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1984  By  cover art

1984

By: George Orwell
Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
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Publisher's Summary

Big Brother is watching you....

1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party’s power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party’s department for propaganda, Winston Smith’s job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words ‘DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER’, his personal rebellion begins....

George Orwell’s masterpiece is the definitive dystopian novel and one of the most influential works of the twentieth century.

©1949 George Orwell (P)2015 Canongate Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"I read it again, and again...right up there among my favourite books." (Margaret Atwood, Guardian)
"My favourite book is 1984... More relevant to today than almost any other book that you can think of." (Jo Brand)
"His final masterpiece...enthralling and indispensable for understanding modern history." (New York Review of Books)

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What listeners say about 1984

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Brilliant classic.

A timeless classic that's very relevant for our current era of new speak and the like. Faultless narration.

7 people found this helpful

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Wincott does an exceptional work.

Must read book and should be there in your library always. It certainly is a classic. What makes it more special his wincott's narration. You can literally experience the fear of the author. The book is timeless because how Orwell predicted it in 1949 and the same can be seen happening now. State surveillance.

3 people found this helpful

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Great book

What made the experience of listening to Nineteen Eighty-Four the most enjoyable?

I felt I was with the narrator. Experiencing the pain and horror. Experiencing the thought process. I enjoyed how different the story of this book is.

What other book might you compare Nineteen Eighty-Four to and why?

None so far. This book is pretty unique.

Any additional comments?

I had a great experience reading this.

3 people found this helpful

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1984 was supposed to be a warning...not a manual

A must read for everybody who wants to know were leftwing and progressive policies will inevitablely lead every society. "Who controls the past, controls the future; who controls the present controls the past". Newspeak, 2 minutes of hate, thought police in form of cancel culture..as I said, this book was supposed to be a warning and not a manual!!

2 people found this helpful

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5/5 will need to relisten a couple of times

The narrators voice is really nice and clear. The singing and women lines were so cute

1 person found this helpful

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Cool concept, no story

No story, just an explanation about how it came to be.. More of a preaching than I story.
But some very cool concepts!

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Great book stood test of time

Great book up to 75% of content last 25% dragged too much. Principles relevant even today.

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Depressing AF but could not stop thinking about it

Somehow I never got to reading the book in 33 years but now I made up for it. The story was amazing, it is trully a masterpiece, no doubt about it. The storyteller was amazing also

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Really good. Classic! Must read!

Very good. Good narrator. And a dystopia worth getting into. A must read about regime in a fictional England obsessed with controlling every part of thought and speech.

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Finally got to consume the famous 1984

Due to the shifting narration volume (which I guess the changing mood of the book demands) and pronunciation clarity, it was at times hard to understand for me as a non native English speaker. But overall narration is ok. The story itself is full of metaphors and jumps which a keen listener wouldn't have problems with. I wasn't so keen all the time.

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  • Draycass
  • 01-28-16

Big Brother is watching you!

If you could sum up Nineteen Eighty-Four in three words, what would they be?

Insightful, Though invoking

Who was your favorite character and why?

There is only one favorite - Winston. Resolute despite adversity. I won't spoil what happens by adding my final thoughts on dear old Winston!

What does Andrew Wincott bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His vocal quality is perfect for this book! It suits the style and atmosphere of the book. Dark, mysterious and moody.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Big Brother is ALWAYS watching you!

Any additional comments?

1984 is a thought provoking look at what could be. The date may be long gone, but don't be fooled into thinking that George Orwell's prediction of what might be is long gone! This book has a whole new meaning in light of the Edward Snowden revelations on Mass Surveillance.
The characters are well written and fit perfectly into a descriptive and sterile world.

49 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren
  • 07-05-17

Overrated doesn't begin to cover it.

It's the first time I've got around to 'reading' this highly acclaimed book and I have to say it was a huge disappointment.

Incredibly hard to get through, it's long winded-ness, lack of narrative and apparently pointless minutia had me bored to tears. There is no story.

Yes, it's a brilliant foretelling of the Big Brother state and wide spread surveillance but that's about as far as it goes. Don't expect engaging characters or a gripping story. There are literally hours where the character/narrator reads other books. One to tick off the 'books I should read' list but I'm at a loss as to this book's continued popularity.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Rory Scanlon
  • 09-05-19

Timeless classic reflects today's politics.

The current restrictions on speech and orthodoxy across the West make this the perfect time to read this book.

36 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 12-20-16

excellent narration.

the narrator was excellent I'm surprised I've not heard more from this guy. I'd like to hear him with Naresh some sci-fi

31 people found this helpful

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  • Ano nymous
  • 12-01-15

Simply Brilliant.

What did you like most about Nineteen Eighty-Four?

This book is shockingly relevant, it resonates so strongly in the modern day. The poignancy of the story and the incredible way it is written makes it a must read for everyone.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Nineteen Eighty-Four?

The description of the Prole women fighting over the pots in the city, Winston believes the sound to be the sound of some kind of uprising only to find that it is simply the women fighting over cheap pots, this just struck me as horribly pertinent after the incidents of 'Black Friday. '

Which character – as performed by Andrew Wincott – was your favourite?

Possibly Obrien is my favourite character, its his harsh personality that really brings the strength to this novel in terms of its authenticity. He makes no attempt to glamourise the rebels enterprise, instead he reflects the frank truth of the matter that in order to effect any change they will have to be brutal and its not going to be easy.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I was gripped all the way through this book, it was long and so I couldn't listen to it all at once- but I sure wanted to!

31 people found this helpful

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  • Jonny D
  • 04-01-16

A Prophetic look at modern 'Politics of Fear'...

If you could sum up Nineteen Eighty-Four in three words, what would they be?

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

What about Andrew Wincott’s performance did you like?

Very well read.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

This is a book everyone should read. It is almost impossible to imagine that it was written in the 1940's, as it is so amazingly accurate in relation to the kind of world we now live in, with the intrusive surveillance, the invasion of privacy, the never ending wars and the constant barrage of self-serving propaganda we are subjected to by our respective Governments. I read this book as a teenager and then listened to it again 30 years later as an audio book. It was only upon the second reading that I truly appreciated its true brilliance. It is one of the most spellbinding books I've ever read, Orwell was undoubtedly a genius and a prophet. If you look around, you can see all that he foretold...and more.

28 people found this helpful

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  • BlueZen99
  • 07-24-16

Outstanding!

A superb book superbly read. Looking forward to another Orwell book hopefully read by the same narrator.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Cherry
  • 02-18-16

Great stuff..

Andrew Wincott's well spoken yet haunting tone, richly captures Winston's story and elevates it to sound realistic, truthful and emotional in a world where 'reality', 'truth' and 'emotion' do not exist. Of course Orwell's writing is incredible and prophetic, all of this praise goes without saying. However, if you love this, then Down and Out in Paris and London is fantastic, and I would highly recommend it! I've read all of Orwell's works, but I've decided to go through the audio books while studying him again at uni to spice it up a bit, and the theatricality and voice acting really brings something new to each story! Homage to Catalonia next for me!
(One thing I will say was that Wincott's voice was quite slow, so I did speed it up to 1.5)

25 people found this helpful

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  • Wras
  • 04-16-16

The object of terrorism is terrorism.

"The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”
― George Orwell, 1984

I had not read this book for years but it has been calling me to refresh it in my mind or test it against the reality of the future that never was but that almost is, a book that terrified me when I was young but informed me, inoculated me against accepting the belief that the ends justify the means, that power speaks for me, a book that taught me that the extremes are but reflections of of the desire to control to diminish the individual the singularity of thought or its possibility.

“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”
― George Orwell, 1984

If you have not read this book you are missing one of the most influential pieces of modern political thought and the joy of discovering a book that has influenced the english language itself with its existence.
A way of understanding the value of freedom, of defending the right of people to think and express their thoughts even when they insult one's beliefs; a parameter to distinguish what is totalitarian and an affront to the individual and its rights to express them in his or her life down to the most basic human acts like loving in freedom, without culture, religion or party regulating every aspect of your existence.

“Does Big Brother exist?"
"Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party."
"Does he exist in the same way as I exist?"
"You do not exist.”
― George Orwell, 1984

If you have read it early in your life see how much your life has changed your perspective and how many tricks your memory has played with you. One thing is certain it will not disappoint you in any way.

“Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn't matter; only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you-that would be the real betrayal.”
― George Orwell, 1984

“But you could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.”
― George Orwell, 1984

Andrew Wincott is a fantastic reader whose voice resembles Richard Burton adding a frisson to the reading especially when he impersonates O'Brien.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Lydia Badham
  • 01-19-16

A must read (or listen)

Despite its age, the story is still very relevant today, you can easily relate some of the thoughts in this book with modern day social and political conflicts. I think that it is a book everyone should either read or listen to at some point in their life, it has clearly inspired so many stories and worlds since it was written. The performance was also good, read clearly with an interesting voice that goes well with the dystopian world of 1984 and distinctive voices for all characters.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Johnny
  • 03-14-16

Brilliant read

Fantastic version of the book.. The narrator gave a brilliant performance, really adding to the dreama of the story. Absolutely recommended.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Nathan
  • 02-01-17

Relevant to this day

A never ending war. False scarcity. A ruling class obsessed with maintaining power for its own sake. Thoughtless and easily manipulated masses. A ever watching security state... War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength... Reality is odder than this fiction.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Luke
  • 12-03-18

A alarming view into a dystopian future.

This masterpiece had me listening avidly to a possible future that would scare the crap out of anyone. Narration was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-20

narrating was astounding!

This book is more relevant to today than ever before.

The narrating was one of the best that I have heard across my entire Audible Library.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Shane Connor
  • 03-12-19

This was meant to be a warning, not a guide..


1984 is an insanely relevant novel in this day and age.

WAR IS PEACE.
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Madeline
  • 07-14-17

Couldn't get past the sexism...

What disappointed you about Nineteen Eighty-Four?

I understand it's a popular book, and perhaps at the time the concept was original and thought provoking. But I honestly couldn't sit through a book where women are described so horribly. Within the first few chapters he has described how he wants to rape a woman and slit her throat after, how an old woman's skin is so cracked it probably has dust in it, describes women's voices as shrill and awful, describes women as being empty of thought, passive, and compliant. The almost only sex that occurs is with prostituted women, who are not given a human status, he instead mentions how depriving it is that the men must go without sex, and mentions the prostituted women as being of an almost subhuman class. Not only is it awful to sit through these never ending misogynistic descriptions, but it is also so implausible that there would be a world where women were so satisfied with their roles as described in this piece of fiction. The 'n' word used to describe black people was too much as you could not decide whether it is the character's description or actually just the authors. It must be much easier to get through this book as a white man. When comparing this book to the Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Attwood) since it is fiction of a similar theme, one starts to think that women's biggest fear in a dystopian future is being fully deprived of human rights, whilst man's is being deprived of sex.

What could George Orwell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Told this story from multiple angles.

What character would you cut from Nineteen Eighty-Four?

Winston.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jason
  • 06-09-18

Interesting, although slow.

1984 is among the 'must-read' of modern literature, so it was with excitement that I started this book. The narration is outstanding, however my preference of book is more fast-paced than 1984.
The premise of the story and the world which George Orwell created is fascinating and intricately devised. If you prefer action and pace in your books, look elsewhere. If you enjoy delving deeper in to the character's thoughts, than this book might be for you.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Coda Ebejet
  • 07-13-21

Underwhelming

I personally found it hard to finish this book postponing the end over a considerable amount of time, and not due to a lack of interest, but knowing the end wouldn't feel satisfying. In summary all potential stories threads are meaningless, and it's only purpose is to demonstrate the hopeless surroundings through the perspective of a pervert's love story.

Lastly, the political philosophy surrounding the underlining of the story is the only remember thing about this book, but it's incredibly weak. To simplify the message authoritarianism is bad, which no one that's honest would dispute.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-03-19

crap

No good ,boring , slow , complicated bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-15-21

A classic they say..

I would rather die right now than listen to any more of this dribble. It might not have been so bad if it had a story line. So for the first time in my life I am not finishing a book! I've made it 17 chapters so I've given it a red hot shot. I can't believe all the reviews this book has received! Boring Boring Boring

1 person found this helpful