The prescient political and philosophical warnings George Orwell imaginatively conceptualized in 1984 practically erupt off the novel's pages because of the flat dispassionate writing style and austere tone. His paranoia eclipsed his prose. Appropriately so. The writing reads to me as if Orwell were a 19th century Russian master but the English translator mediocre at best -- except Orwell did this, I'd wager, by design. We know he wrote better than the simple declarative anti-style he took in 1984 --much better-- and his massively voluminous journals and elegant essays proved it.
Regardless, I'd rate Yevgeny Zamyatin's We a better read than 1984 because it's better written (and I say that even though I don't read Russian and am forced to read what very well may be a mediocre English translation!) and it's ideas are as satirically innovative as 1984s and, arguably, more original, since We was written two decades prior.
Or maybe I simply can't get on board with books that seem like more over-hyped legends than supposed classic literature to me. 1984, Ulysses, Brave New World, (more lacklusters to join list soon) ...
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