1984


(4.6 stars; 2255 reviews)

Nineteen Eighty-Four, sometimes published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in 1949. The novel is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (or Ingsoc in the government's invented language, Newspeak) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite, that persecutes individualism and independent thinking as "thoughtcrimes".

The tyranny is epitomised by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality but who may not even exist. The Party "seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power." The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party, who works for the Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to rewrite past newspaper articles, so that the historical record always supports the party line. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother. (Summary from Wikipedia)

This is a recording of a radio broadcast of the book, and was not produced by the LibriVox project

Chapters

1984 2:21:38

Reviews

Socialism is still a threat

(4.5 stars)

Dumdum: you are in no way a dummy as evidenced by your curiosity about the book. I have been curious about it for 50 years but never would have found the leisure time to read it and so I thank God for the people of LibriVox who have allowed me to gain that knowledge while still doing the physical work I need to do. I suspect that you are as about as young as I was when I first heard the great reviews the book was getting in the 1960's. What Orwell is writing about is the communist government of the former USSR under Joseph Stalin. Stalin had a very bushy dark mustache and his face was on giant posters all over Russia. Members of the Communist party called each other comrade and wore basic overalls for work. They wanted everyone to be equal, no one higher than any other, so by dressing the same they at least gave the appearance of equality. The Russian Communist party controlled the news and did what Orwell described as revising history and promulgating lies such as "there IS no crime under the Communist rule". How could there be crime in a "perfect" society? I have a copy of the old Communist Constitution which I keep to remind me that it granted their citizens freedom "from" religion as compared to ours which guarantees freedom "of" religion. There are some other similarities between Big Brother, the Communists and ourselves such as our current self-appointed political correctness monitors and thought crimes but I don't have room to write about all of it. I would encourage you to learn all you can about socialism, communism, and all of the types of governments seen throughout history. Ours is absolutely the best the world has ever seen but is under threat and will be forever. One hundred years ago the socialists tried to take over America and called themselves progressives. That didn't work out for them and they were rejected so violently that they pulled way back on the demonstrations and quietly changed their name to liberals. Americans finally figured out what liberals really want and so now they have changed back to calling themselves progressives. Funny, isn't it. Sent from my iPad

Today's social climate written back in 1948

(5 stars)

awesome book and so incredible how Orwell actually saw the future. Today we are being forced to tell things that are not true to not distrupt civil society's fragile individuals, we are being forced to think that only our pain matters, we are thr ones who are scared of offending a social justice warrior to keep our jobs...

guess im not smart enough for Orwell

(3 stars)

narration quality and tone is excellent. However, I wish the recording was broken up into sections for easy shuttling. I've heard how profound and eerie this book is, and I don't get it, beyond the obvious weak similarity between "big brother" and post 911 america. To me it read as a story of a corrupt government bending the will of a weak and cowardly man.

So true to real life today. they're watching a

(5 stars)

I've always heard the term Orwillian,now I get it after his book. and now we find out big brother is actually watching and listening to us via the Internet maybe even cables and phone lines thru the the"Teletube" and other devices. so prophetic.

thought provoking and eerie

(5 stars)

this book is insanely eerie and prophetic. if we keep going down this path of hate and terror in humanity we will always be wrong, and our lives will not amount to much... just blindly following the rest of the sheep. I wish more people read this book and actually contemplated it in similarity to our current world... it's not far fetched... it's more possible than you would ever think! great book as always!

a good, although shorter, version.

(4 stars)

The reading was smooth and entertaining and the tone matches the subject very well. My only issue is this is an abridged version. So if you attempt to follow along with the book version it will not go well. It is as if you were asked to repeat what you just read from memory one paragraph at a time. The bulk is there but some finer details are missing. Most of the details that were left out didn't matter or weren't important. But you do miss some of the extra feeling in the original. By listening to this version you are selling yourself short. However you will get a very good idea of what it's all about and can easily have a good conversation over it. But the extra fluff that was cut out is missed in my opinion. Also a few parts are out of order. An example of this is chapter 3 in the book is the dream. It is chapter 4 in this version. Personally I feel this was an enhancement due to a few terms being introduced that cause the dream to make sense then rather than hit you later. Read or listen. It's worth it.

1984

(4.5 stars)

This book is more horrifying than I expected it to be. George Orwell understood the love of power that various "parties" sought and abused. The book is an amazing portrayal of language and the way it can be used universally to shape perceptions and protect tyrants and despots. The narrator does an excellent job.

An odd duck of a book...but great nonetheless

(4.5 stars)

The reader was excellent in capturing my attention. My English Lit. class read this book some 10 years ago and I missed the lessons that went with it due to an injury... I should look up my old teacher and find out what she was trying to teach - because like the book, her lessons always had a deeper meaning. Bravo, Mr. Orwell. Bravo.