Review: ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ by George Orwell

Intelligent, haunting and incredibly post-modern, Orwell’s bestselling novel is both refreshing and eye-opening in a time of socio-political turbulence.

There’s a reason why Nineteen Eighty-Four had a surge in popularity recently. The classic by George Orwell, written in 1949, feels worryingly timely in the aftermath of Trump, Brexit and more importantly, post-truth politics.

A growing scepticism towards journalism, (fake) news and facts has meant that aspects of reality itself have come into question, and our perspectives have narrowed. It’s easy to interpret the Party members’ blind faith in the one, Big Brother narrative as being somewhat similar to the restrictive environment of online echo chambers.

By far the most interesting part of the book though is the excerpt of “the book” by Goldstein. Although an easy opportunity for Orwell to make his commentary more apparent, it’s here where the writer really shows off his intelligent way of writing through a lengthy essay. Much like Winston, at this point in the novel we become a bit more enlightened about the dystopian world of Oceania and The Party that runs it.

Yet, with this being quite a way into the book, one does wonder if having this essay earlier on in the book in some way would help the reader understand the fictional environment better. Although, this would probably be difficult plot-wise, and like most apocalyptic-style stories, the big reveal as to how the world ended up the way it did is usually left until the end – if it is indeed mentioned at all.

Like any classic, the book does have a fair amount of ‘re-readability’ to it. With a lot of underlying points throughout, it would probably warrant a few more reads before a reader has a better understanding of the philosophical and psychological arguments Orwell is making. Not only that, but with a rather unconventional ending, a few re-reads would help with a lot of things.

Rating: 4/5

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The Reason I Jump (REVIEW)

Firstly, there are two reasons why I finished the book over the course of two days. The first being because the book was rather small anyway (180 pages exact), and the other being because it was really good!

The book itself is an intriguing and valuable insight into the autistic mind, and is written in a talented way by Naoki.

Set in the form of a question-and-answer to Frequently Asked Questions about autism, whilst also making use of metaphorical fables and short stories, the book is a handy guide for those who have encountered autism in their lives.

Lastly, it saddened me to find that I found the book at my local Waterstones in the self-help section. Personally, you don’t have to be affected by autism to find this book interesting and enjoyable.

Liam

Reviewing a Book

So today was exciting, as I ventured into the outside world once more to explore. This time, I went to be filmed reviewing a book. That’s right, I am part of a book review! So, what book did I review? Well…

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

But it was good fun, especially when I didn’t particularly like the book, so it gave me a lot of stuff to talk about! At the start, I mentioned a bit about myself, which included me plugging this very blog! It was great, and reminds me that I should be in more review clubs!

Another funny thing about it was that I haven’t finished the book! I spent a lot of hours last night reading the book, but still didn’t finish, and even whilst in McDonalds, and on the train to the location I still didn’t finish it! But, after reading it so far, I doubt I will finish it, and probably continue reading the 1,000 page Sherlock Holmes book that’s probably been gathering dust since I haven’t read much of it recently.

But as well as that, today I went on the train (as usual) to the venue, which is nice, as it gives me reading time and time to sort things out, which is always helpful. As well as that, I had a Subway for lunch, which involved me having a free cookie for some reason. Thanks Subway! So yeah, today’s had it’s perks.

Liam