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    I started reading this book about two weeks ago after I'd heard all the englishfags rant and rave about it for the past many years. I got recommended it again by a flatmate and he gave me his copy to read.

    I just cannot understand the hype behind this novel. It's so dull and tiresome to read. It seemed to take the first 120 pages to set the scene and only got mildly interesting at around 150. I powered through it as I refuse to pass judgement on a half-read book but found myself falling asleep. I actually did fall asleep twice while reading it on the train home but that may have been from sleep deprivation.

    Inevitably, I ended up skimming over the section on "the book" as the endless blocks of uninteresting/unimaginative descriptive text made me want to kill myself.

    The torture section was mildly entertaining but drawn out and predictable. The actual ending seemed rushed and unfulfilling. Out of the 310 odd pages I think I found about 50 of them interesting.

    It was a chore to read, completely predictable and a wholly unsatisfying experience. I don't want to come across as an uncultured pillock, but seriously, why so much love?
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    It was written just before the Cold War (well, I'm not sure when it started, assuming 1945 with Potsdam when the carved up Europe and Asia etc..), it was seen as predictive - this is the future under communism. It was dystopian, but plausibly so, which is difficult to be (imo) - a dystopia you can almost feel coming. So ofc it got overhyped - it was read in the height of the red scare, it's perfect propaganda material.

    You don't like it... so what? I didn't like The Wire and can't abide Jane Austen. I'm currently half way through Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and while I appreciate it's merits, I just can't like it very much. You can't like everything popular. :dontknow:
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    It's because of the ideas expressed in the book. Totalitarianism has a lot of political relevance (USSR, North Korea, China) so it's constantly referred to as a warning or comparison.
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    Here's my experience of the novel and why I love it so much:

    I have read Nineteen Eighty-Four many times in English and excerpts in Persian (I have yet to find a decent/complete pdf of the book). What is interesting is that if you replace certain names, places, dates and so on with Persian names, you essentially have the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the history of the past 32 years of fascism and dictatorship. Obviously I know only these two languages, but I'm certain that if I read the book in Korean or Russian (to use examples of other languages and countries steeped in authoritarianism), I'd get a similar result.

    What I'm trying to say is that Nineteen Eighty Four is not only a flawless piece of literature, but it is also remarkably accurate. Orwell truly understands revolution, counter-revolution, dictatorship, cult of personality and human feeling. Perhaps you need to have experienced dictatorship and totalitarianism before you understand just how scarily accurate the book is.

    Emmanuel Goldstein's "Book" is a very good account of just exactly how dictatorial regimes acquire and consolidate power. Oligarchical collectivism, war is peace and so on are not fiction, they do actually exist. Orwell's understanding and depth of perception (no doubt due to his own experiences as an anti-Stalinist democratic socialist, and fighter in the anti-fascist International Brigades) of a stolen revolution and a totalitarian regime are very accurate. His portrayals of the "proles" and the way they are manipulated by Ingsoc and The Party into never awakening and revolting is again something which goes on day to day in the real world. Perhaps you need to be of a certain political inclination to appreciate Nineteen Eighty Four. I don't know.

    Political stuff aside, the character of Winston Smith as an everyman fighting the system is something I feel a lot of people could identify with, as are his attempts to stay free and enjoy simple pleasures (e.g. a love affair with Julia) that we take for granted in the free world. The scenes with O Brien and O Brien's lucid, yet disturbing, explanation of the aims of The Party are nothing short of awesome.

    Ultimately you can't force yourself to like a book, but Nineteen Eighty Four is truly magnificent.
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    I actually really liked it
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    Here's my experience of the novel and why I love it so much:

    I have read Nineteen Eighty-Four many times in English and excerpts in Persian (I have yet to find a decent/complete pdf of the book). What is interesting is that if you replace certain names, places, dates and so on with Persian names, you essentially have the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the history of the past 32 years of fascism and dictatorship. Obviously I know only these two languages, but I'm certain that if I read the book in Korean or Russian (to use examples of other languages and countries steeped in authoritarianism), I'd get a similar result.

    What I'm trying to say is that Nineteen Eighty Four is not only a flawless piece of literature, but it is also remarkably accurate. Orwell truly understands revolution, counter-revolution, dictatorship, cult of personality and human feeling. Perhaps you need to have experienced dictatorship and totalitarianism before you understand just how scarily accurate the book is.

    Emmanuel Goldstein's "Book" is a very good account of just exactly how dictatorial regimes acquire and consolidate power. Oligarchical collectivism, war is peace and so on are not fiction, they do actually exist. Orwell's understanding and depth of perception (no doubt due to his own experiences as an anti-Stalinist democratic socialist, and fighter in the anti-fascist International Brigades) of a stolen revolution and a totalitarian regime are very accurate. His portrayals of the "proles" and the way they are manipulated by Ingsoc and The Party into never awakening and revolting is again something which goes on day to day in the real world. Perhaps you need to be of a certain political inclination to appreciate Nineteen Eighty Four. I don't know.

    Political stuff aside, the character of Winston Smith as an everyman fighting the system is something I feel a lot of people could identify with, as are his attempts to stay free and enjoy simple pleasures (e.g. a love affair with Julia) that we take for granted in the free world. The scenes with O Brien and O Brien's lucid, yet disturbing, explanation of the aims of The Party are nothing short of awesome.

    Ultimately you can't force yourself to like a book, but Nineteen Eighty Four is truly magnificent.
    You really should have done Politics.
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    The book is fine, it's a good book, but for some reason I really cringe when someone's like '1984 is my favourite book', because I have a (probably unfair) presumption that most people who claim 1984 is their favourite book have only just started reading proper books and are really chuffed with themselves for reading such a classic.
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    (Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
    You really should have done Politics.
    I decided not to, for the sake of my sanity
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    I thought the same thing, one the sentences that annoyed me in the book was when he was describing Winstons neighbour: "She had dust in her face".

    The book isn't hailed because it a good read though, its hailed highly because of the fact that its a scarily real scenario for the future (some may argue that the world is already like it). Its also a very ingenious piece of writing in which Orwell has created an entire world, and described how it all works and the human psyche is manipulated.


    Brilliant story, just not told that well.
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    I got bored too. I kept hearing about it, and eventually I went and bought a copy. I don't even remember the ending because I was so bored by the time I got there. Lets just say, it wasn't one of those books which I couldn't put down. It normally takes me a couple of days to read a book if I'm into it. It took me nearly 2 weeks to read 1984...
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    I decided not to, for the sake of my sanity
    I'm quite sane.

    Man, you're missing out.

    (Says the girl still only half way through her disso, less than a week before the deadline).

    I never want to write another word about the far right for the rest of my life... unfortunately, I still have another 6000 words to do.

    GOOD TIMES.
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    It does drag in the middle a bit... still like it a lot tho - second time I read it I skimmed the boring bit.
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    (Original post by RollerBall)
    I started reading this book about two weeks ago after I'd heard all the englishfags rant and rave about it for the past many years. I got recommended it again by a flatmate and he gave me his copy to read.

    I just cannot understand the hype behind this novel. It's so dull and tiresome to read. It seemed to take the first 120 pages to set the scene and only got mildly interesting at around 150. I powered through it as I refuse to pass judgement on a half-read book but found myself falling asleep. I actually did fall asleep twice while reading it on the train home but that may have been from sleep deprivation.

    Inevitably, I ended up skimming over the section on "the book" as the endless blocks of uninteresting/unimaginative descriptive text made me want to kill myself.

    The torture section was mildly entertaining but drawn out and predictable. The actual ending seemed rushed and unfulfilling. Out of the 310 odd pages I think I found about 50 of them interesting.

    It was a chore to read, completely predictable and a wholly unsatisfying experience. I don't want to come across as an uncultured pillock, but seriously, why so much love?
    its a good thing its 2011!

    anyway you said its predictable because there had been many films and stories that have a similar ending to 1984, i'm drunk at the moment so i can't think of examples yet. if you read the book when it first came out or when you avoided the media all your life, the ending will indeed blow your mind.

    its quite a difficult book to read, but try and read it again without skimming it.

    (note, even when drunk, i can spell rather well and think normally)
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    (Original post by Cactus_Man)
    I'm sorry, but these are some of the most disgustingly ignorant comments I've ever heard pertaining to 1984. Clearly you cannot relate to Winston Smith because you've probably spent your entire lives in the UK and have been very fortunate. As somebody who hasn't always lived with the ability to speak freely (or even openly acknowledge that certain people, places, or events have existed), I can testify that Orwell is a genius. He never lived in a police state, yet he was able to flawlessly create one in literary form, as if he himself had been the inspiration for Winston Smith. I thought that I had invented such concepts as Doublethink (somewhat eerily, the term I'd conceived was "Dual-Layer Thought Processing") as I'd lived them for real, but then I read 1984 and was blown away by the man's foresight. Granted, you could argue that 1984 inspired sadistic people in modern times to utilise the tactics contained in the book by popularising them, but it should be noted that most of the concepts were already in use by Nazi Germany and the USSR anyway.

    And whilst the UK is one of the freest and greatest countries on Earth, it could still benefit you to read the book and take the time to appreciate its message. The surveillance that's so pervasive in the UK, such as the numerous CCTV cameras in London that can be used to listen in on conversations, bear a certain resemblance to telescreens that's worth thinking about.

    What on Earth was 'disgustingly ignorant' about my post? :curious:

    I said nothing bad about it. Literally nothing (unless 'overhyped' is a massive insult..) , I didn't even comment on it.. I said it was dystopian and was highly read during the Cold War.

    Tell me what's 'ignorant' about that..
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    Cos it's brilliant. At the end I was in a sort of frantic denial, my limbs had seized up, and I kept sorting out in my mind what was real, what was truth, what was undeniable.

    1984 is a classic because it forces (engaged) readers to question some serious topics. The book was almost terrifying - I mean, I get pretty into my books, but I'm sure this is true for others, too. Like how "Big Brother"/the government could just completely... wipe things out of existence, and nobody would ever know they had ever existed, and they would never be thought of again - so, did they ever really exist?
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    (Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
    It was written just before the Cold War (well, I'm not sure when it started, assuming 1945 with Potsdam when the carved up Europe and Asia etc..), it was seen as predictive - this is the future under communism. It was dystopian, but plausibly so, which is difficult to be (imo) - a dystopia you can almost feel coming. So ofc it got overhyped - it was read in the height of the red scare, it's perfect propaganda material.

    You don't like it... so what? I didn't like The Wire and can't abide Jane Austen. I'm currently half way through Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and while I appreciate it's merits, I just can't like it very much. You can't like everything popular. :dontknow:
    1984 is not anti-communist, it's pretty much Trotskyite propaganda.
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    (Original post by Layabout)
    1984 is not anti-communist, it's pretty much Trotskyite propaganda.
    Explain? :curious:
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    I can't stand Winston or Julia. I like the book though. Maybe it's because they both get broken beyond repair.

    Edit: Haha, wow that came out a little dark.
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    Aside from everybody's academic/political views on the subject, it is written extremely unpretentiously and the focus on a protagonist makes his situation easy to follow and empathise with. I guess a large audience has a morbid fascination toward the concepts of control and torture as well...

    But oh god, the book within the book was so dull. It just confirms what the reader has learned from the storyline already (I swear Orwell basically states that himself). Basically an excuse for Orwell to stick a thesis into the mainstream.
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    I love 1984, but it's not like you have to enjoy every single book you're recommended, OP.

    I'm an English Lit student, and I love reading, but there have been quite a few classics I just hated. Wuthering Heights is a prime example. And Gulliver's Travels. Ugh.
 
 
 
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