1984, by George Orwell, like so many other books has been on my to read list for countless years. And also, like so many other books, 1984 has been on my bookshelf for another number of years. Recently though, I finally got around to reading it, and this is where I decide whether the novel was worth the wait.
So, going into the novel I already knew the general idea. I think i’m pretty spot on in saying that most people do have some kind of understanding as to what Orwell’s 1984 is about, right? For me, my understanding of the novel centred around it being about this idea of the ‘big brother’, about an all seeing eye, that is constantly watching you. Aside from that though, my knowledge of the actual plot was pretty limited. – And by that I mean I had no idea what was going to happen.
When you read 1984 you can identify why people enjoy this novel so much, and why it may be considered a classic. I found it was a novel that really questioned our modern world and the future that is ahead of us. Specifically when now, in the modern day, nearly 35 years on from when the novel was set this idea of being watched through electronics is something that could very easily become a reality. Though with all these news gadgets, the google home, and amazon echo etc, you really wonder whether this kind of monitoring has already started. Though that’s a debate probably left for another time. So, in general I quite enjoyed this aspect of the novel, and reading about a world that is so obviously monitored and controlled by the people in power.
However, I feel I was left a little bit disappointed (as with anything that is over hyped). I had high hopes for 1984. I was hoping for it to be this really insightful novel, that would stay with me for the days after I finished the last page. But nope, no luck there. I was pretty let down by the novel in general. I feel though, that is not necessarily because of the writing and the novel itself, but more because of the person I am when reading a novel. I was simply expecting more from the plot and something a little more gripping. I mean, the idea of there being an all seeing eye, really does open the door for a multitude of gripping plots. Though there are probably many other authors who have put pen to paper and written a story similar, inspired by Orwell’s work.
Although 1984 has left me feeling slightly disappointed, I am glad that I finally got around to reading it. No more am I in wonder of what Orwell”s pages hold. And though I was not blown away by this novel, I cannot fault the writing. Each page flowed well into the next, and I did keep reading without any stumbles, or any annoyances in regards to the written word. And for that I am grateful, because I would never have gotten through this book at all, let alone at a good pace, if the writing had been as disappointing as the plot.