May Reads: 1984 by George Orwell

I’m back with another book recommendation!

The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “negative utopia”—a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions—a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time. (Goodreads)

Technically, I read this book for my English class, though it’s been on my ‘to read’ list for a long, long time. I read the intro sentence a while ago and was immediately hooked. Something about it—it was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen—just always struck me as the perfect opening sentence: simple, short, and with enough of a twist (the ‘thirteen’) to peek the reader’s curiosity.

Having just recently finished 1984, I was right in choosing to read this book. The world Orwell created is as scary as it is enthralling, as real as it is fantasy. The creepiest part of all is that this book was written almost 70 years ago, but the world Orwell describes could be ours. Though we may not have telescreens or Room 101s or Thought Police to erase us from existence, his world is nearly indistinguishable from ours. Everything with Big Brother and the Party keeping total control over everything and everyone… that could be us. And for me, that real-ness factor is why I like the story so much. Not because of the prose, although that was pretty great. Not because of the characters, either, although that’s rare for me. It’s because this book opened my eyes a lot.

I’m not going to say this book is the best you’ll ever read, because it might not be and I certainly had some qualms with it. Winston, as a main character, seemed flat and boring on occasion, especially in comparison with the richness of the setting, and some of the stuff Winston and Julia said to each other bothered me. But I got over that. Because overall, this book was pretty great, and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it.

If you need more book recommendations, check out last month’s book recommendation!

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What books did you read this month? 🙂


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