Saturday, July 24, 2010

Books that made a difference to Isla Fisher

Last summer Isla Fisher (Confessions of a Shopaholic) named a list of books that made a difference in her life for O, The Oprah Magazine.

One novel on the list:
by George Orwell

I read this book when I was 16; it was one of the most terrifying books I'd ever read, and it's stayed in my mind ever since. Orwell presents an imaginary future where a totalitarian state controls everything. The story is told by Winston, a man living in London under a dictator called Big Brother. Winston is a loyal party member who begins breaking the law: He falls in love, smokes, commits "thoughtcrime" by writing in his diary. It's frightening—the control that Big Brother has over everyone, the social dangers of political authority. It makes me think of surveillance cameras, particularly in London. We don't live in a totalitarian state, obviously, but it's scary to realize how easily a government can tip toward that.
Read about another book on Fisher's list.

Nineteen Eighty-four is #7 on a list of the 100 best last lines from novels. The book made Daniel Johnson's five best list of books about Cold War culture, Robert Collins' top ten list of dystopian novels, Gemma Malley's top 10 list of dystopian novels for teenagers, is one of Norman Tebbit's six best books and one of the top ten works of literature according to Stephen King. It appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best rats in literature and ten of the best horrid children in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue