Book Review: Nineteen Eighty-Four

Book Review: Nineteen Eighty-Four

 Many readers who completed their high school and college years from the fifties through the seventies have already read this book.  Some students during that time period may not have read this book because it was considered subversive by many local school districts. First published in 1949 and written by George Orwell.  Nineteen Eighty-Four is futuristic utopian fantasy set in fictional Oceania, one of three super states that have divided up the world.
  Many terms that originally came from this book such as Big Brother—the constant observance of society by the powers in control—are still used with that basic meaning. In the last Bond movie Spectre 007 (Blu-ray), there is a line that M says, ‘Orwell is turning over in his grave’ referring to the rise of surveillance in society. So Orwell’s work is still being referenced to this day. But there are more terms such as, DoubleThink, CrimeThink, that in the time of Oceania would encompass the meaning of Political correctness today.
  This book is every bit as much about language, the use of it, how it is used, and how it is defined as it is a futuristic critique of extreme controls and planning by those that come to power.  Orwell, saw deceit, treachery, corruption, and dissolution of freedoms long before most of were born and he projected his insight towards a future that becomes defined by IngSoc, the Newspeak word for English Socialism.  The principle character Winston Smith, is what we define today as a low level bureaucrat. Winston has had a past life with a wife and memories, memories that are so troubling—because they take him back to past that officially never existed. And his job is to erase all versions of incidents that did not officially happen. He does this with Newspeak the newest form of English. Newspeak is not a growing language, in fact it is shrinking, and the newer combined words have less broadly defined meanings. The powers behind big brother by the control of language. They don’t allow words such as freedom, liberty and there are no words to replace those words. So those concepts of liberty and freedom simply disappear.
I think the most important, thought provoking part of this book is at the end. George Orwell wrote a fictional Appendix for Newspeak. In the appendix he explains how language would be used to control society. (Sound familiar?)

Nineteen Eighty-Four is five full sails. I read it in paperback for $6.00 US. This book is ranked 75 on Amazons sales list. You can order right now.  It is also available for Kindle all customers and those on Amazon Prime. 
Thanks for reading, please share on Google + & Twitter and recommend to your friends.

Blog Search  #BigBrother  1984  Nineteen Eighty-Four

The Emperor of all Maladies { A Biography of Cancer }

By Siddhartha Mukherjee

    My Rating Five Full Sails !


     I have re-read this book five times. As a cancer patient who is currently in remission for two years, this has been my go to book for understanding a disease and making a human connection with the disease itself.   As the author writes" Cancer is a distorted version of ourselves." 

    If you are caring for someone who has this disease or are going through it yourself, this is the book the explains what cancer is and ties it with a brilliantly written narrative that intertwines a doctor with each patient.  As you read through Carla's story with leukemia, the author entwines the history of uncovering  this illness with past and present patients.  He explores that mysticism that ancient doctors used to describe something that was unable to be understood in earlier times.   But they now  know what Cancer is, and as the author carefully advises we are only at the beginning of understanding this disease.

Echo Dot on Sale $49.99 

Which Kindle would you like to read this on?  

    So why fives times for me? Well my patent answer that I tell people is "I've been through three full cycles of chemo therapy and now I forget a lot. " But the book is an interesting read, and every time I go abck through it my understanding of what has affected me gets deeper. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

Book Review : The Outlaw Album




Book Review

The Outlaw Album

By Daniel Woodrell

This collection of short stories by the author of such well known works like Winter's Bone & Tomato Red which won the Pen West award for fiction in 1999— is the first collection of short works for the author.

    Daniel has created a cast of characters, in this short story collection The Outlaw Album  , that have different strains of bad in them. Some of the characters come out of the past such as in Woe to Live On, while others are in the present.
What I like about Mr.Woodrell's talents is his consistent and exacting use of local vernacular.  He doesn’t miss any details in tone, inflection, and behavior in any of his characters. What I like about his stories in general is that they are written to how he wants to tell the story. Let me explain.  I recently read a short story compilation that was edited by George R R Martin. The stories were all five-thousand words in length, a standard word count requested by editors and used by authors to sell their work. I never reviewed that book because it was a terrible collection. But Mr. Woodrell doesn’t put himself in that mold.  If a story is  twelve hundred words, he doesn’t fluff it up. His writing is precise, consistent with characters, and his story lines eb and flow as needed to convey the scene or temperament of the characters.  This collection contains short stories of various lengths, all were interesting and enjoyable.  Not a surprise that the author of Winters Bone could also produce a great collection of short stories.  If you enjoy reading about intriguing characters, that represent the best and worst of humanity, you will enjoy this book.

   This Book is Five Full Sails. Excellent work, well written, add it to book shelf today.


Book Review : The Long Walk



The Long Walk

By Brian Castner


I’ll start with the first thought, well really a question, which I had after I finished reading this wonderfully written memoir.  How can we ever fully understand what other people have gone through? The answer of course is-we can’t. That’s why we read memoirs, to learn about another person’s life. To, maybe, understand the human experience better.
I love it when I find a book like this. A book that the publisher has moved on from, as far as promotion is concerned and the author has moved onto another project as well. It’s up to the rest of us to keep the story alive. It’s still available.  This isn’t the first book that I’ve read written by a former soldier, it’s the second. The first one was Soft Spots , which I also recommend.  
    Mr Castner starts at the beginning with a memory of friends, then takes us into the world of  an EOD technician. EOD, Explosives Ordinance Disposal, is not everyone’s first choice in life, but it’s what the author chose.
    You will be with him, as an insubordinate officer, as a tech at night on a bridge defusing a bomb while being shot at, and a husband who becomes distant from his family. You feel the first steps at trying to recapture a mind lost to shock-wave after shock-wave from explosions.
Memoirs written by soldiers are among the most important books for us to read, as we-as a nation-move on from the war.  
A soldier’s memoir is important because it can shape us. It’s not acceptable to be ignorant of a life that accepted a command to fight or defend. Reading a soldier’s story is not commending or condoning, it’s taking the steps to understand. As a reader you become better informed about decisions our politicians make that ultimately have an effect on all our lives.  Our lives are affected when they come home. Can they handle it? Are they safe? Are we safe being around them? Can we help them?  All of these questions enter the public arena and require understanding. Reading-The Long Walk, will get you closer to being in another person’s footsteps, as they struggle on a sand hill, work a thirty-six hour EOD call and then rest for one hour before going back on another call.  To see through their eyes: losing a friend, a brother in arms, and their mind. Walking with them, step by step, in the supermarket with a sense of readiness to pull the trigger on their weapon—tense; wound-up, wound-down, judgment lost, but not forgotten. Then judgement regained, slowly in Yoga Class, slowly pushing the mind to work correctly, though much slower, back to a place of understanding oneself, and struggling to understand their new reality.
This book is Five Full Sails, and it is still available through the link provided here. The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows   Note: Image in post is of a hard cover, that is what I read. Image on order my differ, but it's the same book. 

Comment, share this post, then let me know. I have two free copies to send out to a reader.

Place this book on your TBR list.
© Copyright 2016 , book reviews Artemis J Jones