30. 1984, George Orwell (October 17)
I thought I read this. I can’t remember why I’d think such a thing. I might have read an excerpt from it in high school or college. I really can’t remember. But there were a few parts of this story that I definitely REMEMBERED reading, and knew what was coming next, but the ending was shocking to me.
Along the same lines of Faulkner, this is a book that I HAD to read. Kind of like Shakespeare, or anything else that was required reading in school for someone, somewhere. This book was absolutely formative for what came after it. We have incorporated ‘Orwellian’ into our vocabulary, thanks to this book.
What an excellent story. It’s great to have read it now, so far from 1984, in a completely different and yet somewhat similar future. I think dystopian future might be my favorite genre of stories, although fantasy (Gaiman) and tragedy (Steinbeck) are definitely up there, as well.
I love that the ONLY part of this entire universe that seems to make any sense at all is the forbidden book that Winston reads, when he thinks he’s joining the brotherhood. All of that made such perfect sense, and it just gets written off as ‘oh, I was on the committee that wrote that book. Pure rubbish’ that comes later from another main character.
It’s interesting when you read a story, and for about half of it, you are sure (or imagine) that the protagonist will somehow make it out alive, or be ok, or get a happy ending. I guess, in a way, that Winston DID get a happy ending of sorts, but it’s devastating to read.
Now I feel the need to own the hard copy of the book. Because I definitely plan to read it again.