Best of Book Riot: Which Was More Gnarly, Orwell’s 1984 or the Real 1984?

This week we’re running some our favorite and most popular posts from our first three months. 


George Orwell’s 1984, first published in 1949, paints a grim picture of a terrifying dystopia. However, (with tongue firmly implanted in cheek), I’d argue it’s not without its charms. Reading the novel again this past weekend made me wonder (not seriously) which would’ve been better to live in — Orwell’s 1984 or the real one. Since I know you love charts, let’s take a brief look in chart form.

Whew — real 1984 wins! I’m a little relieved, to be honest.

What do you think? Any categories for which you’d give Orwell’s 1984 the nod? Why?


“They say that time heals all things, they say you can always forget;

But the smiles and the tears across the years they twist my heartstrings yet!”

(Lyrics have undergone an Americanization from British colloquial English.)


Greg Zimmerman is a trade magazine editor and blogs about contemporary literary fiction at The New Dork Review of Books. Follow him on Twitter: @NewDorkReview.

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