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Animal Farm: A Fairy Story [Paperback]

George Orwell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

30 April 1996
Having got rid of their human master, the animals of Manor Farm look forward to a life of freedom and plenty. But as a clever, ruthless elite among them takes control, the other animals find themselves hopelessly ensnared in the old ways. Orwell's chilling story of the betrayal of idealism through tyranny and corruption, is as fresh and relevant today as when it was first published in 1945.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 95 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (30 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140126708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140126709
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 11 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George Orwell is one of England's most famous writers and social commentators. Among his works are the classic political satire Animal Farm and the dystopian nightmare vision Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell was also a prolific essayist, and it is for these works that he was perhaps best known during his lifetime. They include Why I Write and Politics and the English Language. His writing is at once insightful, poignant and entertaining, and continues to be read widely all over the world.

Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel, Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as a private tutor, schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles to a number of periodicals. Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933. In 1936 he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there.

At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded. Homage to Catalonia is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there wrote Coming Up for Air. During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of the Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary, and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political allegory, Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame.

It was around this time that Orwell's unique political allegory Animal Farm (1945) was published. The novel is recognised as a classic of modern political satire and is simultaneously an engaging story and convincing allegory. It was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which finally brought him world-wide fame. Nineteen Eighty-Four's ominous depiction of a repressive, totalitarian regime shocked contemporary readers, but ensures that the book remains perhaps the preeminent dystopian novel of modern literature.

Orwell's fiercely moral writing has consistently struck a chord with each passing generation. The intense honesty and insight of his essays and non-fiction made Orwell one of the foremost social commentators of his age. Added to this, his ability to construct elaborately imaginative fictional worlds, which he imbued with this acute sense of morality, has undoubtedly assured his contemporary and future relevance.

George Orwell died in London in January 1950.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Since its publication in 1946, George Orwell's fable of a workers' revolution gone wrong has been recognized as a classic of modern political satire. Fuelled 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

Review

"Dare I say it... as good as the book" Guardian" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant piece of bitter political satire. 12 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Since its publication in 1946 Animal Farm has been hailed as one of the most influential pieces of fictional political writing in the twentieth century, an accolade that the novel thoroughly deserves. The first time I read it was as an A Level student studying the Russian Revolution. I was amazed at how simply but effectively Orwell delivered such a powerful message. In a career spanning many brilliant works, including Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Road To Wigan Pier and Coming Up For Air, this is quite simply one of his best. The book centres around the themes of revolution and how communist ideals of justice and equality give way to totalitarianism. Using a farm and its inhabitants to represent the places and main characters of the time, it tells the story of the Russian Bolshevik revolution. Orwell explores the evils of power, money, propaganda and terror to bring us a shocking tale of greed and tyranny.
The story revolves around a group of mistreated farm animals who fight for control of their home. The farm's prize pig, Old Major, insights revolution when he tells all the animals of a dream he had about how "the Earth will be when Man has vanished." The animals confront their exploitative human owners and force them out of Manor Farm. They then set up their own society renaming it "Animal Farm". A new set of laws they are to abide by is then decided on and these are written as seven commandments, the most important being that "all animals are equal." Unfortunately this commandment is the first to go when Old Major dies and the intelligent Pigs take over. The new leaders succumb to the temptations that power provides and become dictators of the farm.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fable/childrens story about betrayal 21 April 2009
By Lark TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a fable or childrens story conceived by George Orwell when he saw a small boy driving a large horse along a road, Orwell felt that if the horse could only comprehend that it was more powerful than the boy it would do its own thing instead of his bidding.

On Animal Farm is the story of how different farm yard animals unite following an enlightenment about their fate and oppression. The animals agree to an egalitarian and "share and share alike" constitution by which to govern their new arrangements while defending themselves from the expelled farmer's attempts to re-establish the old ways of doing business.

The constitution is inscribed for all to see with "All Animals Are Equal" leading the list, slowly as the farm yards pigs rise to assume the position of leaders they abandon each of these value statements, radically revising them to justify a return to the old ways of doing business which characterised the original farmer who they threw out.

Like his other books Orwell was disappointed in his own lifetime with how the books where received and interpreted, of Animal Farm which he described as a "simple fable" Orwell stated if its simple message about betrayal where not understood then the book had been a failure.

This is an important point because Orwell had dedicated his energies to making political writing an art form (consider Penguin Great Ideas : Why I Write). In his time, and since, Animal Farm has been seen as a devastating criticism of egalitarianism, flawed values and even of the very hopes and optimism which give rise to change of government, particularly by revolution, like a cynical or conservative text book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic that makes you think 19 April 2006
Format:Paperback
It is incredible that such a short story can be as meaningful and important in the history of Literature. Much has been written about it, and much better than I could do, so I'll just recommend you to read it: it won't take long, and I am sure you'll enjoy it. Then, if you want, take some time to think about what you have read. You don't need to be an expert in History or Politics to identify the symbols and allegories in the story. And finally, compare it with the world today and come to your own conclussions. I bet you'll find some...and not precisely optimistic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four legs good two legs bad 18 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback
Understated masterpiece from a very English writer, George Orwell's satire on the hypocrisy of communism is truly a timeless classic. This is an overused phrase, but with its allegorical nature and simple style, this is novella that is accessible to readers of any level, not just the GCSE students for whom it has been an exam text for as long as I can remember.

Both tragic and at times comic, Animal Farm isn't subtle, but it uses a classic English rural set up, recognizable to any child, to paint a picture of a society that starts out with good intentions but which eventually lapses into degeneracy and inequality. Not quite as topical today as when it was written, the story still resonates and could be applied to societies from West Africa to Central Europe. As a warning against the follies of complacency and the dangers of corruption, it could even be held up to today's British politicians, themselves in danger of drowning in their own excesses and greed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Perfect delirery and earlier than I was expexcted. The book was in a perfect parcel. Nothing to say but perfect
Published 2 days ago by BOUDON
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that will stay with you for life
This is rightly considered a classic. It is beautifully written in lucid prose. Everyone will love it. Everyone should read it.
Paula Fletcher
Published 7 days ago by Paula H. A. Levey
5.0 out of 5 stars a great classic good for getting your head into a good book
like the title it is my Favorite pass timer book for myself
a good read and a tale of the impossible. Read more
Published 8 days ago by d b shorthouse
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic book
Got this for my son to read as I had read it during my school time and returned to it many times everything we need to know is in this book
Published 12 days ago by Steven Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Animal Farm
The classic communist story and told through the animals, but thinly veiled.I enjoyed it very much and all should read only to gauge the failure of rulers to take into account the... Read more
Published 13 days ago by g gadsden
5.0 out of 5 stars School revision book
My daughters school would not allow her to bring home this important book that she needs to revise for her GCSE exam so we had to purchase it instead
Published 19 days ago by Wasp
5.0 out of 5 stars Great masterpiece
I cannot believe I left it so long before reading it. Gripping wondering what the pigs will do next. It just went full circle
Published 1 month ago by the midwife
5.0 out of 5 stars Communism at its finest
Brilliant read it makes you think how the weak are trodden and fooled by the minority who claim to be doing it all for the greater good but lining they're own pockets all along
Published 1 month ago by RIch
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
This is a book I have been meaning to read for years. It didn't disappoint.
Brilliant writing, with a deep meaning. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Angelina
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, but there's no introduction by Bradbury
There's nothing more to say about Animal Farm. I wish simply to point out that there is no introduction by Malcolm Bradbury in this edition. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ross Grainger
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