On Nineteen Eighty-Four

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

3.5 stars  I read George Orwell’s 1984 several years ago and was struck by its clear sighted look at government gone wrong.  This book is not just a biography of Orwell but of the book itself, with details about his movements and frame of mind prior to writing, his personal life during writing and the publication process surrounding it.  I thought this was an interesting look at writing and how the author’s personal experience play into the plot and structure of the story.  I will admit that I found it dragged at times, even though it is a relatively short book, however, for fans of 1984, this is a great supplementary read.  I received a digital ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Big brother is watching. 

 George Orwell's chilling dystopian novel entitled 1984 (an inversion of the year it was written), is an iconic book that has served as a warning for my generation. Orwell warns us that if power is left to run unchecked, the terrifying realm of the not-so-distant future he depicts is in his novel is an all to plausible possibility. 

 In a world where technology has become more and more invasive, Orwell's work is as pertinent now as it was when he originally penned his novel. But what inspired Orwell to write 1984? And how was it received? In this concise and erudite biography of a book, Taylor places 1984 in it's cultural context and explores the influences that inspired Orwell to write this novel. He also examines how the book continues to remain pertinent in today's world. 

The perfect book who anyone who has ever worried if big brother is watching (he totally is) or who is concerned about the balance of power in today's world. Just don't let big brother catch you reading it.
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On Nineteen Eighty-Four offers some very interesting history to the writing of George Orwell’s masterpiece. The book is structured in three parts before the writing of the book (1903-43), during (1943-49) and then after its publication in 1949. The before section cover Orwell’s early life, schooling and the experiences that influenced his thinking. I had never knows how influential his schoolmaster was to the shaping of the ‘Big Brother” mindset.  The During section covers Orwell’s working life at the time as well as some of the current events that formed his thinking including major political events of the day (ending of WWII, Tehran Conference, rise of Socialism), life in wartime England, the death of his wife Eileen in 1945 and many other events. The after publication section covers from the Cold War period until recently

If you have or have had any appreciation for Nineteen Eighty-Four, I think you’ll appreciate this book.

#OnNineteenEightyFour #NetGalley
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This is the "story behind the story" of 1984.  As someone who enjoyed reading the book and watching the stageplay, it was interesting to read about Orwell and his life.  High school students studying the book might like this book, as well.
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On Nineteen Eighty-Four
A Biography

by D.J. Taylor

ABRAMS

Abrams Press

History

Pub Date 15 Oct 2019

I am reviewing a copy of On Nineteen Eighty-Four: A biography through Abrams Press and Netgalley:

Early in the summer of 1949 the first reviews of a new novel by English writer George Orwell began to appear on either side of the Atlantic. By the Autumn of 1949 Ninety Eighty-Four had turned into a runaway transatlantic success.

Since it’s publication nearly seventy years ago George Orwell’s 1984 has been called one of the most influential novels of the modern day. Everyone from politicians to rock stars have testified about the influence the novel has had on them. Rock musicians have made records about the book, reality shows have been named for it.

This book delves deeper into Orwell’s earlier life and writings including the strict Charismatic headmaster from his years at boarding school helped him to shape big brother. In this book Taylor tells the story of the writing of the book, taking readers to the Scottish island of Jura, where Orwell, newly famous thanks to Animal Farm but coping with personal tragedy and rapidly declining health, struggled to finish 1984. Published during the cold war—a term Orwell coined—Taylor elucidates the environmental influences on the book. Then he examines 1984’s post-publication life, including its role as a tool to understand our language, politics, and government.

In a time when truth, survelliance and censorship and critical thinking are contentious Orwell’s work has become necessary.

I give On Ninety Eighty-Four five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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"On Nineteen Eighty-Four" is a very interesting collection of writings on Orwell and his masterpiece 1984. Highly recommended.
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