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1984: a new audio version of the classic dystopian novel

1984 by George Orwell is one of those books often referenced and hailed as a 'must-read' classic. Inspired by literature such as Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, 1984 is set in Oceania and follows the life of Winston Smith who exists as one of the many miserable citizens under the rule of The Party and the 'watchful' eye of Big Brother. Working for the Ministry of Truth, Winston begins to rebel against The Party's restriction of certain materials and trains of thought. This comes to the forefront through his relationship with Julia and we agonise over their journey and ultimately where the novel ends up.


While I agree 1984 is a classic dystopia and full of my favourite dystopian themes and lessons, similar to YA stories such as Divergent, it won't be everyone. Its dense and complicated plot can leave readers a bit disillusioned, so I recommend an alternative.



Big brother is watching you
'Big brother is watching' but on Audible!

Audible's recent adaptation of 1984 starring Andrew Garfield gives you the best of the dystopian story without feeling completely lost.


Audible's 1984: The Audio Production

What stood our most for me with this audio adaptation was the production. Not only is Andrew Garfield's performance perfect for the dystopian nature of the plot, but the sound effects only exaggerate the harrowing details of the tale. For example, hearing the noise of the crowd's support for Big Brother behind Winston's thoughts exemplified the scary loyalty to the very regime that was oppressing the people of Oceania. I thoroughly enjoyed these tiny details that weren't necessary, but that make the listening even more entertaining and thought-provoking.


Presenting Key Dystopian Aspects


In the same way, the 3-hour adaptation presented the key dystopian aspects of the story fantastically. By stripping back the story to the core themes of oppression, totalitarian control and false utopia, listeners are exposed more clearly to Orwell's intention to comment on the danger of governmental control limiting people's freedoms.


Living Life to the Full

Another aspect of the story that was beautifully done in the adaptation was Winston and Julia's relationship. The tender moments between them, like the first time Winston tries chocolate, were precious and captivating. There is something here about living life to its fullest, and that making time for the people you love has to be a priority. Because through that connection, we may truly find ourselves.


This makes the conclusion to the novel even more heartbreaking - to find out why, you'll have to go and listen (or read) for yourself.


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