Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
George Orwell is a genius. If you haven’t read this book and 1984 yet, I highly recommend you do. Animal Farm is a perfect reflection of Russia under Stalin, utilizing a myriad of metaphors and not-so-subtle characterizations to convey the cruelty of communism.
But I had the same problem reading Animal Farm as I did with 1984. It was so dreadfully depressing. The first ten pages of this book revealed the horror of humankind, and the last ten pages disturbed me to the point that I couldn’t fall asleep that night without considerable effort.
I suppose I am being a little
sensitive to the point of stupidity harsh for knocking off 1.5 stars simply because the book was sad. However, it’s not the melancholy aspect of the novel that disappointed me – it was the lack of hope. At least in 1984 the reader is pulled along by the promise of a revolution (aka, a hint of hope) but in Animal Farm there is no anticipation of absolution. By the end I wouldn’t have been surprised if a random bomb appeared and blew up the entire farm, killing off all the animals in one grand explosion.
Though one could argue that the sheer hopelessness of this novel portrays the sheer hopelessness of those living in Russia under Stalin’s rule, in which case George Orwell really is a genius. Anyway, this book deserves more than a 3.5 based solely on literary value, but as I rate by personal preference and enjoyment, I’m sticking with a 3.5.
My nine-year-old cousin just told me to give this book five stars because of the cute pig on the cover. I can’t wait until she reads this…