Orwell, George. 1984. Signet, 1961. ISBN 978-0451524935 382 pp. $9.99
The first thing that struck me upon re-reading this 30 years later was the anti-Semitism–someone referred to as a jewess, and the focus of Party’s hate on a Jew. The next thing that struck me was the constant rewriting of history to form a preferred narrative. The next was the utter boredom and darkness of a scheduled existence, the utterly colorless utilitarian life, the drudgery of the every day. The propaganda. The feeling that I had in 1991 that this could never happen here, paired with the horror of our divided USA and the gross divide between the haves and have-nots as the middle class continues to shrink.
I slogged through the manifesto, rolled my eyes at the “romance” and shuddered at the torture. And drained, I shelved the book and turned back to romance novels. 1984 is no longer a science fiction novel for me–it is horror.