Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel, Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as a private tutor, schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles to a number of periodicals. Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933. In 1936 he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there. At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded. Homage to Catalonia is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there wrote Coming Up for Air. During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of the Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary, and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political allegory, Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame. George Orwell died in London in January 1950.
Sabrina Reiter, Thalia-Buchhandlung Wien, Donauzentrum
"Big Brother Is Watching You"
Winston Smith lives in a totalitarian world ruled by a tyrannical regime that watches its citizens 24/7. Questioning Big Brother, disagreeing with the Inner Party or simply addressing the fact that history is being altered again and again will ultimately cost you your life. Despite knowing this Winston "Big Brother Is Watching You"
Winston Smith lives in a totalitarian world ruled by a tyrannical regime that watches its citizens 24/7. Questioning Big Brother, disagreeing with the Inner Party or simply addressing the fact that history is being altered again and again will ultimately cost you your life. Despite knowing this Winston enters a secret relationship with Julia, a fellow free-thinker, and together they try to join the Brotherhood, an organisation rumored to work against the regime. Of course, their plan doesn't remain undiscovered for long and both of them soon learn, what happens to people in notorious Room 101...
Since its publication in 1949 "1984" has lost nothing of its topicality nor its relevance. I am truly stunned by George Orwell's visionary novel and glad that I finally picked it up.
Because of the detailed world-building and extensive explainations this book is quite a slow read. Despite that I could hardly put it down. "1984" is interesting, shocking and definitely thought-provoking.
This novel is a must-read for lovers of classics as well as fans of the distopian genre.