Book Review: Julia - Sandra Newman

Book cover. The word "Julia" is superimposed on the number "1984".The central schtick of this book is a cliché brilliantly delivered. Take a side-character from a beloved book and retell the story through their eyes.

I only have hazy memories of reading 1984 - where Julia is little more than a femme fatale. This book is an explicit and visceral journey through Julia's life in Airstrip One. We see how, from her point of view, Winston Smith is little more than a pathetic dreamer. His childish fantasies of toppling Big Bother are the last gasp of a snivelling coward. His love nothing but selfishness.

It isn't a radical reworking of 1984 - the themes about totalitarianism are mostly the same - but it is a brilliantly fresh perspective. Feminism wasn't even a subtext in the original whereas this brings it right to the surface. The impact of IngSoc on the psychosexual wellbeing of its subjects is laid bare.

I think it can be enjoyed without having previously read 1984. The original is so influential that you're likely to have absorbed most of it through cultural osmosis. It is a disturbing book - full of violence and pain - but I devoured it eagerly. The ending is far superior to the original.

📚 Enjoyed this review? Buy me a book from my wishlist.

Share this post on…

What are your reckons?

All comments are moderated and may not be published immediately. Your email address will not be published.Allowed HTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> <p> <pre> <br> <img src="" alt="" title="" srcset="">

Discover more from Terence Eden’s Blog

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading