Another of those "great novels" that, until now, I've only read in part but that everyone else seems to have read in full.Orwell, George. Animal Farm. 1945. New York: Everyman's Library, 1993.Summary
: The animals of Manor Farm overthrow farmer Jones and set up their own farming collective Animal Farm. Unfortunately, the pigs, led by Napoleon, take over and instead institute a totalitarian government as bad (if not worse) than the human reign it replaced. Comments
: A classic, allegorical criticism of the Soviet Union during WWII that is often--and wrongly--taken to be a blanket criticism of communism. Not so. What Orwell had a problem with were dictators and totalitarian governments that use socialism and/or communism to justify their unjust and unjustifiable existences. Contemporary readers might find similarities to the Animal Farm and, say, North Korea and laud his foresight, but the fact of the matter is that the regime there might well be taking its moves from Orwell's own playbook. Otherwise, this a perfectly paced and structured little tale...almost TOO perfect, to be honest--it reads like a textbook, armchair application of Marxist theory, not genuine experience with practical issues of worker rights and revolts. Which make me wonder if Orwell was in fact doing exactly what he accused the British middle class of--playing leftist while holding one's nose.Notes
: hardcover, Everyman's Library editionRating
- Though I suspect that this novel is only considered as "great" as it is because white men are the taste-makers, it's still a worthwhile quick read, whether judiciously excerpted or in full.