10 February 2010

Animal Farm | Book Review

{PHOTO CREDIT: KYLE COOK | SOURCE: DREXEL.EDU}

Book: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Genre: Literature | Fiction | Dystopian
Originally released: 17 August 1945
Original title: Animal Farm: A Fairy Story
was shortened by US publishers for the 1946 US publication
The LOST connection: Referenced in Season 3 Episode 14 (Exposé) when Dr. Leslie Arzt shouts "The pigs are walking! The pigs are walking!" in reference to Kate, Jack, and Sawyer not telling the group about the guns they found. With this outburst Arzt cautions everyone that Kate, Jack, and Sawyer have become just like their oppressors (the others).

My summary: After a lifetime of oppression at the hands of the selfish farmer, the animals at Manor Farm decide to start a revolution and revolt against the humans. What follows is a truly fascinating social commentary that examines and illuminates:
  • Survival of the fittest.
  • The dangers of government, politics, forgetting ones history, and ignorance.
  • What happens when the laws and commandments are broken and forgotten.
  • What can occur when the people allow themselves to be led blindly.
  • It cautions the reader to never forget or become complacent.
  • How the road to tyranny is long and achieved in small (sometimes innocent enough) steps that all add up in the end.
  • The animals were only united when fighting for their freedom.
  • Once left to their own devices the smart and fit became the very establishment they strived to remove themselves from.
  • Ultimately the hazards of power and how it can corrupt anyone.
My say: A good book can sooth you, inspire you, or even enrage you. That is what happened to me with Animal Farm. I didn't expect to become so emotionally charged by this novella. But at times the porky hypocrisy had me ready to scream at the other animals.

My verdict: I know now why this is a classic. Even after sixty five years it still delivers thought provoking allegories and warnings. It amazes me that something from so many years ago - struck such a cord with me and could be so easily applicable to our current times.

My recommendation: Read this if you enjoy reading or examining social situations.

My favorite part: Even their names are indicative of their roles they each play in the social group. For example: Squealer is the speaker of the pigs who soothes the animals with lies.

My cover thoughts: I became obsessed with all the amazing covers I found. I honestly can not decide which I like best. What do you think?

{PHOTO ARRANGEMENT CREDIT: TALES OF WHIMSY}

My kiddie-o-meter: While it is completely safe for young readers I truly believe it takes age and wisdom to really appreciate the complexities of this story.

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My final say: While reading this I couldn't help thinking of a line in LOST (Season 5 Episode 16 The Incident: Part 1): "It's always something with you people..."


This applies to the LOST Books Reading Challenge 2010 I am participating in.

36 comments :

  1. Awesome review! I commented on the GR one too :D

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  2. I'm also reading this for the LOST challenge. This has always been a favorite of mine!

    I love all the covers you've found!

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  3. Wow, it was first published in 1945? Seriously speaking, this is the first time I heard of this book - ever - and I'm thoroughly glad to read your review on it! Sounds very amazing to me and am surely going to try finding this book.

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  4. "All animals are equal. Some are more equal than others."

    This has to be, hand downs, one of my favorite books. For such a simple little book, it carries such a powerful message.

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  5. Andrea: Exactly :) *high five*

    Shy: That is so awesome! Bonus: it's a short easy compelling read :)

    Allie: Yah! Welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

    Amelia: Awesome! Thank you :)

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  6. Great review, one from the vault. I can't believe there are so many covers for this title. Wow. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. wow... that's a lot of different covers. Great review!

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  8. I read this book years ago and I really loved it. I would love to read it again actually but too many books on the TBR pile keeps be from re-reading my favourite books. Thanks for the review though, it brought back memories :)

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  9. I can't believe I still haven't read this. It's one of those books that I know I will love, but can't seem to make it's way to the top of the pile.

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  10. I remember being forced to read this in Jr High, and I hated it, but maybe it was because I had no choice lol. I might try it again someday

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  11. Many of the covers disturb me. I haven't read this but I feel ashamed to say that. Most people study it at school in the UK but my class didn't for some reason.

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  12. Rebs: Definitely do. I think if I had read this when I was young I would have hated it.

    Becky: No shame! I hadn't read it before either. :)

    Misty & BCC: I feel you girls! I'm the same way!

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  13. I really like this story. Of course, I like social commentary. Of the covers you showed, I own the one 2nd from the right in the bottom row. I'm going to have to get it out and read it again.

    Great review!

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  14. I read this one a few years ago (after loving 1984) and I was really amazed by how simple and yet powerful and thought provoking it was!
    And how awesome that you listed so many covers!

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  15. Whoa, that's a lot of covers (that's usually the case with classics)! Wow. But I've got to say, I like the one you chose the most. It looks very interesting and it caught my attention. The title of the book also sounds good..even though it makes me think of Facebook. Haha.
    Anyway, I'm definitely going to check this one out. :)

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  16. Oh my god, this is the most cutely deceptive cover I've ever seen for Animal Farm!! haha. As for the book itself though, I agree that half-the-time I wanted to scream at the pigs. Poor Snowball. :(

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  17. I've never read this. I read 1984 and was so repulsed by it I never didn't even want it in my house - it was so devoid of hope. Is this one any better? I know they these books are meant to teach us and make us think, but I just hate an unhappy ending and 1984 had a horrible ending.

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  18. I like the cover with the black and white pig with the red tie. Loved this story when I read it in school - one of the ones I was forced to read and actually liked.

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  19. I read this in school but I also have a few copies of my own at home. I enjoyed it just because of the many important themes is displays, which are still relevant today. Awesome review!

    Emidy
    Une Parole

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  20. Sounds a bit 'Lord of the Fly" ish? I find it hard to read books that relate things from an animals point of view. Sometimes I can get a little angry and sad.

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  21. LOVE the first cover you posted! It's a classic--and that's one simple but classy cover! Great review! (:

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  22. I love Orwell! Such fabulous writing with a fascinating message.

    I read Animal Farm a few years ago, and totally agree with much of what you state.

    Great post ;-)

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  23. I read this book many years ago when I was in High School--which was before the cold war ended.

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  24. I read this in high school! Good memories. The class got to see a movie based on it too. Let's see, which book cover did I have, which one . . . I think I had the sixth one from the left. I just remember it was from Penguin Group. =)

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  25. I love all the covers! The only problem I have with the covers is that I'm tempted to buy more than one copy based totally on the cover haha. I actually enjoyed reading this way back when it was required in high school. Great review :)

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  26. Lizzy: Me too! I got totally obsessed with all the covers. I'm so tempted to buy covers and make some sort of pop art with them.

    Linda Ellen: I wonder what the movie is like?

    Kaye: That's awesome!

    April, Bookworm, Emidy, and Bookalicious: Thanks :)

    Beach: I feel ya!

    Mary: I haven't tried 1984 (yet) so I can't compare but I wouldn't call the ending on this one happy. But it is an ending you see coming and understand its necessity for the message. Now you have me really curious about 1984.

    Jenn: I know! Poor Snowball indeed. I honestly related most to Millie. I wonder what that says about me?

    Justine: Yah! I hope you love it.

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  27. This is such a very clever book! I had no idea that there are so many different covers out there, pretty cool.

    You won the ship tin box!! No kidding!!!! And how great. I did no bid on it, so please feel very good about it. I almost bought another one last night. An octagon shaped tin box with a shell design, inspired by Sailors' valentines filled with chocolate covered cranberries..., operative word "almost", as you can see, you probably won't find a more conservative shopper than me. I'm definitely not stimulating the economy, haha!

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  28. Wow...this takes me back. IF you liked Animal Farm, you love 1984. Amazing review! :)

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  29. I cant decide either which is the best. Interesting review

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  30. I read this in school and I remember liking it. Great review! I love all the covers too!

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  31. I love the cover montage. Makes you really reflect on the popularity of the book!

    Great review! This is one of those books I should have read ages ago!

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  32. Great review. I completely agree with the unexpected emotional part! I was amazed that I could become so enraged with those darn pigs. I'm definitely checking out the LOST books challenge! Go Lost! =]

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  33. Loved your review of this :) I read Animal Farm last year and had the same thoughts as you. I have 1984 by George Orwell sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read it too.

    Some of those covers are hilarious. I have the very last one in your image, kind of boring. I've never seen the one you posted at the top of your review, that's probably the best one!

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  34. I totally agree with you. This book is my favorite allegory, and everybody seemed to hate it in my school. I just read Lord of the Flies (simiar topics) and I really liked Animal Farm a lot better

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  35. Hey Juju!
    I was assigned to read this in Jr. High and loved it! I was really emotionally connected to the characters too. :)

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  36. Maya, Cleverly, IntheHammock, Aths, and Arielle: Thank you :)

    Lily: I know! I really must read 1984 soon :)

    Book Owl & Katie: Right? Who knew! Those pigs really got to me.

    Critic: What? Really. I mean I understand but I wonder if they re-read it later on how their feelings will change.

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