Saturday, June 1, 1996

The 306 Greatest Books #5 - Animal Farm

I am going back and posting all of my previous book reviews so that they are listed on my site in chronological order. The reviews are dated for the time when I read the book, hence the reason many of them will be listed for times before this website existed. 

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is Animal Farm by George Orwell. This book can be found on the BBC Book List.

I had read Animal Farm in high school, like so many other great books, but I was able to go back and reread it as part of my official 100 Greatest Books read through. I find this novel fantastic and insightful, especially knowing what I know now about communist Russia and society as a whole. The book is very fast paced (I read it in about 2 hours) and it's a fun read. The story is like a children's book, which had been forced through a harsh realism filter. In essence, the story is about a group of farm animals who find that their Master has gone over the line one too many times and they take over the farm. They run the farm well as equals (at first), but then dissension starts to appear when the two "leaders" start to fight and one ousts the other from the farm. Orwell's portrayal of communistic society is chilling and he makes it understandable both to the point of how this can happen and why people let it happen. The concept of the book can be generalized in these famous lines near the end: "All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others." Definitely on my must read list.