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Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell - click to see full size image

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Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell was first published in 1949. Synonomous with an overbearing, controlling government, Orwell's dystopian science-fiction novel is the story of Winston Smith, a citizen of Oceania, one of three totalitarian states that rules the world. The other two are Eurasia and Eastasia, and the three are constantly at war, with Oceania at times being allies with Eurasia - other times with Eastasia.

Winston works at the Ministry of Truth where he spends his days rewriting historical records to match with the version of history that the state proclaims as true on any given day. Oceania is ruled by the 'Party' along with Big Brother, and the state constantly watches over it's citizens, and purges any that are guilty of not falling in line with the regime. Winston harbours dreams of revolting against the rule, but must be careful not to speak this, as he realises he is already a thoughtcriminal - one of the many Newspeak words that have come into existence since the emergence of the Party. After meeting Julia, and being invited to secret meetings by his superior O'Brien, hope springs up in Winston that the state can be overthrown.

A classic novel that has given us many words and terms - Orwellian, Thought Police, doublethink, Big Brother, 2+2=5, and one that has been popular since it was published. At the heart of it, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a supremely depressing novel, but one that remains as a warning as we see parallels to current real life instances of totalitarianism, mass surveillance, and violations of freedom of expression.

№ 12 in The BBC's 100 Greatest British Novels.

№ 59 in The Guardian's 100 Greatest Novels Of All Time.

№ 70 in The Guardian's 100 Best Novels Written In English.

This book has 172 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1949.

Production notes: This e-book of Nineteen Eighty-Four was published by Global Grey on the 10th October 2021. The artwork used for the cover is 'Abstract portrait' by Theo van Doesburg.

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