George Orwell Animal Farm (LIBRARY EDITION)

ISBN 13: 9780786183869

Animal Farm (LIBRARY EDITION)

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9780786183869: Animal Farm (LIBRARY EDITION)

[Library Edition Audiobook CD format in sturdy Vinyl case.]

[Read by Ralph Cosham]

This astonishing allegory, one of the most scathing satires in literary history, remains as fresh and relevant as the day it was published. -- George Orwell's classic satire of the Russian Revolution has become an intimate part of our contemporary culture, with its treatment of democratic, fascist, and socialist ideals through an animal fable. The animals of Mr. Jones' Manor Farm are overworked, mistreated, and desperately seeking a reprieve. In their quest to create an idyllic society where justice and equality reign, the animals of Manor Farm revolt against their human rulers, establishing the democratic Animal Farm under the credo, ''All Animals Are Created Equal.'' Out of their cleverness, the pigs -- Napoleon, Squealer, and Snowball -- emerge as leaders of the new community. In a development of insidious familiarity, the pigs begin to assume ever greater amounts of power, while other animals, especially the faithful horse Boxer, assume more of the work. The climax of the story is the brutal betrayal of Boxer, when totalitarian rule is reestablished with the bloodstained postscript to the founding slogan: ''But Some Animals Are More Equal than Others.''

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Review:

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

From the Back Cover:

A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they embark on the creation of a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned -- a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible. When Animal Farm was first published fifty years ago, Stalinist Russia was seen as its target. Today it is devastatingly clear that wherever and whenever freedom is attacked, under whatever banner; the cutting clarity and savage comedy of George Orwell's masterpiece have a meaning and message still ferociously fresh.

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