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Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (Classic, 20th-Century, Audio) Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, June 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0140862515 ISBN-10: 014086251X Edition: Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Since its publication in 1946, George Orwell's fable of a workers' revolution gone wrong has rivaled Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea as the Shortest Serious Novel It's OK to Write a Book Report About. (The latter is three pages longer and less fun to read.) Fueled by Orwell's intense disillusionment with Soviet Communism, Animal Farm is a nearly perfect piece of writing, both an engaging story and an allegory that actually works. When the downtrodden beasts of Manor Farm oust their drunken human master and take over management of the land, all are awash in collectivist zeal. Everyone willingly works overtime, productivity soars, and for one brief, glorious season, every belly is full. The animals' Seven Commandment credo is painted in big white letters on the barn. All animals are equal. No animal shall drink alcohol, wear clothes, sleep in a bed, or kill a fellow four-footed creature. Those that go upon four legs or wings are friends and the two-legged are, by definition, the enemy. Too soon, however, the pigs, who have styled themselves leaders by virtue of their intelligence, succumb to the temptations of privilege and power. "We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of the farm depend on us. Day and night, we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples." While this swinish brotherhood sells out the revolution, cynically editing the Seven Commandments to excuse their violence and greed, the common animals are once again left hungry and exhausted, no better off than in the days when humans ran the farm. Satire Animal Farm may be, but it's a stony reader who remains unmoved when the stalwart workhorse, Boxer, having given his all to his comrades, is sold to the glue factory to buy booze for the pigs. Orwell's view of Communism is bleak indeed, but given the history of the Russian people since 1917, his pessimism has an air of prophecy. --Joyce Thompson --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

This 50th-anniversary commemorative edition of Orwell's masterpiece is lavishly illustrated by Ralph Steadman. In addition, it contains Orwell's proposed introduction to the English-language version as well as his preface to the Ukrainian text. Though all editions of Animal Farm are equal, this one is more equal than others.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Classic, 20th-Century, Audio
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014086251X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140862515
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.7 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,907,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

GEORGE ORWELL (1903-1950) was born in India and served with the Imperial Police in Burma before joining the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was the author of six novels as well as numerous essays and nonfiction works.

Customer Reviews

I just read this book for the the first time since high school over twenty years ago.
Amazon Customer
George Orwell was a very political writer in books such as '1984' and, this book, 'Animal Farm.'
yoshiki
If you want a good read that will have you thinking, pick this book up and have a go.
PhoenixConstantine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

681 of 760 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Alcat on August 7, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Eric Arthur Blair was an important English writer that you probably already know by the pseudonym of George Orwell. He wrote quite a few books, but many believe that his more influential ones were "Animal farm" (1944) and "1984" (1948).In those two books he conveyed, metaphorically and not always obviously, what Soviet Russia meant to him.

I would like to make some comments about the second book, "1984". That book was written near his death, when he was suffering from tuberculosis, what might have had a lot to do with the gloominess that is one of the essential characteristics of "1984". The story is set in London, in a nightmarish 1984 that for Orwell might well have been a possibility, writting as he was many years before that date. Or maybe, he was just trying to warn his contemporaries of the dangers of not opposing the Soviet threat, a threat that involved a new way of life that was in conflict with all that the English held dear.

Orwell tried to depict a totalitarian state, where the truth didn't exist as such, but was merely what the "Big Brother" said it was. Freedom was only total obedience to the Party, and love an alien concept, unless it was love for the Party. The story is told from the point of view of Winston Smith, a functionary of the Ministry of Truth whose work involved the "correction" of all records each time the "Big Brother" decided that the truth had changed. The Party slogan said that "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past", and they applied it constantly by "bringing up to date" the past so as to make it coincide with whatever the Party wanted.

From Winston Smith's point of view, many things that scare us are normal.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 13, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1949, George Orwell (pen-name of Eric Arthur Blair) published what many consider his magnum opus, Nineteen Eighty-Four. In this dystopian future, Great Britain is part of an ideological superstate that maintains a totalitarian grip on society that is all-encompassing, with the population being monitored by round-the-clock surveillance, with government agencies that control all aspects of daily life, and with the very language manipulated to stifle un-approved thinking. It's the story of Winston Smith, who dreams that it might just be possible to oppose "the Party" and bring about change, and it's about the lessons he learns about the true nature of power in the modern world.

I first read this book in 1988, and while I did find it interesting, I thought that it went too far in expanding the Communist system of oppression to the entire world. But, watching the world around me I am astounded to find that Mr. Orwell's dystopia is actually beginning to have its echoes in my reality. I reread the book, and was surprised at just how prescient the book really was. The government wishing to monitor people without search warrants, the limitless laws that seem to reach into every aspect of everyday life, and even the manipulation of language to remove certain words or ideas as "politically incorrect."

Just how much does this book reflect reality? For those who would lead us, is it true that, "power is not a means, it's an end"? Is it true that, "If you want a vision of the future...imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever"? Or perhaps it's a boot on a human neck?

Whether this book is a prescient look at a future that is already being built, or a piece of doomsayer literature that goes too far, it is a classic of English literature that cannot be ignored. I find this to be one of the most interesting and disturbing books that I have ever read, and it is definitely one that I think should be read by EVERYONE.
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309 of 349 people found the following review helpful By Michael Crane on August 1, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Animal Farm" by George Orwell was never required reading for me when I was in school, so it took me some time to finally get around to reading it. I found it to be a complete and enjoyable read that had me hooked from the very first sentence. It is an excellent exercise in symbolism and creative imagination. While the book may be a very short read, it brings a whole lot to the table by giving you an interesting take on how history can be reenacted in the most imaginative ways.

The animals on Mr. Jones' farm have had enough of what they deem to be slavery. They're tired of being ordered around by humans while they see no benefits in their daily work. This is all sparked by a dream that the boar, Major, had about a unique place where animals called the shots and never had to be ordered around by humans ever again. He tells them a revolution is very much needed. When Major dies, the animals act quickly and are able to overthrow the alcoholic farmer and his thugs from his very own farm. The pigs are in charge now, as they claim that they are much smarter than the others and know how to lead. What seems to be paradise quickly transforms into another form of slavery altogether enforced by propaganda and threats from the pigs. And yet, the animals do not know any better, as they are deceived by the new system that gives them the illusion that they are better off than they were with Mr. Jones calling the shots.

The book is greatly inspired by real events that went down during the era of communism in Russia, using animals as the actual people. While it helps to know about that time period, the book is written so well that it is easily understood even if you only know a little about what happened during that time.
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