Animal Farm is George Orwell's great socio-political allegory set in a farmyard, where the animals decide to seize the farmer's land and create a co-operative that reaps the benefits of their combined labours.
However, as with all great political plans, some animals see a bigger share of the rewards than others, and the animals start to question their supposed utopia. They decide that working for humans is doing them no favours, so under the leadership of Napoleon, the only Berkshire Boar on the farm, and the other pigs, they drive out the farmer and his cohorts and set about structuring their own society.Based on a list of supposedly animal-friendly rules such as "four legs good, two legs baaaaad", the animals work together to harvest their own food and run their own farm. However, little by little, the rules begin to mysteriously change, and the pigs seem to gain power little by little, making the animals question what society they were striving for in the first place and whether their new-found freedom is as liberating as they might have hoped.
With direct allusions to political figures such as Lenin, Marx, Trotsky, Stalin, and Molitov, to name but a few, Animal Farm is one of the greatest socio-political works of all time, and this UNABRIDGED audio does it absolute justice.
©1945 George Orwell Estate; (P)2009 CSA Word
Prof of Global Health & Development - wide interests, fiction & non-, politics, justice & rights, culture & food, travel, art & creativity
Great to be entertained by Simon Callow's performance while revisiting Orwell's classic, Animal Farm. I read this decades ago while still at school - and while dated in some respects it remains a classic and can be re-read now as a commentary on trust and government, on slogans rhetoric and spin, and on totalitarianism, democracy and accountability.
The plot is well known - animals on a farm (Manor Farm) overthrow the owner and rename it as Animal Farm. They institute a new governance system initially based on freedom, equity and rights, but it is not long before the self-proclaimed leaders (the pigs) use their power (including the ability to read) to enrich themselves, suppress others, twist and reinterpret values, and rewrite history.
The famous slogan "Four legs good, Two legs bad" plus other political promises and principles of "Animalism" are revised, rewritten, and brutally corrupted as time goes on. Core values are rewritten as a single slogan "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" and the pig leaders become indistinguishable from the humans whose earlier exploitation of animals on the farm had led them to revolt.
In fewer than four hours this (not so) tall tale presents a recognisable dystopian future.
Lots to enjoy and think about... despite it being depressingly applicable to so many different contexts, both near and far...
It's politics today!
Every scene was enjoyable, but I wanted to kill those bladdy sheep!
I listened to it in one afternoon.
I have never liked Simon Callow, but he has won me around with this. His reading of this classic is just brilliant.
I've not read this since school so this was a splendid listen. Simon Callow was a great choice as doesn't disappoint - he brings the characters to life brilliantly to this wonderful tale.
Simon Callow's reading of Animal Farm is absolutely brilliant. Each of the characters get a unique, distinctive voice. He never overdoes it, every line is read with absolutely perfect control and dramatic flair. It's also an excellent book, which should be read by everyone.
The reading is a work of theatre far from being flatly read, the book was read with different voices and intonation to show each character.
The parallels with reality revolt me from my very guts.
A classic, for a reason.
I'm reading through all versions of the 1001 books to read before you die and pick up other favourite authors and genres along the way.
Pretty high. Engaging and easy to listen to. Short and worth reading in one or two sessions. It's on the 1001 books lists and the reason why I listened. I bought as a members multi deal and very glad I did.
The rebellion and how the power struggles emerge is well documented but pretty shocking too.
It was excellent, a natural choice.
Omg, yes. I think I did.
Well recommended. It's a fairy tale with so so much more. Makes you sit up and think how easily fractured societies can be. I'm likely to re listen at some point to this.
I listen to many types of books including biographies, comedy, science fiction, classics and modern fiction.
I first read this when I was at school. It is well worth 're-visiting this story which has a message that we could take away today.
It is well read and I really enjoyed the characters of the animals building and changing over time.
Originally read this book 30 years ago when its relevence to the Communist/Western divide was in much starker contrast.Its simply a classic and worth reading by any "young" person who wants to see how power corrupts.I have taken an interest in George Orwell and his writings in recent times and it helps to see how he viewed the world of the 1930's and 40's.Animal Farm is recommended for its insight into how a state can control its citizens.
Everyone should buy this audiobook, whether you’ve read Animal Farm previously, or not.
For those familiar with the story, there is so much joy to be had from Simon Callow’s fantastic and fantastical reading. From the first sentence, I was mesmerized. His interpretation of Stalin… sorry… I mean Napoleon… is a delight. And at just over 3h, why not revisit the material?
For those who haven’t read the book before, what a great introduction. I’m not an expert on the Soviet revolution and the subsequent Stalin cult of personality, so Animal Farm – for me – remains the best and simplest allegory of this strange period of human history. Because the symbols have been boiled down to their most basic elements, I wouldn’t describe anything here as “dazzling”. But it’s this very simplicity that will keep you engaged. Strip away all the metaphor and dystopia, and you’ll see that Animal Farm is also a touching and charming story.
It's one of those stories I can't honestly say I liked due to the subject matter but am glad I listened to. Read excellently by Simon Cowell so much do I put off listening to certain portions of the book.
"I don't think George was a fan of Stalin"
Classic that is a good fable. We all know it is Communist Russia and Napoleon the pig is actually Stalin, sorry did I just do a spoiler alert? Well, it isn't as great as '1984' but Mr Orwell is a great author, just don't expect any 'OMG' moments or twists in the tale. Never trusted pigs anyway, but you have to give it to them, without opposable thumbs they certainly do run an efficient farm.
"First class! Superb! Must-have!"
One of the best! Simon Callow is unrivaled!
"....it was a stirring tune, something between Clementine and La Cucaracha" I still have the hymn tune in my head.
Napoleon (the pig), definitely. In fact, the pigs and the bleating sheep were unforgettable.
"I will work harder"
"Excellent reading of a supreme book."
OK so Orwell was a genius and this was one of his best works. Instantly accessible but simultaneously deep this is nearly as important a work of political literature as 1984. I have hesitated for some time in buying this work because there is one section that is so moving for me that I find it difficult to read every time (lots and lots of times) I have approached it. Work out which bit for yourself when you listen to it. It might just be the best way I can think of to spend 3 hours.
Simon Callow is a good narrator. He is one of those actors who sometimes winds me up because he gets just a bit too thespy but in this he is restrained and easy to listen to.
Add it to your collection.
"I Don't Remember It Being This Good In High School"
Yes, It is an interesting commentry on society.
Boxer. His strength and deturmination where impressive
The Pigs realising they had been paid for the wood with a fake note.
Boxer being tricked into being taken to the Knackers
"Excellent and still perfectly relevant"
Thought provoking Read and strongly reminding me of 'King Rat' or 'Lord of the Rings'
Orwell's 'Lord of the Rings'
Simon Callow's reading of this book is superb, bringing this brilliant story to life. Some audiobooks are more equal than others; this is certainly one of them. Most entertaining.
"Just as relevant as it ever was!"
Magnificent and clever story. Brilliant writing and so very relevant. Come on sheeple - wake up!
If you have never experienced this book it is worth every minute. Everyone should hear this book at least once.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.