Animal Farm – George Orwell

A classic fairy tale from a brilliant author. I can’t add much else to the decades of critical praise this work has already received. Or perhaps I can. I recently had the pleasure of revisiting this piece in the form of an audio book, and it was even better than I remembered. The reader’s warm, classic, British accent added a shine ten times brighter.

And the animals are always fantastic. Their portrayals are spot on reflections of each creature’s character while also serving as metaphors for human nature. Genius in its simplicity. Also, my wife and I got a kick out of the cat’s treacherous ways. It’s just like a cat to play both sides.

But the true beauty of this book lies in its representation of human tendencies. The authoritarian government Orwell warned against was built as if from a textbook, with each piece resembling a caricature in its obvious manipulation. And yet, we’ve seen these same tactics used time and again in the years since this work was created. In hindsight, subtlety in subversion seems like an oxymoron.

I wonder if we’ll ever learn. I wonder if we’ll ever decide to give up such elementary pursuits in favor of true freedom.

Or perhaps I’m being too cynical. This is just a kids’ book, after all. The cat was hilarious. It’s just like a cat to play both sides.

5 out of 5 stars

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