Managed to read this on the way to Worldcon and in the rare insomniac moments while there. Of course I must have read it a couple of times as a teenager but it's always interesting to come back to it. Just a few things that struck me on rereading:
- It's not so much a novel as a set of political statements framed as tragedy.
- There is, however, a genuine moment of suspense for the first time reader when we don't know if O'Brien is really a counter-revolutionary or not.
- Julia as a character is better drawn than I remembered. I think that when I first read the book I was hoping she would "really" be as ideological as Winston, but in fact her approach is an important contrast to his. "You are only a revolutionary from the waist down" is one of the most important lines in the book.
- Room 101, taken on its own, actually isn't very terrifying - it only acquires its impact from what has come before. But it does give the plot another element of suspense after the main question - will they manage to overthrow Big Brother or not? - has been answered.