Title: Nineteen Eighty-Four
Author: George Orwell
Page Count/Review Word Count: 328
Nineteen Eighty-Four is, of course, a classic, but I can’t quite give it a ten out of ten. And there’s a specific reason for that – the long chunk of text in the middle of the novel, where Winston is reading about the history of the world. It feels like clumsy exposition, and I’m sure that Orwell could’ve made it more interesting – it was like stopping in the middle of a historical thriller to go and read a textbook to get more information on the story.
Other than that, this is an incredible novel, and one of the rare books which has helped to launch an entire genre, the genre of dystopian fiction. I won’t go too much into the actual story line here, because I want you to go and read it yourself and there are a lot of twists and turns, but I can tell you that it’s a beautiful illustration of the struggles of the oppressed against the oppressor.
If you haven’t read this yet then I strongly recommend that you do, especially if you’re a serious reader who wants to go through the classics. Orwell was a fantastic writer and he has a wider body of work that you might want to look into afterwards, but you might not – some people just don’t ‘get’ his style, which is fair enough. There are more accessible authors out there, but not many that go this deep.
And besides, you need to read Nineteen Eighty Four to appreciate newspeak, which is doubleplusgood. Orwell basically invented his own language for the novel, which kind of makes Tolkien look silly for inventing so many complex languages of his own when you could make everything simpler and have the same effect. Kudos to Orwell, for achieving so much with just one novel – you have to read it to appreciate it.