Los Angeles, CA
I was almost 12 when I read 1984. My reading comprehension was a bit more advanced for most sixth graders, but I definitely didn't get all of the fascist undertones. I was under the impression that 1984 was Orwell's dystopian future... if the commies won. When I was 12, America was at the height of the Cold War with Russia and I missed most of Orwell's social commentary because I didn't understand it. I had read Animal Farm and knew that was a subversive novel about communism, so I assumed the same with 1984.
Orwell's original title was 1948. His publisher was worried that the haunting images of the immediate future would be too much for British citizens who just thwarted Hitler after WWII. In the end, the publishers were looking out for book sales rather than publish a piece of literature criticizing our leaders ability to manipulate the populous.
I have not re-read 1984 since the original reading. I saw the movie a couple of years after it came out, but 1984 has been one of those book that's I'd like to re-read but never got around to actually reading it.
My buddy sent me a clip of the trailer to 1984. It really freaked me out...
Fuck this 2012 bullshit. I'm more concerned about Orwell's themes of doom and gloom than Al Gore's weather forecast. Maybe it should be re-titled and re-released as 2014?