A Critic's Meta-Review: 4/5

1984 by George Orwell (REVIEW)

When I was a kid, I did not read a whole lot. As a result, whenever people would ask me who my favourite author was, I would look at them real funny like.

“A favourite author?” I would think and then sit back, dumbfounded, wishing I had been asked about my favourite episode of Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends (even Seinfeld would have sufficed, as my mother was often fond of watching that show around us).

Then, just towards the end of middle school, I started reading. And you know what? I actually kind of liked it. In fact, I was enjoying my newfound literary explorations so much that I decided to enroll in an Honors English course for my freshman year of high school.

If I had known our first assignment was going to be to read and annotate Homer’s Odyssey, I would have maybe thought my decision over a bit more. But I did not let any of that get me down.

I had already seen the syllabus. And I saw one name in particular on the syllabus that signalled to me that I was going to enjoy the class, despite how difficult those in-class essays on the sonnets of the Bard were bound to be (and, to be honest, they weren’t even that bad - although, after college, all of that stuff seems like a leisurely stroll through Leicester Square in comparison).

That name was George Orwell.

Now, at the time, I had already read Animal Farm (thanks to my pal Casey, always with the fire book recommendations), as well as his seminal essay on the absurdity of political discourse, “Politics And The English Language” (thanks to a political book that I was reading that referenced it; funny how reading just sort of tosses you down the proverbial rabbit hole, ain’t it? Ain’t it? Ain’t it funny how it happens?). I figured if those books were any indication as to how this dude writes, then I was in for a real treat.

Well, it turns out that I was right. This is one of my favourite books of all time. Reading it at the age I did also helped to confirm my already present distaste for authority, which allowed me to comfortably weave in and out of disciplinary action without letting it affect my zen. Plus, I was never the best at math. So the whole 2 + 2 = 5 thing really spoke to me on a personal level.

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