Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Animal Farm

Animal Farm: George Orwell, February 21-24, 2017
My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊

animalfarmOrwell’s classic attack on Stalin, Animal Farm, tells of a farm which revolts, ousts the oppressive farmer and is run by the animals themselves. The pigs take on the leadership mantle and from there, things go downhill.

As an allegory, it’s faultless. The deterioration of Animal Farm under Napoleon is textbook and its message is stark. We like to complicate things in politics, but Orwell’s message is that it’s not very complicated at all. Strip away all your caveats and nuances and what happened in that barnyard is extremely straightforward.

As a story, though, it’s a mixed bag. It’s classic “tell, don’t show”, directly out of the top ten things never to do. We’re always caught up and placed in the scene after a significant development, rather than seeing the results. As a commentary, it’s effective and keeps up the pace, but as a novel it falls short. The reader is at arm’s length.

Having said that, a number of characters are given enough of a storyline that by the time their respective fates become apparent, there’s a reaction. Not as strong, perhaps, as it could have been, but definitely there.

A seminal classic, Animal Farm does the job Orwell wants it to. It’s a gift for a commentator, but run of the mill for a reader of literature.


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This entry was posted on February 24, 2017 by in 2017 Dystopia Reading Challenge, 3 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare