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Animal Farm  By  cover art

Animal Farm

By: George Orwell
Narrated by: Simon Callow
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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about Animal Farm

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  • AS
  • 05-14-17

The perfect combination of story and reading!

I can only second the title here. The story itself is great, funny and yet about serious things. The reading performance is top notch, it would probably be impossible to do it better! Combining these two, it's hard to find a better way to spend your​ Audible credit!

2 people found this helpful

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Great narrative

I loved the narrative. Mr Simon had me captivated with every voice tone to the characters

1 person found this helpful

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Essential

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.

1 person found this helpful

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a classic

a classic if ever there was one. just makes you think about our world.

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Great Preformance

loved it. It is a great story and the voice performance was astounding. I would recommend.

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Excellent

Narration was excellent and the story has resonance in current times. A mist read to anyone who wonders about current politcs..

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Amazing Production

Already a great book, but made even more entertaining through the awesome voiceover and sound effects.

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One of my favourites.

Awesome story and I dare say the allegory is still relevant today. I loved it that the narrator brought a personality to each character with such ease. As for the author, no amount of lavish praise is sufficient, but he is one of my favourites and has stood the test of time.

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Incredible story and voice actor

Perfect! Orwell's classic allegorical novel remains deeply touching and relevant to this day. This book should be taught in every school.
Furthermore, the voice actor is incredibly well suited for this reading and did a truly great job.

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Great short read on development of communism

Loved the book and how it reflects a journey of a fictional society that adopts communism as a ruling form. A great read with a simple explanation about how communism works in an isolated setting. Easy to listen, a relaxing story, very short.

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  • Anthony
  • 06-15-14

Brilliant classic, superbly read by Simon Callow

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...

45 people found this helpful

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  • Lisa Smith
  • 11-23-14

More relevant now than ever!

If you could sum up Animal Farm in three words, what would they be?

It's politics today!

What did you like best about this story?

The humour

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Every scene was enjoyable, but I wanted to kill those bladdy sheep!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to it in one afternoon.

Any additional comments?

I have never liked Simon Callow, but he has won me around with this. His reading of this classic is just brilliant.

24 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 09-14-11

Beautifully read - adds to the enjoyment

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Stuart
  • 06-03-10

I preferred this to 1984

This was the second of the books I listened to from George Orwell and I definitely preferred it to 1984.

It was mildly amusing and I did like it's hidden meanings and references to socialism, communism and collectives.

I kept thinking to myself that these animals must be stupid and that the pigs really were clever for dominating the rest of the animals.

This for me was just as thought provoking as 1984 and in a way made me think how lucky i am to have been born in to the western world rather than the eastern block.

Certainly worth a read if you haven't done so already.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Mec
  • 04-13-13

A classic

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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • CaWa
  • 06-26-15

Not to be missed

I've always wanted to read this book and had a vague idea what to expect. The reader is outstanding and has immense skill in bringing the story to life, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it really reminded me in many ways of a place I used to work! (all employees were equal there too, till it came to holidays, perks, breaks, sick leave, pay.... Let's leave it there, that's another ( far less interesting) story)
Callow is a warm, creative narrator and the brief musical interludes really work well, enjoy .

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss
  • 12-23-12

hilarious

A hilarious book with excellent narration - exactly how I had pictured it in my head when reading the print version.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 02-29-12

A brilliant reading of a classic work

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • migueldavid
  • 05-31-15

Gave me shivers

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • W
  • 05-28-15

...some narrators are more equal than others

Animal Farm is the classic allegorical novel that I can't believe I hadn't read before! It's a fascinating listen, but all the same a pretty negative reflection on humanity. There is humour and warmth, but there are several shocking scenes and I felt tearful at a couple of points in the story. Simon Callow's narration is absolutely brilliant - I believed in every character.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Vivienne
  • 01-23-19

Classic book, weird music

I've always loved this book, and the narrator is excellent. But there's always a little bit of music (and sometimes whistling) that plays at the end of every chapter that's really distracting.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Get Lossst
  • 05-26-20

A Classic!!

Power means responsibility and some just dont want that responsibility. Excellent read for the lazy ones who wilfully become slaves lol

2 people found this helpful

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  • Esther
  • 12-18-19

Timeless Classic

Well read and a very good story! A classic! Studied this book at school and went back to it years later, you get a lot more
out of it when your older.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marina
  • 06-15-16

Great book

This will always be such a relevant book for society. It was easy to listening to when going to and from work.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tristan Berrell
  • 11-02-22

Not about communism

This was a book I did in year 7 for school, and it disappoints me to see so many commentaries suggesting this book is about communism.

Instead, this book is a great insight into how a population can be exploited. Orwell touches on similar themes to 1984 in the deceitful nature of those in power, yet does so through the lens of historical events. I found this to be much more palatable than 1984, and is a great reflection on modern society that everyone would benefit from contemplating.

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  • Matt
  • 10-24-22

fantastic

A book that's been on my list for far too long that I finally got around to during a road trip. I love how George Orwell creates fictional novels with real world philosophical and political thought. When my daughter is older I will definitely buy a hard copy and read it to her.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-20-22

The Hobbit of Political Fiction

What The Hobbit is to fantasy, Animal Farm is to political fiction/satire.

A book thats powers of substitution are formidable.

a great read/listen for all ages but especially for younger audiences who are interested in the techniques of representation and symbolism in writing.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-21

Fascinating book and wonderfully narrated

George Orwell very cleverly uses a simple story to tell the tale of a complex and terrible political system.

A very short book that's is expertly narrated. I finished it in a weekend.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-21

Frighteningly looks set to move to non fiction

Great book, a lot of audible books I struggle with the narrators not being good for the books but this is narrated well.

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  • Jenny
  • 09-23-21

Things that make you go hmmmm....

Easy listening and pretty funny. Sad realities too. Narrator did a great job. I recommend.