To supplement the full text version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, listen to the SparkNotes Guide for Animal Farm.
©1946 Harcourt Brace and Jovanich, Inc.; (P)1991 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A wise, compassionate, and illuminating fable of our times....The steadiness and lucidity of Orwell's merciless wit are reminiscent of Anatole France and even of Swift." (The New York Times Book Review)
Animal Farm is great, as is the narrator. I'd give this audio book 5 stars, however, the intro chapter summarizes, analyzes, and basically spoils the entire book. It's as if they assume everyone has already read this book. I hate spoilers and was infuriated when the narrator began talking about characters and the plot. I turned it off as fast as I could.
Get this audio book, but skip the introduction chapter and come back to it at the end.
This is obviously a classic and if you are reading it, you probably know what you are getting into. I did not like the prologue though. As someone who has never read the book, I did not want to hear analysis of the book BEFORE I read the book. The social, political, and historical context provided in the prologue, however, was useful. When you apply the satire to today’s politics, the correlations are scary.
to be believed
I am sixty years old now and haven't read Animal Farm since I was a teen. Visiting this old treasure had much more of an impact than reading it long ago. It is even more relevant in this day and age. The narrator is wonderful and you can't not admire Orwell's knack for making you think deeply while at the same time entertaining you to the fullest. This was one of my favorite purchases from audible.
I first read this in the 80's when my native Czechoslovakia was still an Animal Farm. I appreciate Orwell's foresight even more, now that most of Eastern Europe is back to Manor Farms - with "reconciliation" with the West proceeding almost exactly as predicted in the final chapter.
Narration is good and the easy British accent fits well with the setting and Orwell's overall sardonic tone.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
One of my favorite books of all time, this book is an absolute classic. Makes me wonder what would have happened if Snowball (Trotsky) had been put in charge instead of Napoleon (A.K.A. Stalin).?.
While I've spent more time and fallen more deeply in love with other books available on audible, this book will continue to be one I concidder a Must Read for absolutely Everyone. Short, self contained, and deeply representative, it is a novel that is within Everyone's powers to understand on some level and is one I would concidder every acknowledged 'Authority' lesser for having never read.
Much attention is given to the suggestivity of using this novel to investigate the Russian Revolution, and indeed it is perhaps deeply congruous with those events, but I cannot help but feel that anyone who sees it as Only Representative of that event Miss the deeper, universal connotations.
While I find myself wondering at exactly which age such a novel would carry the most impact, I cannot help but think it worthy Required Reading for Anyone.
Not a distinction I can make of many novels I love, but one which this novel so completely embodies that I cannot think of it in any other light.
I find the novel unique in alagory in that None of the characters are entirely without faults. Every Animal, and indeed even the human characters are shown to have both positive and negative traits... While many animals Try to act in ways that appear to be the most goodly, many of them fall prey to their own predictability and ignorance. Likewise, the slow corruption and evolution toward evilness by the 'bad' characters can likewise be explained and forgiven...
I suppose I am left instead with a respect and identification with the donkey, who's long life and fatalistic approaches, while frustrating at first, prove to be in the end the most accurate.
I take issue with the cynicism that he represents, and am discouraged by his vindication through the eventual outcome, but cannot help but find myself seeing him as the only riteous character...
the rock that remains unchanged in the tummult...
I had not a favorite, but I found the Vanity of the Horse character to be well embodied... while she hid from danger, spirited away goods, and spent far too long looking at herself and wanting frivolities to aid her vanity, I found myself more and more hating her 'kind' in general... portreying a vain horse so clearly is not an undertaking I would choose to take on myself and is one he accomplished admirably.
Which Kind of Animal are You?
It seems that the whole gambit of human reaction and social type manages to get represented in the novel, despite the incongruity of using so very many different shapes and skills of animal to do so, and I, as a reader, find myself wondering what sorts of traits I would myself exibit... which side indeed would I be on?
The novel begins with a relatively short and dense introduction which delves into the symbolism of the novel and it's catagorisation... I would have preferred that to have been moved to the end... while I had been somewhat familliar with the book ahead of time, it made for a lot of dense data to absorb first thing and somewhat distractedly seguayed right into the book... if you weren't careful you'd miss it... moreover, the discussions raised and points covered so early on tended to be lost on me later in the novel...
Perhaps skipping ahead to the novel and returning to that portion afterward would be a better way of addressing it... perhaps not... just a thought...
An excelently done bit of writing and Never Ever to Be Missed!!
This is a great social commentary about human behavior using animals. The narration was outstanding. I will definitely will give this another listen.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
BEASTS OF ENGLAND
This is simply one of the best books ever written, especially if you know your history. Orwell tells so much without being preachy. When I was a freshman in High School this was required reading in Freshman English. I moved my sophomore year and this was required reading in Sophomore English. I usually hated any reading, especially required, but I did not mind this story. This satire and the subject matter has stuck with me all these years. I have even seen on a smaller scale this sort of story play out at businesses I have worked. This should be read by everyone in the world and reread. You want the more adult version, than read 1984. That is another great read.
The narrator was excellent
FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER
I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.
One of my summer reading projects was to re-read Animal Farm and 1984, having read them many years ago while in high school.
Animal Farm should be required reading. It wraps so many truths in such a small package. It is an absolute classic for many good reasons.
What stands out about the story is how it, or parts of it, keep repeating themselves. The sheep bleating "four legs good, two legs bad" when shouting down any dissent can't help but remind one of "debates" on cable news channels. Blaming everything bad on Snowball is reminiscent of our politicians repeatedly demonizing and blaming every failure on their predecessors. And there is so much more.
The central message is that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Although that quote is not attributable to Orwell, "'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" captures the theme in a perhaps more memorable manner.
Read this book again. You won't be sorry.
Light listening for free minds
Timeless as well as timely. Orwell the novelist for the elite foretold what our socialist society has become. The pigs lie. They conspire while we the lower animals toil. The swine are the over stuffed politicians and their bureaucrat minions. Chapter 10 tells of the false hope of retirement for the masses due to the squandering of resources for the betterment of the pigs. The ruse of healthcare for all becomes the reality of death panels, poisonous drugs, fluoridation, and all manner of tricks to shorten the lives of the lower beasts. We are now all creatures on the Animal Farm.
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