Animal Farm by George Orwell

read by Simon Callow

This audiobook is unreservedly recommended for all ages - for those who have read the book before, but also for the young, who might misunderstand the premise of the 'Fairy Story', or who simply find the process of reading a chore. Animal Farm is often taught at GCSE, but not all students take English Literature in addition to English Language, so one cannot assume all the young have been introduced to this modern classic.

Animal Farm needs no complex explication. It succeeds on its own through its unassailable logic and simple morality. Its truths are self-evident to both the trusting young and the cynical old, and the seeming inevitability of the narrative delivers the kind of political punch that, in the sixty-five years since its original publication, has made Animal Farm such a feared script of repressive regimes the world over. With Russian attempts, it is said, now to rehabilitate Stalin, perhaps the Russian translation should be reprinted and distributed to the young in the former Soviet Republics.

CSA are to be congratulated in entrusting Animal Farm to Simon Callow. Callow is a breathtakingly talented and stimulating reader. His nuances could not be bettered, expertly imparting, as he does, all the subtle insinuation of Orwell's various levels of irony. A knighthood is surely long overdue; so perhaps he has been offered one and turned it down. His ongoing biography of Orson Welles is masterly, his screen acting and master classes are unrivalled. There is so much literature and biography I, for one, would love to hear him read.

Inspiring and revelatory.

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