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Month in review

Reviews
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang
Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon
The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Fullmetal Alchemist 24 by Hiromu Arakawa
Ghouls Gone Wild by Victoria Laurie
Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel
Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
Hunting Badger by Tony Hillerman
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Imprisoned by Martin W. Sandler
Inferno by Dan Brown
Jane Vows Vengeance by Michael Thomas Ford
The Lies That Bind by Kate Carlisle
The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
The Magic Paintbrush by Laurence Yep
The Magician's Bird by Emily Fairlie
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
1985 by Anthony Burgess
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Ostrich and Lark by Marilyn Nelson
The Radleys by Matt Haig
Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
Shatterproof by Roland Smith
1607: A New Look at Jamestown by Karen E. Lange
Trash by Andy Mulligan
$20 Per Gallon by Christopher Steiner

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for 1985

1985: 06/21/14

cover art

1985 by Anthony Burgess is a two part response to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. The first part is a lengthy essay and dialog looking at the origins of Orwell's novel and its relevance then and now. The second part is Burgess's own dystopia written in a world expanded from that of Orwell's.

While I enjoyed the near future glimpse of things in Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, the second half of 1985 felt labored and overworked. It read like he was fighting against his urge to write like Orwell.

But the first half, the essay section, was fascinating. Burgess dives into the history of the book and its creation. His thesis is that the title was no simple pulling a date out of a hat. Rather it's a play on the time when it was written: 1948. The UK was devastated by the Second World War and the changes being made to the government and social services reflect an attempt for the nation to reinvent itself. Not everyone was convinced such huge changes were warranted at that time (or ever). Orwell's novel is an exploration of what life would be like if government bureaucracy and oversight was taken to the extreme.

Had I not been borrowing the book from the library, I would have read Burgess's essay in conjunction with Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Three stars

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