In one of the most sensational literary finds of the last century, the manuscript for George Orwell's last ever novel ‘2004' has been unearthed by friends of the late author.
And critics say the up till now unknown sequel to ‘1984', set twenty years after and featuring the same protagonist Winston Smith, is "chillingly prophetic."
"This book is going to be dynamite," said Times literary reviewer Bradley Shawbank. "Orwell depicts a world that has moved on from the police state of Big Brother to one dominated by trash culture: docu-soaps, reality television and low-carbohydrate diet regimes."
The plot of ‘2004' centres on Smith's rehabilitation into a global society now led by a sinister leader called the Bush Doctor who, despite being the most powerful man in the world, insists on declaring war on his own subjects.
Another major character known simply as Blair (thought to be a reference to Orwell's real surname) is Smith's evil local councillor who resides at the mysterious Ministry of Spin.
Characters in the book have personal relationships with computers rather than human beings while literature is strictly restricted to the reading of books about a young bespectacled magician with a scar on his forehead.
Book critic Jennifer Fairfax said the book made "terrifying reading."
"If people thought '1984' was disturbing then they should think twice about reading this one," she said. "Orwell has upped the ante to a world gone completely insane."
The book, to be published by Faber and Faber later this year, will also come free with the July issue of New Woman magazine.