1984, is the surreal alternative history novel by George Orwell. Written in 1949, the book is set in the future year of 1984. It is an alternative history where after World War two the world is split into three spheres of influence, Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. The story follows the life of Winston Smith, an outer party member who works in the Ministry of Truth. Winston’s main job is to enter past newspapers and articles so that they conform to the Parties ideology.
The society Smith lives in is a totalitarian one, where relationships and even free thinking is oppressed. After working in the Ministry of Truth, Smith starts to question the methods of the Party, which is further emphasised when Smith meets Julia. Smith and Julia start a romance which leads them to question the entire idea of the Party, but what they don’t know is that Big Brother is watching.
This was a great book full of excitement and betrayal. It was so fast paced that I read it in about two days. The detail of the society is un-believable, the idea of Big Brother and the Party is brilliant along with the stories of the three superpowers and of course the life and romance of Smith. The ending is so sad as well, and it makes you doubt about your ownreality, questioning if the decisions you make are really free, or are they forced on you by society.
I would recommend this book to anyone because it was brilliant. However I’d specifically suggest it to any fans of Fatherland by Robert Harris as it is a similar alternative history novel. It could also be a good book for anyone interested in North Korea since it has been in the news a lot lately. It would show how life might be like for the North Koreans living in a socialist state that is totally controlled by the government.
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