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Publisher's Summary

Blackstone Audio presents a new recording of this dramatically popular book.

George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote.

Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

The year 1984 has come and gone, yet George Orwell's nightmare vision of the world we were becoming in 1949 is still the great modern classic portrait of a negative Utopia.

©1949 Harcourt Brace and Company, renewed 1977 Sonia Brownell Orwell (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Nominee, 2008 Audie Award, Classic

"It is probable that no other work of this generation has made us desire freedom more earnestly or loathe tyranny with such fullness." (New York Times, 1949)

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What listeners say about 1984

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Chilling

Beyond the obvious nature of 1984 as a warning against Socialism and the many things Orwell predicted that came true, from an entertainment standpoint this story is a very dark one of life in a nightmarish dystopia, the true horror of which is not revealed until the later chapters. I cannot go into further detail without spoiling it.

The presentation of this reading is not quite on par with an audio drama, but one cannot alter the format of this story without losing a great deal of its impact.
The performance adds little bits of musical melody, points of inflection, and native British accents that would otherwise be lost on an American audience in the original written format. I highly recommend this audio book!

133 people found this helpful

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A frank display of a possible dystopia.

I wish this were still, "recommended reading", in our school system, as a true deterrent of communism, But it saddens me that this idea will die with my generation. No longer will our children question the authority, but embrace it as an absolute. All will be transformed, and or be removed from history, In the name of the "greater good"! And as the rest of us scowl, and our children forsake our ideals. All the while turning on their beliefs and morals, as prescribed by their democratic overlords!

110 people found this helpful

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So glad I read it again in my 30's

I read this when I was a kid and could not digest the implications and the meaning of this book as a whole. Reading it now, makes so much of an impact and you understand the author's sense of urgency. Really well written with a good story underneath. The premise does not feel so far fetched anymore. The writer definitely saw the power of governance gone wrong early in his career and transformed into an anxiety inducing book.

Thank you Orwell.

The narrator did an amazing job to describe the anxiety in every character's persona.

104 people found this helpful

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1984? Seems more like 2021! 🔥 Read it.

Funny how this fictional book parallels the things that are happening today. Big tech & Big Government censoring our leaders and Americans. Taking control over us, our data, little by little each day. It’s pretty scary, but this book draws light on what is possible unless we elect those who embody freedom of speech, smaller government, and true personal freedom. It’s up to us people if we want to be free, or slaves to government & regulation.

41 people found this helpful

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1984 = 2017?

An absolute classic. and as timely now as it ever was. Great performance by Simon Prebble.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Come one, Come all into 1984!

I previously downloaded a version of 1984 that sounded as if the thought police had shoved the novel where no darkness shines. However, This five star version of Orwell's masterpiece is so well voiced, so expressive that I find it hard to put down. In this novel, we are transported to an alternate reality where history is overwritten and free thought is a crime. Depite the constant threat of the telescreens, spies and thought police, Winston and his love interest, Julia, endeavor to rebel against Big Brother in their own ways. Orwell's insight into history, warfare and mass hysteria reflect the era in which he was writing, and still endure in this classic of science fiction- a piece that anticipates not only future works in the genre, but twentieth and twenty first century issues of foreign policy and state welfare. If you haven't read this book, you owe it to yourself to give this version a listen- it will challenge you and touch you, and I know that I, for one, will never be the same.

298 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Good book. Horrible recording.

Every other sentence the reader speaks it sounds like there is a cut and the first few letters of a word is cut out. At first it is bearable but throughout the book it starts to get on your nerves.

17 people found this helpful

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Better than the real thing

If you were to read this as an actual book, you would miss out, this audiobook is that good. The narration is perfect; it's bone-chilling. This book is frightening, profound and incredibly relevant.

226 people found this helpful

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ROOM 101

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
This amazing thought provoking, scary, unforgettable?, timeless classic is a must read. The book is divided into three parts. Let me start with part 3. Horror fans do not miss part 3. Part 3 is filled with suspense and torture. Horror is one of my specialties, but no fiction book written with the sole purpose of horror can match the suspense and reality of Part 3. Russia, North Korea and Nazi Germany can not compete with the torture practices of the party. The ability to alter the mind, to control your very thoughts, to make you love what you hated, to turn yourself against yourself. HOW MANY FINGERS DO YOU SEE?

WAR IS PEACE
Part one is the introduction and we learn what it is like to live in this society through the eyes of Winston. Winston is watched his whole life, he has no privacy. His apartment has a camera, his job, everywhere he goes. Everything he says is listened to, his facial expressions are examined and if he does not look and act the way the party expects, he could be vanished. In the morning he is awakened by the television, expected to get out of bed and follow the leader on the TV in morning exercises, if he does not bend over far enough, his name is announced over a speaker in his room and he better perform properly. The TV can not be turned off. Few people are married and sex is frowned upon. Those that are married rarely love each other, they only have sex to do their duty to the party. Their kids usually end up turning against them and reported them to the party. They are then vanished, see part 3. At work, Winston's job is to change history. If the party said something a year ago, which does not agree with what they said today, then all written material from the past must be changed to show that what they said today is what they have always said.

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
Winston is lonely and he hates the party. He must hide these facts from the ever watching eye of Big Brother. Somehow, he is able to find places of privacy and to have an affair. Life almost takes on a certain type of normalcy. Yet, he and she know that they will get caught and that they will be tortured. The reader feels for the couple, wishes them happiness, yet dreads the ultimate outcome of them being caught. Part two is bitter sweet.

MINISTRY OF PLENTY
Simon Prebble is excellent, absolutely excellent. I can't say enough about his performance for this novel.

254 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book, With an Amazing Narrator

I'm a regular consumer of audio books, and Simon Prebble's narration brings this book to life with such pitch-perfect, jaw-dropping excellence that I'm at a bit of a loss how to praise him highly enough. Suffice it to say that I got so lost in the story that at times I forgot altogether that this was a book. Do yourself a favor and give this one a listen.

121 people found this helpful