Nineteen Eighty-Four

During one of the summers between my middle school years I had my mom drive me to a local book store (imagine that now) to buy one of the books on my summer reading list: Nineteen Eighty-Four. I, even in middle school, really enjoyed the book. I can't say that I appreciated all of the themes at that age but it very quickly became the first 'serious' book that I read multiple times. And I have to say my copy from that summer has aged remarkably well...


I honestly have no idea how many times I have read that book with its awful cover and cramped, hard-to-read print. Thankfully, Penguin has released–in the UK and Canada–a new Nineteen Eighty-Four paperback that does the book justice. The text is set in a much better font and is laid out in a much more reader-friendly manner.

To me the best part of the new printing, and what made me order a copy from a London bookshop, is the cover:


The words 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' and 'George Orwell' are embossed and then blacked out as if the Ministry of Truth got ahold of the book after printing. The design, by David Pearson is simple and intelligent. As soon as I saw it I had to have a copy.

I do plan on buying–and reading many, many times–the other four titles in Penguin's Great Orwell series: Animal Farm, Down and Out in London and Paris, Politics and the English Language, and Homage to Catalonia. Perhaps new copies of Burmese Days and Why I Write are in order as well...

In the meantime I'll be (re-)reading Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Relevant Links:

Orwell, Covered Up, Creative Review

George Orwell at Penguin Books