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Written in third-person omnipotent, George Orwell has given readers an excellent example of a well-written tale, in this case a fable, of all around good literature. The setting is a farm. Pastoral, peaceful, where nothing bad could ever happen.


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Until the animals start rebelling. The plot is gripping. After a quick sketch of the eight main characters, all animals, the reader is pulled into a fascinating irony of Utopia gone horribly wrong, thanks to one evil despot. With the exception of one class of animal, the masses work their butts off in contribution to this new society and order. For those anticipating an apocalyptic ending with mass genocide, well, don't get your hopes up. There's still plenty of cynicism and gloom to go around. It's all downhill from here. The ending is rather abrupt. As if Orwell suddenly realized his willing suspension of disbelief would be ruined if animals and humans started talking in English with each other. That would just be too Disney. Only 10 chapters long and 97 pages to breeze through, this is a quick and easy read; appropriate for all ages twelve and up. There's plenty of memorable lines to start a discussion of why countries such as North Korea, Iran and Red China continue to avoid contact with the Western world. A good reminder of what happens when the lazy, immoral minority is granted power over the moral majority of a nation. As for Western readers, with individualism alive and well, the celebration of non-traditional families replacing children with beloved pets, one wonders, if George Orwell were alive today, would dogs rule Animal Farm?