apothegm, 'Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.'" - Mark Schorer 06/12/1949 New Yorker
"'Nineteen Eighty-Four' confirms its author in the special, honorable place he holds in our intellectual life....[I]t is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book....Orwell's theory of power is developed brilliantly, at considerable length. And the social system that it postulates is described with magnificent circumstantiality." - Lionel Trilling 06/18/1949
Customer Reviews of 1984
The History Lesson You Wish you Had1/24/2013
Eric Arthur Blair was an important English writer that you probably already know by the pseudonym of George Orwell. He wrote quite a few books, but many believe that his more influential ones were "Animal farm" (1944) and "1984" (1948).In those two books he conveyed, metaphorically and not always obviously, what Soviet Russia meant to him.