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National Sales of Orwell's 'Big Brother' Book Are Booming

By Ryan Thompson

George Orwell

In his novel 1984, George Orwell tells a gripping story of a nightmarish future where freedom is dispensed with. Acceptance of this totalitarian state is justified by the interests of safety, as we now see in America and the need of perpetual war, not unlike the War on Terrorism or the War on Drugs currently going on in the USA and used as a justification to take freedom away. The book jacket warns: "1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell's prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of the 'negative utopia' — a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words ("He loved Big Brother.") No one can deny this novel's hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions — a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time." As Bjørn Anders, in an Amazon review of "1984" wrote, 'Note to U.S. Congress and House of Representatives: This is a fictional book, not an instruction manual. I suggest you read this one instead: Bill of Rights.'

NIAGARA FALLS – National sales of George Orwell’s classic novel, “1984,” skyrocketed this month after details of the pervasive spying and surveillance programs instituted by the National Security Agency (NSA) were revealed. The fictional book went from a sales rank of 6,750 to 194 on Amazon on June 10 .What’s more, on Friday, “1984” sales were still up 22 percent and had climbed to 90 on the best-sellers list, spending a total of nine days in the top-100, according to Amazon’s website. The book was doing even better at Barnes & Noble on Friday, ranking 52 in sales.

Yet, some local Western New York book stores report that they are seeing no spike in “1984” sales.

When Penguin book publishers contacted the owner of a Niagara Falls book store last week to ask if he needed to order additional copies of the “prophetic, nightmarish” novel, the owner said that it wasn’t necessary.

“It’s always sold well,” said Jeffrey Scott Morrow, the owner and president of the historic Book Corner on Main Street, “so I can’t say that I see an increase in sales here. Every week we have a sale.”

Explaining the continuing sales of “1984,” Marrow said, “Any intelligent person who reads that book can see that is where (the USA is) going.”

People in Buffalo are already onto this,” explained Kristi at Rust Belt Books in Allentown, Buffalo. “We’ve seen a regular stream of [“1984” sales] regardless of what we’ve experienced recently.

“It always sells,” she said.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

JUN 25, 2013