A fantastic book that I'm glad I finally read. It's amazing how relevant parts of it are to the modern world. This is not a good thing.
The book did have a few faults, though. It became less interesting to me after Winston was caught. The conversation with O'Brien was great until he started sounding like a mad scientist out to take over the world. I'm still not sure which side he was truly on.
I also wasn't fond of Julias portrayal. She never gets fleshed out. She's just an arbitrary love interest for Winston without any real story of her own. The way she initially contacted him bothered me the whole book, because it made no sense. She really felt like the 1948 version of a MPDG(http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php
The ending definitely fits the theme of the book, as depressing as it is. But there really was no way this was going to have a happy ending.
Anyway, great book, overall. Read it if you haven't.
I'm now reading Sandman Vol. 8: World's End. Brief Lives was fantastic, so I hope the rest of the series maintains that quality.