Nineteen Eighty-Four is a modern classic which has added an impressive number of words to our language. Big Brother and Room 101 are two such words, but it is the ideas and impressively accurate prediction of the future that makes this book so special for me.
The book was first published in 1949 and gives a grim prediction of what the future will be like 50 years on. It describes a totalitarian régime in a world dominated by war and fear.
I first read (and studied) Nineteen Eighty-Four at school, but re-read it recently for my book group. I remember loving the book as a teenager; being impressed by the number and ingenuity of ideas present. There were so many different themes to discuss that it made the perfect book to study.
Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy re-reading it. I remembered the basic plot and a large number of the ideas from my teenage years, but although it was easy to read, I found it quite dull. The pace of the book was slow and I found myself becoming bogged down in the political descriptions. The book-within-the-book was a particular low point, with every word being a struggle to complete.
Some scenes were beautiful, but overall it was a dark, depressing book. The ending is shocking and I still remember it clearly, 17 years after first reading it – the sign of a powerful book.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic, which deserves to be read and admired, but re-reading it in adulthood threw up more flaws than genius for me.
Have you read Nineteen Eighty-Four?
Did you enjoy it?