Earlier in May, I caught Bug Orwell and read The Animal Farm within three days. It was fun, but also confusing because I do not know the history he hinted at. 1984 seemed to be tastier and was often referred to during my undergraduate period.
When I saw it on NetGalley, I had to read it. I thought I might be able to try to finish the original by George Orwell before reading the graphic novel, but unfortunately, I did not have time. From what I read, I quite enjoyed it so I will definitely continue it at a later date.
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summary of the story
“He who rules the past rules the future. He who rules the present rules the past.”
Winston Smith is a low-ranking member of Oceania’s ruling party. Wherever Winston goes, even to his own home, the party watches him through screen-screens; Everywhere he looks he sees the face of the party leader seemingly all-knowing, Big Brother. The party controls everything in Oceania, even the history and language of the people. Now, the party is forcing the use of a fabricated language called Newspeak which will prevent a political uprising by eliminating all the words associated with it. Even thinking rebellious thoughts is illegal. In fact, such thought crimes are the most serious of all crimes. But a seed of resistance is growing in Winston – one that will bring him into direct confrontation with the party, and with devastating consequences.
Rarely has ever one book been as rich in political and social critique as 1984. This new graphic novel edition, published in 1949, of the dystopian classic, heavily illustrated by Matias Namai, reveals Winston’s struggle with the party in all its horror and futility. .
* A review copy is provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I only read a few chapters from the book before reading the graphic novel, so I do not have much to compare it to. I wrote this book on page 210, for reasons I will explain below.
As a graphic novel, most of the story is in art. The use of color is sparse, strategic and influential, the art style adds to the story, evoking a sense of fear, discomfort and discomfort. The textures and lighting were amazing, and I wish I had more time with this book just to read it again and admire the art.
The pages of the chapters were brilliant, they showed the setting and the use of perspective, which made it stand out from the rest of the book. In addition to that, it also features a beautifully crafted line that explains the episode in a rather ominous way. This is one of my favorite parts of this book, and I could compliment him for days.
I can not tell if there are any crucial details from George Orwell’s 1984 that maybe this graphic novel did not include, but it was good enough for me. I appreciate the way the writer and artist chose the book for Paris, especially when Mr. Smith read the book from Goldstein. I just wanted it not to be spread over 10 pages of just plain text, but the illustrations that accompany it on the side probably made it a bit worthwhile. Still, as much as I think it was a clever design, long passages of text are the last thing I hope to see in a graphic novel.
Towards the end, it kind of lost its charm. There was way too much text for it to be fun. This reading through Adobe Digital Editions on the computer made it much worse with its slow loading time and blurry text. I do not blame the book for this, but instead, it contributes to a problem that was no longer enjoyable to read.