George Orwell’s “1984” is topping Amazon’s greatest sellers — Quartz
George Orwell’s 1984 classic rocketed the Amazon book charts.
The iconic story of a future dystopia topped the company’s bestseller list today before dropping to second place (Amazon updates its bestsellers every hour). It also sold well at rival bookseller Barnes & Noble, where it ranked second in the company’s top 100 titles.
Several factors are fueling renewed interest in the book, and Google searches for related terms. On January 7th, Josh Hawley, a Republican Senator from Missouri, tweeted it was “Orwellian” after Simon & Schuster, a major US publisher, canceled a contract for his upcoming book The Tyranny of Big Tech. The move followed widespread criticism of Hawley for questioning the results of the November election and allegations the Senator helped incite the mob that stormed the Capitol after being photographed and a fist against the crowd of Trump supporters had risen.
Donald Trump Jr. also referred to the book last week when describing Twitter’s suspension of his father, the US president.
Sales of the book may also have gotten a boost yesterday after it was revealed that 1984 would also become a television series based on the 2013 stage show of the same name by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan. Former ABC boss Paul Lee’s independent studio Wiip has selected the rights to the theater production for a five-part limited series, according to Deadline.
A repeated bestseller
This is the second time it became a best seller during the Trump presidency in 1984.
After Trump’s victory in 2016, terms like “post-truth” and “alt-right” became increasingly popular to describe modern fascism. In January 2017, Penguin USA (now Penguin Random House) ordered 75,000 new copies of the book and, according to the New York Times, was considering reprinting due to a 9,500% drop in sales. The editor cited an interview with then Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway defending a false claim made by Sean Spicer, the Trump administration’s first press secretary, about the size of the inauguration crowd. She replied to NBC News host Chuck Todd by saying that Spicer simply “gave alternative facts.”