Animal Farm | Book Review

Sunday, 11 February 2018

So, if you have read my previous blog post, you will know that I decided I really want to commit myself to reading more non-university books. I love books, but sadly I'm not the biggest reader. I am very easily distracted and find it hard to just sit down, relax and snuggle up with a book. However, I have recently had a bit of an epiphany and realised what I want to do after university (which will be discussed in a future blog post). This has really given me the motivation to read more, as well as start my blog and youtube channel.

I decided to start my long and tedious reading journey with Animal Farm by George Orwell. Being only 102 pages, it was a very unthreatening start to this journey, making it all the more appealing. And boy, it was a good choice.

I really enjoyed this book. Being a bit of a history nerd, this was a very interesting read. I studied Russian history at GCSE and A-Level, so I like to think I have a fair bit of knowledge around the events that this book is so clearly based on. I particularly enjoyed the allusions to historical figures such as Trotsky (Snowball) and Stalin (Napoleon).

The writing style was not quite what I was expecting when going into the novel. Being such a famous writer, I expected George Orwell's writing to be very eloquent and for there to be lots of 'big' words. However, unlike some of the books I've read for university (I'm looking at you Ulysses and Clarissa),  it wasn't a very challenging read. This doesn't mean that it wasn't extremely interesting and enjoyable because it was. It simply means that I actually was able to enjoy it more because I didn't have to google the definition of every other word. I should have probably known it wouldn't be too challenging due to it being a fairly modern classic (it is a penguin modern classic after all).

Being a very cynical person, I really enjoyed the pessimistic tone that occurs all throughout the novel. The fight for power was interesting as it is something that, even 50+ years on, is extremely relevant in today's political climate. I consider myself a very political person, so this really intrigued me when it first started appearing within the novel. There is a clear dislike of capitalism within the story, therefore I'm really curious to read more information on Orwell and what his political views were. However, I think it also shows dislike of communism, suggesting that Orwell didn't agree with either.

I completely agree that this is a dystopian novel. I was already interested in reading more dystopian novels, and this was a great start. I am making it a mini project to read a few of the 'classic' dystopian novels. This includes Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Handmaid's Tale, Farenheit 451 and (a more recent release) The Power. I am currently reading The Handmaid's Tale and I'm really enjoying it. Once I have read it I plan on writing another review which will also include my opinion on the TV show.
Overall, I really enjoyed Animal Farm and I highly recommend it. If you are at all interested in Russian history, politics, dystopian novels or just fancy a bit of change, then definitely buy it the next chance you get (or grab it from your shelves if you already own it!). Have you read Animal Farm? If so did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments or twitter/instagram etc.!

My video review is also now up on my channel!

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