Written in 1949, 1984 is George Orwell's horrifying vision of what the world was becoming. Following the Great Wars of the 1950s, the world has been divided into thirds; Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia, with each controlled by an ideology that they teach to be completely different, but in reality is identical to each of the others, a sort of totalitarian socialist state, where independent thought or action is not only disallowed but punishable at the highest level. 1984 is set in London, now located in Oceania along with the Americas, Australia, and the islands of both the Pacific and the Atlantic. Winston, a 40 something member of the Outer Party, is not content with his life, and sets himself up to oppose Big Brother.
What can I say? Perhaps I was expectig too much, but not only can I not rave about this book, but I actively disliked it. While Orwell's vision of the ultimate nanny-state in which free-thought is forbidden and every action is watched and controlled by the government was terrifying, the book fell flat. The characters were completely one-dimensional, the conclusions inevitable, and there were long stretches of the book which were just plain boring. The book didn't get interesting at all until the last 50 pages or so, and even that was completely predictable - just a more interesting predicability. I get why it is a classic novel in that the ideas it presents are horrifying and timeless, but it failed to deliver in every way possible for me.