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ANIMAL FARM: by George Orwell

is a dystopian future that is already present

suggests Norman Warwick

There is an audio collection of George Orwell´s work that is only available from Audible.

Animal Farm, recently performed on stage at The Octagon Theatre in Bolton in the UK, as reviewed in yesterday´s edition of Sidetracks And Detours is of course included in the collection shown on our cover.

The book is categorized on-line as being Classic Literature and Satire. It is advertised as being brilliantly read by Stephen Fry (left) as a simply told and accessible story, making it very effective as a satirical allegory about how power corrupts.

I never read Animal Farm at school, or even at University, and I actually feel glad to have left it until I was older and have a bit more experience of The Real World, and knowledge of history. In truth, the only reason I have read it now is because I found an audiobook read by Stephen Fry through my library! After Troy, I’ve learned that Stephen can make what might be otherwise rather dry material become much more entertaining.

Animal Farm is such a classic that I suspect everyone knows that it is an allegorical political satire set on a farm of anthropomorphic animals. It was actually much more simple and accessible than I was expecting it to be – and of course Stephen injects a lot of life and character.

I don’t think you need to know too much about the Soviet Union to be able to spot the very thinly veiled parallels in the plot and characters, as the animals go from revolution winning the farm, and freedom, from the human Mr Jones, to ending up no better off (arguably worse off) under the rule of Napoleon and his pigs, who become indistinguishable from humans by the end.

It is very effective as an allegory, and I certainly can see how it has stood the test of time. It’s a novella, so fairly short and the story does move quickly. I think it was worth finally reading, but my lord it was depressing! I just felt so horrible for the animals – especially Boxer – and things get worse to better. Knowing that the tactics and events have happened throughout human history (and variations continue even now) its very disheartening.

The second half of this audiobook collection is 1984, which is really an expansion on the same themes… I just hope Stephen Fry can liven it up a bit for me!

The above review was written by ´Alice´(right) and is published on line at The Wallflower Digest UK.

The writer explains that The Wallflower Digest is a personal blog written by me, Alice. These are just my personal thoughts and feelings. I am not an expert in anything, but just a person with access to the internet who is trying to learn and make sense of the world!

I would say to Alice that a performance of 1984 at The Royal Exchange Theatre fifteen years ago was perhaps the most harrowing night I have ever spent in a theatre. It was loud in voice and scaring in depiction with some scenes of a violent and sexual nature, in this small theatre in the round.

We hope you will check into her blog. She seems to be finding her own way of looking at the world.

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