Book Review: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm is the most famous by far of all twentieth-century political allegories. Its account of a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind, can fairly be said to have become a universal drama. Orwell is one of the very few modern satirists comparable to Jonathan Swift in power, artistry, and moral authority; in animal farm his spare prose and the logic of his dark comedy brilliantly highlight his stark message.
Taking as his starting point the betrayed promise of the Russian Revolution, Orwell lays out a vision that, in its bitter wisdom, gives us the clearest understanding we possess of the possible consequences of our social and political acts.

I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I read 1984 and loathed most every minute of that torturous book, but I was really into this one. It did take a minute or two to get used to the fact that the animals were the focus of the book, and not just that, but get used to the fact the the animals were anarchists of sorts.

This book was extremely entertaining, and while I wasn’t surprised at the turn Animal Farm took, it didn’t stop me from wanting the Farm to stay as idealistic as the animals first agreed upon. For a while the Utopian society they dreamed up was something I was hoping would work well for the animals and allow them to live their lives without the reign of a farmer such as Jones. But with power, comes those who will use it against those whom they have sworn to treat as equals.

The ending in particular was great. Those last few sentences were a perfect description of how I’d come to see those specific characters. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

 

 

 

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Currently reading:

Coraline

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

 

Book Review: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

This extraordinary work–echoing Plath’s own experiences as a rising writer/editor in the early 1950s–chronicles the nervous breakdown of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, successful, but slowly going under, and maybe for the last time.

I was pleasantly surprised while reading this book, not with the subject matter at hand obviously, but I was glad that I could enjoy the book. Esther Greenwood at times reminded me of myself when I was going through a introspective stage of life. She’s not what one would call a person of privilege, but she does have wits and talent about her that allow her to gain opportunities to move up in life.

I found Esther to be quite normal at the beginning of the story, with just a touch of a rebellious nature. She doesn’t seem as though she wants to fit in, but at the same time she’s not at the opposite end of the spectrum either, so that leaves her in the middle feeling like she can’t relate to her peers. There’s not much I can say that would make this review remain spoiler-free. But I particularly enjoyed Esther’s subtle descent into madness.

I found it hard to keep track of her thoughts sometimes, but that just pulled me in more to what she was feeling at the time of her decline. There were many events that triggered her depression and I was shocked by a few of them, and even more so shocked with the nonchalant air Esther seemed to treat them with. She was a very strange character to read about, yet one the reader can still relate to on a human level. She’s by no means perfect, and at times not too likable, but that just made her a more real person to read about.

I enjoyed the read and if you’ve ever had a similar decline you’ll most likely enjoy this book.

The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Review to come:

Colin FischerColin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller

 

 

 

 

Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

Though I can’t deny that this is a true literary classic, I can say that this ¬†story wasn’t always my cup of tea. At times I was downright bored to tears while reading this book, I couldn’t understand why I’ve seen so many rave reviews about it! There I was thinking I’d be taken on some fantastically dystopian journey, hoping I’d be utterly sucked in, and instead I was feeling as though to keep reading was a punishment. Obviously for a book of it’s time it was quite creative, but I don’t think it translates the same way in the modern world of today. It wasn’t particularly unique by today’s standards, but I did appreciate it from where and when it was written.

Winston isn’t a character one sympathizes with easily. There’s something about his demeanor that I didn’t find appealing, but once the book continued I came to learn of his ways and understood him a bit better. Certain points of the story I utterly hated reading, other parts I thoroughly enjoyed. I found myself in a fifty-fifty situation while reading, and I knew I’d either love the next part or I’d hate it. Unfortunately the love/hate relationship went back and forth quite a bit.

There was a particularly dreadful section when Winston was reading a book that dragged on forever. I literally had to start reading other less tedious books just so I could make it to the end of this one.

While this most certainly isn’t a rave review, I must admit that by the end I was captivated. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read this book yet, but by the end we as the readers are able to see why the society Winston lives in is able to thrive as it is. All throughout you hope it’s something that can be defeated, or that maybe this is some sick little game, but I think the ending is quite conclusive in it’s meaning. It’s definitely a cautionary tale of sorts, and I liked that Orwell wasn’t afraid of getting to the nitty-gritty parts of human nature.

 

19841984 by George Orwell
My rating:  2.5 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Reviews to come:

OriginOrigin by Jessica Khoury

 

 

 

Crashing EdenCrashing Eden by Michael Sussman

 

 

 

Currently reading:

The Bell JarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath