1984 cover

Winston Smith abides in Oceania, where war is never ending and Big Brother watches over all. Telescreens observe your every move; microphones are planted everywhere. Despite the party’s claims of perfection, Winston has his doubts about how wonderful and free he and the citizens of his country actually are. As he tries to find ways to rebel and overturn his government, the lines of moralities, truth, and the very essence of being a human are blurred together. As he questions the practices of the party, he secretly seeks out comrades who believe there is more than the motto “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.” He meets a woman named Julia, who is young and an avid member of the party’s chastity group, but also ready and willing to break government laws to find a semblance of humanity. She has pegged and sought out Winston as a rebel and their torrid love affair in the country that does not permit love begins, dragging these two through a journey neither expected to take.

Although its chilling and still relevant social commentary makes this sci-fi novel a classic, the narrator, Simon Prebble, moves the story at a slower pace. Long periods of the narration are filled with words that feel devoid of any pertinence, making it difficult to attach to the main plot. Winston is a character that readers may identify with more toward the begging of the novel, especially Americans with ideals of free will, choice and democracy, but as the plot moves forward, his romance takes a front seat and causes a distance between narrator and audience. As the plot progresses even further, there are encounters of some love scenes that seemed unnecessary and strange to the overall themes of 1984. With a touch of physical and psychological violence near the end this (audio)book will most likely interest a more mature reader.

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