Con-nerd-sseur Log Book #5- 1984

Oh my goodness, the past few days have been insane. I spent almost the entirety of Christmas Eve day at the Ravens game, I spent Christmas doing Christmas-y stuff and spent today traveling around to my grandparents for the festivities. Compound this with my loss of an internet connection and you can see why it took so long to get through another entry of literary taste testing from NPR‘s list of the top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books. Before I get onto the rest of my response, I want to address a comment I received about why I chose to use audiobooks primarily if the aim of this taste testing is to better my writing skills. Certainly a great comment, and one that I too considered, at the beginning of this journey through great literature. My film teacher beat into our heads this semester that content determines form (not just in a movie, but in any story), simply put, the needs of the story are what determines the stylistic form of the work. My primary goal with this is to better craft my stories first, craft characters and plots (making sure I’m not copying anyone, or if I am, then I am copying the correct people at least), so for the task of visualizing all the stories and experiencing them, I feel that audiobook is the most convenient method-based both on busy-ness and reading speed. Surely I plan to go back and read the stories that most speak to me and try to learn from each of the styles. But, for this process of taking in the story and giving my initial response, I will be relying on audiobooks. Now, let’s get to the fifth installment from the list.

Book: 1984, George Orwell


Time Period: Friday, December 23rd– Tuesday, December 26th

Source: Audiobook borrowed from Westminster Library

This book was rather interesting. I know that the book is great and I like it a lot, but I am still reeling from the ending (and if you have read this book too you will understand). The things that I enjoyed the most about this book were the plot (just the whole world and everything was great), the depth of the characters (as deep as you can go in this world), the juxtaposition of Winston and O’ Brien, and the themes discussed in this book. I’m pretty tired (mentally) and this book is the main cause of it, so I will keep this one short.

I liked the way the plot lead Winston and the reader (me at least) to believe that there was some way he could subvert the Party. I enjoyed his ups-and-downs throughout the whole novel. I enjoyed the depth we got to see Winston with, like the little bit about him and the cookies, his anxiety and any other response that we see from him. I felt like this focus on him gave a great deal of emphasis to his character, which builds up a good relationship for the reader with him. The relationship with Winston and O’Brien was played out very well too. I thought O’Brien would somehow save him, I was completely blindsided when they just got caught in their little Eden and  O’Brien tortured him and broke him. The part when Winston is imprisoned was by far the most moving and intellectually stimulating for me. The discussion of power and the like, was just interesting and well done. I thought that it was interesting how Winston maintained his individuality up until Room 101 (it reminded me of Doctor Who: The God Complex). I was really torn up when Winston became just what the Party wanted him to be (he even got thicker-like O’Brien) because I hoped he could hold out. But, it makes sense. Whether you interpret it as politics or if you look at it existentially (the party being almost like God or death or something like that) the fate of being swallowed up and forgotten is inescapable, but we do it anyway because there is some hope that endures in some of us.

That’s my little response to this book. I think the briefness of my response says more about the book than my rambling on and on. This is a great book, a definite re-read, not just for story but for the style as well. Orwell is very good with his symbolism, etc. and this is certainly levels deep in terms of meaning. Well, that’s the fifth book of my con-nerd-sseur literary taste test. I’m searching out the next book presently and I will get a response to you all as soon as possible. As always, please give me comments or feedback, it makes me better and more enjoyable for you all to read. Until next time, have a great winter season!


~ by theblogofmatthew on December 27, 2011.

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