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Animal Farm: Centennial Edition [Paperback]

George Orwell , Ann Patchett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,964 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2003

With a foreword by Ann Patchett

George Orwell's timeless fable - a parable for would-be liberators everywhere, glimpsed through the lens of our own history

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors.

This new , beautiful paperback edition with a foreword by Ann Patchett  features deckled edges and french flaps -- a perfect gift for any occasion.

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Animal Farm: Centennial Edition + Nineteen Eighty Four + The Catcher in the Rye
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From Amazon

Since its publication in 1946, George Orwell's fable of a workers' revolution gone wrong has rivaled Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea as the Shortest Serious Novel It's OK to Write a Book Report About. (The latter is three pages longer and less fun to read.) Fueled by Orwell's intense disillusionment with Soviet Communism, Animal Farm is a nearly perfect piece of writing, both an engaging story and an allegory that actually works. When the downtrodden beasts of Manor Farm oust their drunken human master and take over management of the land, all are awash in collectivist zeal. Everyone willingly works overtime, productivity soars, and for one brief, glorious season, every belly is full. The animals' Seven Commandment credo is painted in big white letters on the barn. All animals are equal. No animal shall drink alcohol, wear clothes, sleep in a bed, or kill a fellow four-footed creature. Those that go upon four legs or wings are friends and the two-legged are, by definition, the enemy. Too soon, however, the pigs, who have styled themselves leaders by virtue of their intelligence, succumb to the temptations of privilege and power. "We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of the farm depend on us. Day and night, we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples." While this swinish brotherhood sells out the revolution, cynically editing the Seven Commandments to excuse their violence and greed, the common animals are once again left hungry and exhausted, no better off than in the days when humans ran the farm. Satire Animal Farm may be, but it's a stony reader who remains unmoved when the stalwart workhorse, Boxer, having given his all to his comrades, is sold to the glue factory to buy booze for the pigs. Orwell's view of Communism is bleak indeed, but given the history of the Russian people since 1917, his pessimism has an air of prophecy. --Joyce Thompson --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

This 50th-anniversary commemorative edition of Orwell's masterpiece is lavishly illustrated by Ralph Steadman. In addition, it contains Orwell's proposed introduction to the English-language version as well as his preface to the Ukrainian text. Though all editions of Animal Farm are equal, this one is more equal than others.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meant as a warning, not as a guide Nov. 1 2013
By Paul
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first read 1984 as part of my High School curriculum.
At the time, it was amazing to think that a book written before any but the earliest forms of computers, when most people had never heard of television, and before CNN existed could have so eerily predicted things like Flat-screens in every house, and ministries in charge of controlling the news and pop culture.

I re-read it some years later and it was scarier still, as the world was at war, only now our enemies were the same band of merry outlaws we had allied with against the Russians. To watch Rambo III, and CNN during Operation Desert Storm, and then to re-read 1984 was an interesting experience.

Now, I think it is even more relevant. With everyone up in arms about the NSA scandal, figures like Osama Bin Laden, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange popping up in the State Controlled news casts, and more and more men and women in North America sporting "smart phones" equipped with great tools like GPS, geo-tagging, facial recognition software and fingerprint pass-protection I shake my head.

Every time I hear a song on the radio that I find my feet tapping along to, and realize the words make little to no sense - they just sound good together, as if synthesized to appeal to as many people as possible - and every time I see some news about climate change, genocide, or an environmental disaster overshadowed by the latest celebrity spotting I cringe and wonder if Orwell understood that he wasn't writing a warning for the public, he was writing a playbook for the elite.

Even if you think, "LOL - this guy is crazy!", you should do yourself a favour and really read this fantastic bit of fiction. Some would say it is a spectacular example of a literary endeavour. Others would say it's a really, really good book. I would give this 2 + 2 stars out of 5. So 5 out of 5 stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy, enjoyable, and important book to read Nov. 4 2008
By Wolfman
In terms of reading books that are classics, this one is pain free. The language is easy and it's short enough to get through in a day, and best of all the story is entertaining. My advice would be to spend a few hours on the net reading about the Russian Revolution and Stalin's bio before reading to make sure you appreciate all the allusion, allegory, metaphors and all that blah blah stuff that makes it an important book. This is the one book I actually liked when I had to read it in highschool, 10 or so years later I still enjoyed breezing through it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grim warning Oct. 6 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a story that, unfortunately, seems to be slowly coming true. Many science fiction titles are escapist literature that either imagine a very different world(s) from our own, or at the very least, hold out some hopeful message - in other words, the good guys usually manage to win. This is neither kind of book. And it is science fiction because the sinister use of technology is what allows Big Brother to invade everyone's privacy and dictate what the characters can do or say, with severe, nightmarish punishment for "disobedience." There have other novels that have seized upon this idea of an anti-utopia, but Orwell was one of the first to place it in a realistic future, and in a chilling this-is-all-too-possible way.

And the parallels with our modern world are especially profound, parallels that are obvious all around us. The growing number of surveillance cameras on street corners, the ironic (but deliberately) named Patriot Act in the U.S., the rise of political and religious intolerance in the world...all of it does not bode well for the future of our basic liberties. Orwell got in right back in 1948, and although he was primarily referring to the "red menace" of his era, the tactics used by suppressive governments are tempting for any government because of the control such tactics provide, liberties be damned. Your agenda- whatever it is- can more easily be achieved if you can identify your enemies early on and thwart their every move. The problem is, when your enemies are law-abiding citizens whose political (or religious) views don't match your own- and that's the only "crime"- you've stepped over the boundary of national security and entered the realm of repression.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillian Fairy Tale for Adults... May 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Every time I read something by George Orwell, I'm convinced what a genius he was. This novel, along with 1984, is so entrenched in our collective consciousness now that it is difficult to remember a time when they didn't exist. I think that political extremists on either side would like to subvert Orwell's message for their own purposes. What makes Orwell great however is that he is not simply skewering the left or the right, but politics itself. To paraphrase Woody Allen in Sleeper (his take on 1984) "It doesn't matter who is in charge - they're all terrible."
Historically, Animal Farm was written as a polemic against Soviet communism after Orwell returned from fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Even though the USSR is his main target, Animal Farm reads like a blueprint for every violent revolution ever. I'm also reading a book on the French Revolution, and I'm amazed at how much the two link up. First comes the idyllic phase when the oppressors have been overthrown. Next, the "liberators" soon set themselves up as demi-gods. Next comes marshal law. Eventually, it does become impossible to distinguish the men from the pigs. "All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
This book, written before 1984, introduces some of the themes that Orwell will do much to develop later. For instance, like Big Brother, Napoleon - the leader - gradually does away with the animal's history and memory. He gradually alters the Seven Commandments of animals, while maintaining they were "always" that way. ("We are at war with Eastasia. We have ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia.")
This book is so spot-on in its depiction of human (animal) behavior its scary.
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Most recent customer reviews
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Published 1 day ago by R Lavoie
5.0 out of 5 stars Much heavier than I like my books
I kept dropping the book because it was too hard to read, pacing nervously and picking it up 10 minutes later because I had to read it. Incredible. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Irene
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read!
I have only read 2 books in my life, and that was because I was forced to do so in school. This book, I cannot put down. I have read half of it in one week already. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mudthirsty
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection
Great book, one of Orwell's best! I'm not a huge fan of novels, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading 1984….I highly recommended it.
Published 1 month ago by Sam Tardif Malek
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic...
A must read, it is a book I've read countless times and I never tire of it. A masterpiece, and the subject matter remains eerily relevant in modern times
Published 2 months ago by Julie Cluff
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST read.
one of my favorite books of all time! I have read it 3x already at different stages of my life, and every time it means something different.
Published 2 months ago by Mahya
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book
Published 2 months ago by Rob Kennedy
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic that still bears up under the passage of time
The dystopian future envisaged by Orwell seems to still be scarily attainable. Newspeak is not just a fanciful parable about a future gone mad, it can often be detected currently... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ken Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars great story
I quite liked this book. The story has a good structure than gradually makes you keep reading forward. Read more
Published 3 months ago by luis gomez
5.0 out of 5 stars Animal Farm Reviewed
I watched a film adaptation of this book when I was a child, and it managed to traumatize me. I didn't think I'd ever read this book because of it, but my cousin kept praising it,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Laurena King
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