Animal Farm

Animal Farm  - George Orwell, Ralph Cosham

I somehow managed to miss reading this in school and in all the years since, so I picked it up as an audiobook so I didn't feel so disconnected from the entire world, which does seem to have read it.

 

I did enjoy it, but in the same sort of way you "enjoy" a thriller you know is going to end badly. I could see most of the steps coming as they came (some of this might be due to having read 1984 in school, so I am familiar with Orwell, even if not with this particular novella), and it left me with the kind of terror you only get looking on at something that is going to end terribly and not being able to stop it.

 

As we got closer and closer to the end, it started becoming the sort of runaway train that could only really end one way, and watching the poor animals on their way to this ending was distressing.

 

I liked most of the characters, or at least felt deeply for them in this situation that was rapidly spiraling out of their control because of their own lack of education and understanding. It was horrifying to see them acquiescing to things I could tell were going to lead to disaster, to see them falling for each and every trick played on their minds and their hope, and to know that there was nothing they could do. What makes it worse is the idea that, for all this is clearly a fantasy-type novella, it felt real. This sort of things has happened, and for many of the same reasons. You create an outside enemy, you control the situation, you act like you are friends with those under your command, and things always seem to end badly.

 

It is absolutely worth a read if you, like me, managed to somehow miss it. It will leave you feeling a bit paranoid and a bit horrified, but all the best dystopians do, and this certainly belongs to that class.