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Animal Farm Paperback – Deckle Edge, May 6, 2003
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
Top customer reviews
ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL!
Animal Farm is a short story that is written in classic Orwellian style that is light and refreshing, but as with Orwell's other writings carries a cryptic message that needn't be overlooked. A Nice Icing on the cake to accompany a timeless classic!
It would be wonderful to hear the Pope and Vladimir Putin discuss this issue at length. My money is no Vlad too.
I also find it very interesting that between 1945 and 1955 several of these types of books were written. 'Fahrenheit 451', 'The Lord of the Flies', 'A Brave New World' and I believe '1984'. None of them turn out well either. But I think 'Animal Farm' stands alone in its pure gloom.
Orwell did a truly amazing job when he crafted Animal Farm. It is in actuality the story of Russia, from the Russian Revolution on through the Stalin era. It is funny because all the action is done by animals (I am sure it is no accident that the leaders – Orwell was very critical of Stalin – are portrayed by pigs). It is just completely absurd. It is sad because the action really happened – to humans. Especially poignant is how the animals (humans) accepted whatever the leaders told them, even if their own memories contradicted the stories being told. A great, quick read on its own or to go along with a study of the rise of communism for older teens or adults.