1984 by George Orwell comes in at #2 on the combined lists of greatest 20th century fiction. The book was published in 1949 and is a look at 1984 in an Anti Utopian society. So does this book live up to being so high on the list?
The book follows Winston Smith. He has the glamorous job of going back and changing newspaper articles to make it look like his government is never wrong. Basically, 1984 centers around an Utopian society that has gone horribly wrong. All people are monitored at all times through television monitors. People who have an original thought vanish with no explanation. You aren't allowed to love or date who you want.
Basically every freedom is gone. The state is always at war with some other nation although it changes from time to time who the war is with. Many people just fall in line or don't know any different, but Winston tries to fight the system and even falls in love.
So does the book live up to the billing as the #2 book of the 20th century. It is solidly written with never a dull moment. Even though his vision of 1984 is long gone and has not come to pass, many of his concerns of privacy and freedom are still relevant today. The book does take an unusual turn towards the end, and almost becomes a different novel entirely. It is an important piece of the book, but is a little harder reading near the end, which is a shame because the rest of the book was just a treat to read. This book is definitely still important. I am not sure if it would rank as high as 2 on my list, but it definitely deserves a top 10 spot. 4 out of 5 stars. But remember, this could all just be from big brother!
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