Animal Farm - George Orwell

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Animal Farm is undoubtedly one of the most famous books around. It has also been read by an incredible number of people, since it's publication in 1945, as evidenced by the fact that even those who have read very little tend to have read Animal Farm. Admittedly, this is partly because it has long been a staple book on the school curriculum, but it appeals to adults and children alike.

The main plot or storyline of the book is simple: a group of animals take over the running of a farm, after the farmer is no more. The pigs rise to the top and take over the running as the most intelligent animals. Everything starts off looking as though it will be wonderfully egalitarian, with all animals being equal.

However, things soon start to degenerate, and the pigs take almost dictatorial control, with the famous line that "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others". They gradually start to adopt human practices and get more like the tyrannical masters that they themselves once were subject to.

Understandably, many political comparisons have tirelessly been drawn, and it is oft-commented that this book, although under the guise of animals, is basically a political rant by Orwell on the dangers of Stalinism, in satirical form. Whilst this may be the case, the book can be enjoyed for what it is - a thought-provoking piece of fiction. It is interesting to think that, once humans have gone, some other animal may 'fill the gap' and take over our place at the top of the tree. Though equally, it is quite possible that this wouldn't happen!

In summary, this is a great book, is easy to read, and fun in places. Recommended reading for children and adults alike.

Animal Farm

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