Sunday, 8 December 2013

Review: Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had wanted to read this book for a long time. I tried reading it as a ebook on my computer, but gave up after the first chapter. I found a paperback version of this book at the 8th Karachi International Book Fair in 2012 at the Discount Books section of Liberty Books stall.

This review is under construction. Thank you for your patience.

I am writing a review for this book after such a long time. At the time that I finished reading the book, the book had affected me so much that I did not think that I would be able to write a review for it. Nevertheless, I did note down my instant reaction so I could incorporate it in a review someday:

SPOILERS Ahead. Consider yourself warned!!

"I don’t know why I read dystopian fiction; why I do this to myself? After resisting the temptation, I similarly succumbed to reading The Hunger Games last year; and by the time I had finished the last book in the trilogy, I was feeling so morbid and disheartened. I guess my curiosity just got the best of me again. And the worst thing about 1984 was that so much of his predictions are now a grim reality.

The misplaced appendix at about Newspeak looked so out of place at first … that is, until I went back to read the introduction by Thomas Pynchon that I had initially skipped. As I read his interpretation of the appendix, I understood its significance; just like Goldstein’s book tells Winston what he already knows but cannot put into words. After reading the introduction, suddenly I was relaxed; the frown on my face vanished and began seeing a ray of hope once more. I remembered that the wheels of fortune are always turning and that the night is always darkest before dawn. Am I just a fool?

So there are like CCTV cameras everwhere in London, in the hallway, in the corridors and even inside your bedroom...and London is run by 4 ministries: love, peace, truth and plenty. And nothing is illegal anymore, so you get punished for each and every inappropriate behavior.

The narrator started a diary and fears that he will soon be caught by the Thought Police.

So the narrator works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, where he alters the historical records each day to cater to the wishes of the Party.

End of part I. Winston saw the same women in the street outside the antiques bookshop and he is convinced that she's spying on him. In a desolate mood he returns home to write his diary and ponder his future when she gives him up to the thoughtpolice.

So Winston has arranged a secret rendezvous with the girl, Julia. Winston has rented the room from the old prole man for his meetings with Julia. Winston's colleague, Syme, has been vaporised. Meanwhile prep for the Hate Week is in full swing. O'Brien has initiated the contact with Winston. So Mr. Charrington is not really an old man, he's actually a 35 year old men of the Thought Police. He has caught both Julia and Winston.

O'Brien tells Winston, "...One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

Winston is inside the Ministry of Love...or rather the Guantanamo Bay...he is told that he will be killed after they conquer is mind and he will vanish from the world without a trace...

"Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me-"

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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Review: The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

SPOILERS Ahead. Consider yourself warned!!

The Great Gatsby (2013) posters

I wanted to read it anyway, but now since the movie is coming out, I decided to push it up my Reading List. I know I would have pictured a different Jay, but now that I have seen the trailer...I can't wait to see Leo playing Gatsby. I didn't know Tobey Maguire was going to play Nick, but I guess he's the right choice. I haven't watched the older versions of this book, but I am eagerly waiting for May 2013 to watch this remake effort.

A still from The Great Gatsby (2013)

Nick Carraway is the narrator who has moved next door to a legendarily rich man who throws huge parties. Across the island lives his cousin Daisy who is married to Tom. He discovers that Tom is having an affair with a married woman living in New York. He strikes up an unlikely friendship with his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Nick is going out with a professional golf player called Jordan Baker, who he met at Daisy's house. He is somewhat annoyed to find that Gatsby has a favor to ask him that Jordan will tell him about during their first date. He finds out that Gatsby used to know Daisy before she got married and wants to reconnect with her. He asks Nick to invite her to a tea party to his house so they can meet.

This book makes some hard statements about life in general. The first is about the fact that all of us are all alone in this world after all, there are no partners, no friends. Jay Gatsby gave wonderful parties where hundreds of people enjoyed themselves, most of them uninvited. Yet when Nick Carraway is undertaking his funeral arrangements, not one of those people agree to attend his funeral, even on his insistent invitations. Most prominently missing is the woman he loved, Daisy, for whom he agreed to take the blame of running over a woman in broad daylight on himself. The women's husband killed him for revenge, but Daisy chose that moment to start a new life with her rich husband and does not even send flowers to his grave.

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