Animal Farm by George Orwell
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
I first read this in school and it didn’t appeal to me in the slightest. World War II political satire featuring animals? Oh yeah, that was going to be so good.
Except that it really was. It was so worth the read, and the more times I’ve read it and the more I understand about the politics of the era, the more amazing it is.
It is such a simple political allegory to follow! However, the simplicity of the text is not to be criticized, because it actually highlights Orwell’s genius! To be able to so concisely write about revolution (with particular reference to the Soviet revolution) and yet make it comprehensible to people of varying reading age/ability, backgrounds, and education is remarkable. This is a story with a point – a warning – about particular aspects of revolution, totalitarianism and fascism, and yet both a 10 year old and a 60 year old can get message through the same enjoyment. Like the book or not, it should be recognized for that great feat at least.
I did enjoy it, a lot. The accompanying appendixes were also interesting – an insight into what Orwell thought about the censorship of his novella at the early stages of publication, and about literary censorship in general – as well as an interesting personal foreword that Orwell wrote for editions for displaced Ukrainians living in camps in Germany.