In 1984, London is a grim city where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.
I agreed to buddy read this book with a friend of mine. I have to hang my head in shame and confess to being one of the few people who have never read any of George Orwell’s books. For this reason, and also for the reason that I fight against totalitarian governments and oppression wherever I can. So I began the book with a large dose of enthusiasm.
Sadly, for the first four chapters struck me with crippling boredom. I was finding it very difficult to maintain any interest in the book. I have problems with books. My hands/wrists become very painful after only a short while of reading. So I downloaded the book onto my kobo instead, and wow! The difference has been marked. I’m now captivated by the story.
There is a disturbing aspect to the story when Winston has violent and murderous thoughts about Julia and also the desire to rape her, near to the start of the story. That misogynistic piece of the plot was disturbing and upsetting, but yes, I know that people do think that way and it is saddening.
When Winston and Julia come together, the story shows the lengths that two people in love will go to in order to circumvent their situation and be together.
What this book showed is the way that an oppressive political regime can use fear to control the people and there can be no way out. No hope. This book has painted a picture of lonely people existing in their own bubbles. In joyless lives, terrified to have an independent thought that would lead to the arrival of the thought police.
This dystopian world shows a political party exercising ultimate and total control of its citizens. I don’t want to say more on this vein, as I don’t want to spoil the story.
Orwell has created a grey, colourless world that holds you tightly in its grip and will not let go.
A three out of five star read.