Thursday, August 8, 2013
Audio Book Review: "Animal Farm" by George Orwell
If you somehow are not familiar with the story line, Animal Farm is a tale based in the Russian Revolution, only instead of human Russians overthrowing the governing party - it is the British animals of Manor Farm. These animals cast out the drunken leadership of Farmer Jones and his wife and assume control, renaming the property Animal Farm. They begin to rule themselves with a very pure idea of socialism, and seven governing principles (among them "Four legs good; Two legs bad"). But it doesn't take long for the pigs to rise above the other animals, and for Comrade Napoleon to become the overall leader. The pigs become increasingly more corrupt, and the uneducated masses of other animals allow it until, finally, the pigs even start to resemble the humans they replaced in the first place.
The way the characters are developed is fascinating. To watch the pigs slowly transform themselves into "more than" the rest of the animals is something to behold. The way they manipulate the others, and how we can see humans do the same thing even now is just genius. I think my favorite character of all is Squealer the Pig. He is the one who spreads the propaganda and further's Napoleon's cause and influence over the animals. I love the way he just changes history and gets the others to believe him.... believing more in him than their own memories. Is this a good (as in positive) character? Not at all - but I admire his boldness. Whenever the text announced Squealer's presence in a scene, I'd smile because I knew something interesting/appalling/crazy was about to happen. And I could picture him hopping from feet to feet while he was spinning his tales.
I'm so glad I experienced this one again... I remembered it as being good, but I had forgotten just HOW good it really is!
by George Orwell
Narrated by Ralph Cosham
Blackstone Audio, 1999. First published 1945.