Thursday, August 8, 2013

Audio Book Review: "Animal Farm" by George Orwell

Man, I love this book.  Even the first time I read it in English class years ago - I loved it.  I mean, it is pure genius.  I love this cover too...  Even though I downloaded the audio from my library and didn't get to see it firsthand, the graphic is good enough here.  It certainly doesn't make much question as to what the book is about, does it?

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!
*****
Animal Farm
by George Orwell
Narrated by Ralph Cosham
Blackstone Audio, 1999.  First published 1945.
Source:  Library
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3 comments:

Priya said...

My favourite character was the cynical donkey, though I don't remember his name! It's time for me to re-read this.. thanks for the review!

Andi said...

I have never read this book, and I have no idea how I've never read this book. lol Must rectify that.

Katie said...

Hi! I've never actually read Animal Farm, but I recently saw the movie. I think that the book may lose a little impact because all of the animals have lifelike qualities, while in the movie, I couldn't help but laugh at TALKING ANIMALS. However far out the storyline is, it is cool how George Orwell brings political issues into a farm setting.
Check out my blog, Book Savvy, at www.booksavvyblog.blogspot.com

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