1984 by george orwell


There is no doubt that this classic book should be read. Orwell gives us a bleak portent of a world that no one would want to live in. Information IS power (as it is today perhaps more than ever) then the real threat of "post truth" and who that serves and benefits most is something that must be resisted at all costs.

That said Orwell was caught in the context of his time and my recent reading of 1984 made me wonder whether it deserves to be a literary classic... argument follows: what is a "literary classic"?

It can't be questioned that 1984 is clunkily written. Although not quite as bad as the 1954 BBC TV version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba4J6umbbp0&t=3s) I was dismayed at how the plot jerked along and the descriptions and settings were lost (to me) in terms of their relevance to the thrust of the story.

Then it's ultimately implausible to imagine a world populated by so many obedient followers... argument follows: what about DPRK, USSR, Nazi Reich. But cameras and listening devices everywhere?... argument follows: mobile devices connected to the Internet.

In the end I was glad when I got to the last page. But an imprint of Orwell's dark shadow world does not elude me. I can feel it watching me now.



Reviewed by: laserman
Sydney, Australia


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