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

 

 

 

All caught up on book reviews now!

Currently reading:

Coraline

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

 

Book Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

The premise of Origin is quite interesting, and is what originally compelled me to enter the ARC giveaway I won for this book. Pia is a modern scientific success, she’s the first immortal to be churned out of a remote laboratory in a rain forest in South America. She’s lived a coddled life by those scientists around her, because of course she’s the prize and joy of all the hard work they’ve been putting in day in and day out. Though she first comes off as a bit spoiled, we come to see that not all is as wonderful as Pia first describes to the reader.

I particularly liked that she really and truly loves the laboratory she’s grown up in, and has come to call home. That all changes when a newcomer arrives and throws her well-balanced world off kilter.

I really wanted to enjoy this book much more than I did, but I can’t say that I loved this read. It was interesting of course, but at times the read wasn’t as easy flowing as I like. Also I was a bit disappointed by her immortal…abilities. I don’t want to spoil anything so that is all I will say on that topic. But I felt that there could have been more to what she was able to do. Other than immortality, for the most part, Pia is a normal teenager; aside from the fact that she’s grown up around scientists as oppose to kids her own age.

Her home is full of adults, who keep nothing but secrets from her, and I did enjoy finally learning about all of the mysterious secrets the adults had been keeping to themselves. All in all it was an interesting read, yet not enthralling enough to keep me turning that page late into the night. It’s a good read, but you won’t get fully absorbed in it until much later in the story.

OriginOrigin by Jessica Khoury
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Reviews to come:

Crashing EdenCrashing Eden by Michael Sussman

 

 

 

The Bell JarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

 

 

 

Currently reading:

Colin FischerColin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller

 

 

 

The Girl in the Blue BeretThe Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbie Ann Mason

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