Animal Farm is one of those books that whenever people brought it up, I wish I would have read it. And I would wonder why I hadn’t: It is a small book that is supposed to be a fast and funny read. And then for years, I quickly forgot about it again. That is why it was never on my official TBR list that I keep in my head (and in some notebooks that are everywhere and nowhere).
There is something intimidating about George Orwell to me, another reason why I have only read this book this year. When I finally read it, I knew I had been mistaken. This really is a fast-paced read, a funny read, and a meaningful read all at once. As a history student, and as a religious studies student, you have to study communism a little, the theory and the practise, and it was surprising how much of my studies I recognised in this book. Every few pages I made a note on what I wanted to remember, what stood out to me, what I recognised. And that made the book all the funnier to me, actually. I went into reading this book fearing it to be too much of a cautionary tale, that would condemn communism in such a way that it would bore me, but I came out laughing and thinking and not feeling I had been preached to at all. Maybe it is because as modern readers, we are not often confronted with communism? Sure, I live in a welfare state and I vote on the left side of the political spectrum, but communists, for me, are hidden on the far end of my province in the Netherlands and often frowned upon, if not laughed at, by almost everyone. I do think this book might have been more powerful at its time, or maybe even until 1989? Not as funny, maybe. And I am curious how Americans would read this book, coming from a different tradition, a more staunchly anti-communist one.
I do not think I need to tell you what the premise of the story is, I will however tell you that if you have not read this book yet, I think you should!
Psst.. I read this book a few months ago, and it was a borrowed copy at that. I did not write down any quotes I wanted to include in this review, but opted to keep reading instead. Eventually, I will learn to write my reviews in time, right after reading the book, and not wait for many months. Which should mean more detail, more analysis and longer posts. But I like a short post every once in a while..