My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I first rated this book 4 stars because I felt so dissatisfied with the story. But that’s the point. The story is meant to be discomforting. The characters are meant to be flawed. The writing is flawless.
I sought this book out because it is a classic in my favorite genre. I could not really call myself an avid fan of dystopian fiction until I’d read it.
Fortunately, I’m old enough to remember 1984 very clearly. I was a young adult, with memories also of growing up during the preceding decades. That means that I could remember what it was like to live in a world without flat screens and covert surveillance (of most people, anyway). Therefore, reading it in the early 21st Century was not a mental stretch.
But this book is still relevant. I think that younger people should be able to connect too, regardless of growing up with technology. Perhaps it will reveal to them things that they aren’t particularly conscious of, or highlight things they do not consider important because they know no other way.
With all that said, one cannot simply “enjoy” this book. It’s about society gone awry. It’s some form of what we live with now. I recall being devastated by the ending, which reveals about me that I want / expect / hope for heroes, even when there’s nowhere else to run.
But Orwell’s book itself is heroic. Will it save us?