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Animal Farm by George Orwell


Start Date: 26 May 2017
End Date: 27 May 2017

Synopsis: "When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless √©lite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another. 
'It is the history of a revolution that went wrong - and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of the original doctrine,' wrote Orwell for the first edition of Animal Farm in 1945. Orwell wrote the novel at the end of 1943, but it almost remained unpublished; its savage attack on Stalin, at that time Britain's ally, led to the book being refused by publisher after publisher. Orwell's simple, tragic fable has since become a world-famous classic."
Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars
Review:  For me, there was a LOT of hype around this book. I remember being in secondary school and hearing people discuss how wonderful this novella is/was. I chose to wait until I was in the mood for 'classics' to read this. Unfortunately, while I was a literature student I could only just bare reading the books on the syllabus. Now, a few years later, I'm starting to work my way through them. 
This book lets me down. I liked where it was going. I like what it discusses. I think it's an appropriate book to read, nearing the snap general election (8th June, don't forget to vote!), in this current political climate. 
I vaguely knew the storyline, I knew it involved animals taking over a farm and that it was based around the Russian revolution. Nonetheless, I didn't expect it to be quite so extreme! For some reason, I thought this was a children's book. 
It's a dystopian tale about revolution and the government. Many people believe it's about the Russian revolution in 1917, though it could be about any revolution. The actual revolution happens very quickly. The pigs are the leaders and organise the other animals to send the farmer, Jones, off his land. Initially, the prospect of the animals ruling the farm is wonderful. But the pigs start fighting between eachother, and as a consequence start tearing the other farm animals apart and treating them poorly. The lie, rewrite history (in front of the other animals faces) and other cliches associated with governments of past, current and modern governments. 
A very powerful little book. Discusses power corruption, communism or lack of, and that those who do not know the past are doomed to repeat it (perhaps the most important thing to remember when choosing current leaders, looking at you America).
I initially took a star off, because the hype knocked this book down for me. And I've decided to take it down to 3 stars because although it's a powerful book, it wasn't my favourite. I would recommend for everyone to read it. But I don't see myself rushing to read it again in the future. 

Buy the book here.
- K.B


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