Cover of 1984.

Story time: My mother read 1984 as a teenager, in the German Democratic Republic. It was, of course, forbidden there, so it was passed around illegally, in hand-typed copies. You usually only had one chapter at a time, and not necessarily in the correct order. When I read it for the first time, she told me all that, and added as an aside: “You know, I’ve never quite understood why people in the free West liked this book so much. It couldn’t speak to them as it did to us!”

Apart from that: It’s inescapable, and not as good as I thought before reading it. Flat characters with a compelling vision – true scifi.