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Animal Farm Paperback – 3 Jul 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 883 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141036133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141036137
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.7 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (883 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Animal Farm is a timeless satire on the central tragi-comedy of all politics―that is, the tragi-comedy of corruption by power' Timothy Garton Ash

It is the book for everyone and Everyman, its brightness undimmed after fifty years (Ruth Rendell)

Remains our great satire of the darker face of modern history (Malcolm Bradbury)

Animal Farm has seen off all the opposition. It's as valid today as it was fifty years ago (Ralph Steadman)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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By A Customer on 13 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
Since reading 1984, I have come to think of Animal Farm as a more condensed and slightly humourous version of Orwell's other novel. If considered carefully both stories deliver a message of fear of what may be. If people read these books and realised the dangers that could lie ahead in any country, no doubt we would end up in a paranoid society. However, Animal Farm is such a compelling and interesting book it should be read by everyone.
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Format: Paperback
When in high school the head of English lit. deemed it a wiser or safer choice to go with 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and Laurie Lee's 'Cider With Rosie' than Orwell's classic. What a regrettable decision that was; because it was not until 20 years after graduation that I finally got to read this seminal work. A work that has such profound possibilities to shape the minds of readers both young and old alike that I wonder if we shouldn't be prescribing books like that in our schools instead of Shakespeare? To call a work 'seminal' or to say that it is worthy of actually making a 'prescribed reading' list is no mean feat and there are really comparatively few books worthy of such adoration; this though is surely one of them. Whether you agree with the books political or moral standpoint or not is an irrelevancy that should have no bearing on your desire to read or prescribe this book.

In being desirous of understanding this text, it is firstly important to understand just what we are presented with here, for this book is NOT an overtly political or subversive anti-communist thesis (despite what Orwell may have originally intended). What it is in fact, is a precise, poignant, cutting and very astute examination of human nature; the motives, desires and inner reflections of humanity and the internal struggles we all face. What I found most impressive about this work was that as a critique of humanity and the complexities of hierarchical societies it is an examination that resounds as strongly now as it did in 1946. Especially in the wake of 11/9 and the measures that have been introduced to 'protect' and 'guard' the people by various governments around the globe, not to mentions how far from the truth we have been lead by the 'news' media.
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