Orwell’s ‘1984’ surges to No. 1 on USA TODAY’s books list – USA TODAY
HereÃ¢Â€Â™s a look at whatÃ¢Â€Â™s new on USA TODAYÃ¢Â€Â™s Best-Selling Books listÃ¢Â€Â¦
ItÃ¢Â€Â™s 2017, but 1984 is all the rage.
George OrwellÃ¢Â€Â™s chilling 1949 classic, long a staple of classrooms, is No. 1 on USA TODAY’s list this week. Sales of 1984 and other older dystopian titles such as Brave New World have beenÃ‚Â driven by President TrumpÃ¢Â€Â™s controversial first week and the uproar over Ã¢Â€Âœalternative facts.Ã¢Â€Â (The full list, reflecting sales from Jan. 23-Jan. 29, will be published on Thursday.)
1984 first made headlines last week whenÃ‚Â it shot to No. 1 on Amazon (one of the outlets that reports sales to USA TODAYÃ¢Â€Â™s list), after Trump disputed the size of his Inaugural crowd and made the widely dismissed claim that millions of illegal votes were cast against him in the presidential election.
OrwellÃ¢Â€Â™s vision of the future, in which Ã¢Â€ÂœBig Brother,Ã¢Â€Â or the totalitarian government, is always watching, is the dark story of Winston Smith, who works at the Ministry of Truth but must rewrite history with lies. (1984Ã¢Â€Â™sÃ‚Â previous high on USA TODAYÃ¢Â€Â™s list was No. 27 on June 27, 2013.)
1984Ã‚Â is only the thirdÃ‚Â classic ever to hit No. 1 on USA TODAYÃ¢Â€Â™s list, which began in 1993. The others are Leo Tolstoy’s 19th century masterpieceÃ‚Â Anna KareninaÃ‚Â in June 2004 when Oprah Winfrey selected it for her book club, and C.S. LewisÃ¢Â€Â™ 1950s childrenÃ¢Â€Â™s fantasy seriesÃ‚Â The Chronicles of Narnia,Ã‚Â in December 2005, the month a movieÃ‚Â adaptation was released.Ã‚Â Other literary classics have come closeÃ‚Â to the pinnacle:Ã‚Â The Great Gatsby,Ã‚Â To Kill a MockingbirdÃ‚Â andÃ‚Â East of EdenÃ‚Â have hit No. 2.
In the last week, the paperback publisher of 1984, Signet, has ordered a reprint of 500,000 additional copies. (According to data reported to USA TODAYÃ¢Â€Â™s list, the print and digital editions are selling neck-and-neck.)
Ã¢Â€ÂœTo put the current demand in perspective, we have printed in one week more copies of 1984 thanÃ‚Â we sell in a typical year,Ã¢Â€Â says Signet spokesman Craig Burke.
Signet also ordered a 100,000-copy reprint of OrwellÃ¢Â€Â™s Animal Farm, which this week is No. 118Ã‚Â on USA TODAYÃ¢Â€Â™s list.
Also seeing a Trump Ã¢Â€Âœalternative factsÃ¢Â€Â boost:
Ã¢Â–Âº The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt at No. 25.
Ã¢Â–Âº It CanÃ¢Â€Â™t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, about a U.S. president who becomes a dictator, at No. 43.
Ã¢Â–Âº Aldous HuxleyÃ¢Â€Â™s Brave New World at No. 59.
Ã¢Â–Âº The HandmaidÃ¢Â€Â™s Tale by Margaret Atwood at No. 75. (A Hulu adaptation starring Elisabeth Moss is also on tap this spring.)
Ã¢Â–Âº Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury atÃ‚Â No. 111.
And then there is the new president himself, who is getting his own Trump bump. His 1987 business book, Trump: The Art of the Deal, written with Tony Schwartz, is No. 38Ã‚Â this week, its highest ranking ever. It hit No. 45 in April 2004, while Trump was hosting The Apprentice.
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