1984 is the classic dystopia by George Orwell that is set in a world where facts and history are constantly being changed by the Party, and with the help of telescreens and the Thought Police, Big Brother is always watching.
Winston is the main character of this story, and he’s not a fan of Big Brother. He commits smalls acts of rebellion, hoping they will go unnoticed but also fearing they may not. Then one day, a woman approaches him with a note, saying that she loves him, and the two arrange secret meetings to carry out an affair. After a time, however, they are arrested by the Thought Police and brought in to be tortured and indoctrinated to love Big Brother.
This book is divided into three parts, and basically, I could have done without most of the first two parts. A lot of it was extremely dull and I cared very little for Winston or Julia. I also thought some of the writing was sort of sloppy, or at least it would be considered that way now. There is at least a chapter, maybe more, where Winston is reading the book of the Brotherhood (the rumored resistance movement), and we are literally reading it with him. This was really boring and I thought it could have been written in a much better way.
That being said, the ideas in this book are provocative, especially for the time period it was written, and the third part of the book is much more interesting (I plan to go into more detail in a future post), though it is hard to read due to the content and the ending is not happy. When taking a look at the rating scale, nothing seemed right. I felt just OK about the book overall, but I didn’t feel that a two star rating was fair for the merit of the book. However, I think it’s far from five or even four star material, as I found that only the ideas were interesting and found the story absolutely boring and uninteresting when it could have been wildly fascinating. So I give it three stars.
Among the Nameless Stars is a novella prequel to Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars. The story focuses on Kai after he escapes the North estate and sets out for a new life on his own. I enjoyed the book as a supplement, but it was not much of a story on its own (which I suppose is fine for what it is), and I was hoping for more. The story ends with Kai leaving with Felicia Innovation, and I would have liked more about his time with the Innovations. Still, it was really nice to get Kai’s perspective and understand why he felt the way he did, as well as see the letters he wrote to Elliot but never sent. Though I enjoyed this story much more than 1984, I also give it a three star rating since it was good but not amazing.
Have you read either of these books? What were your thoughts on them?