Clearly this book is a classic. Hence, Audible has several different editions of it. This review is of 1984 New Classic Edition (Unabridged). If you’re not already a member of Audible from Amazon, you can get it free at the link above with a new membership.
The Party rules Oceania. They are comprised of two groups. Firstly, you have the Inner Party. They are the ruling class. Secondly, you have the Outer Party. They are the government workers. The inner party keeps the outer party under constant surveillance. Furthermore, they motivate them with daily rallies whipping up hate against their current enemies. This is the carrot. The stick is very harsh, very public punishments for real or perceived offenses.
Lastly, you have the Proletarians. “Prols” for short. They are the poorly educated, low skilled peasant class. They are largely ignored by The Party and left to fend for themselves.
Big Brother controls everything. They print the dictionary, so they control the language. “Newspeak” is designed to remove the inherent emotions from words. Furthermore, The Party controls the media. When a fact becomes untenable, they simply edit the written record changing the facts. When they are at war with Eurasia, they have always been at war with Eurasia and Eastasia has always been an ally. Moreover, when the tide turns and they go to war with Eastasia they simply edit the record. They have always been at war with Eastasia. Eurasia has always been their friend.
The members of the outer party buy into this. However, Winston Smith is one of the members responsible for rewriting history. He knows the truth. Thus, he knows he is being lied to. Disillusioned, he secretly disdains The Party. He dreams of leading the prols in a revolution.
Winston meets Julia. She too hates The Party and everything they stand for. They decide to join Goldstein, the leader of the underground resistance. O’Brien, an Inner Party member, poses as an agent of the resistance. He is their ticket in. However, O’Brien is actually a loyal Party member. His “help” is merely a trap to catch the rebels.
Winston and Julia have a good run for a little while. During this period, evidence is gathered against them. Once caught, they are captured and tortured. The goal is to rehabilitate them back into Party members in good standing.
1984 by George Orwell is a good read that has withstood the test of time.
- It has an intriguing plot.
- The characters are well developed.
- There is an air of authenticity and believability to it.
- With a few more questions than answers, Orwell forces the reader to think. To imagine.
The audiobook is an enjoyable experience. It is well narrated, and moves along at a comfortable pace. Despite the technology being dated, the concept is timeless. Man yearning to breath free while languishing under the heavy yoke of totalitarianism. I highly recommend 1984.
Comparisons between 1984 and the Trump Administration.
Many political pundits draw comparisons between President Trump and this Orwell classic. I want to address this issue. However, I try to keep my reviews apolitical unless the subject matter demands otherwise. Therefore, I will address this topic in a future article which I will link here once completed. For the purpose of this review, the book should stand independently on it’s own merit.