George Orwell – Animal Farm

Hi all!

Before I start the review on this book, I would like to ask your assistance in one of my school projects. I had to design a website with the theme Vienna, and the goal is to get as many views as I possibly can. So if you could spare a minute to check it out, I would be terribly grateful 🙂 There is also a contact page where you can find my contact info so you can email me with suggestions or questions. Or you can do it here also 😀 So here it is: Vienna

And now, back to George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.

When I started reading this book, I couldn’t help thinking about “1984”, another well known book of the author, and I had a feeling that I will see its ideas in this book also. And actually, a few main ideas were indeed there, only in a slightly different way. But it seems to me that the main difference between the two works is actually in the presentation.

The book tells the story of the Manor farm, where, due to the words of the wise pig Major, the animals rebel against their tyrant owner, Mr. Jones, and succeed in exiling him from his own land. After this, the courageous animals, led by the pigs, who were the smartest of the animals, try to run the farm themselves. They succeed in this also, even though the humans were sure of their failure.

But the well-being of the animals suddenly changes when Snowball, one of the leading pigs is chased away from the farm, and Napoleon, the other leading pig slowly becomes the one and only Leader. Things start to go downhill from there, with lesser and lesser food, more and more work, and public massacres of those who are claimed to be traitors by Napoleon. Even so, the animals don’t revolt against him, because they are brainwashed over and over every day by the words of Squealer, Napoleon’s right hand pig. And their ignorance and lack of initiation slowly leads to Napoleon becoming nothing more than a tyrant himself.

The animals, gullible as they are, believe that their hard labor is for their own good and that they are free. Sadly, the case is quite different, and they can feel that something is not right, but naive and not quite intelligent as they are, can’t quite decide where the problem is.

I liked this book, because it is indeed a great example of what a human community can become if the people are led by fear and ignorance, not willing to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. And it is quite amazing how someone with greater intelligence can manipulate a crowd so easily.

It is a good book, so I would recommend it, and it is actually quite short, unlike “1984”. Just to be clear, I really liked that book, but it was a bit too long and sometimes even a bit boring with the descriptions. But thankfully, the message came through.

Anyway, if you would like to read this one online, you can find it here: Animal Farm.

That’s all for now, and next time I’ll be talking about Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read 🙂

Edgar Allan Poe Shortstories Part X

Hi all!

It seems spring is finally coming and I personally can’t wait for the sunshine! 😀 It’s actually pretty amazing to see how a clear sky or a patch of green grass can change someone’s mood 🙂 And personally, I could really use some brightness about now 😛

Anyway, speaking about gloomy atmosphere, I’ll be presenting 5 stories again (thankfully not all gloomy 😛 ), and just like before, the titles are links to where you can read them online 🙂

The Oblong Box

This is a quite interesting story about a boat trip turned disastrous. But that’s not all 🙂

The narrator speaks of an artist friend, Cornelius Wyatt on the ship, who claimed to have married a seemingly perfect girl, but as he meets her, she doesn’t seem anything like what he heard of. Besides that, Wyatt has in his room an oblong box, which the narrator believes to contain a painting, but, as it turns out, not all things are as they seem 🙂

Metzengerstein

This story is a really interesting one, and for some reason it was familiar, but I’m almost sure I never read it before.

It’s about two rival families, the Metzengerstein and the Berlifitzing, who owe their rivalry not only to their differences in wealth and stature, but also to a prophecy, claiming one’s victory over the other. The story gets more interesting when the stable of the Berlifitzing family catches on fire and a wild demeaned horse is caught by the servants of the Baron Frederick Von Metzengerstein. Frederick is fascinated by the horse and spends a lot of time with it. After a while, he starts to change in behavior, but this is only noticed by one of his servants. But as the Baron’s own house catches on fire one night, a really strange thing happens, that makes you wonder about the true character of the demonic horse.

The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq.

This story is again a funny one, but in a satirical and critical way. The narrator of the story is Mr. Thingum Bob himself,  and he presents his road to success, starting from the moment he wanted to become “great” by being an editor and poet.

This is a satire of article writing and criticism, because in the story, the pieces of literature we might consider valuable (such as Dante’s “Inferno”) is claimed to be nothing more than a “rant”. And of course, ironically, a “poem” (if we can even call it that) by the narrator is a great sensation which marks his first steps in becoming well known.

This is definitely an interesting story, and I think worth reading 🙂

How To Write A Blackwood Article

This story is a pretty funny one, and has as protagonist a very vain Signora Psyche Zenobia. In her endeavors to write a great article, she meets with Mr. Blackwood, who tells her about the substances of brilliant articles. The points he makes are funny, and the whole just seems to be a mockery of writers who present so called sensations.

A Predicament

This story is a sequel to “How To Write A Blackwood Article”, and it is the actual article of Signora Psyche Zenobia.

As Mr. Blackwood suggested in the other story, this lady presents a most terrifying experience of her life. She uses the agreed style and quotes, which make the story hilarious, because she often emphasizes things that are not at all important, and the quotes are awfully misspelled, as she wrote them down before as she understood them.

It’s a really funny story and I would recommend it, because it certainly made me laugh a couple of times 😀

Well, I guess that’s all for now. Stay tuned for Part XI of the series 🙂

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read 🙂

Jonathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels

Hi all 🙂

After a considerably long time ( almost two weeks for a book this size is so not me 😛 ), I’m finally back with “Gulliver’s Travels”. And I’m shocked. You know how they say for some things that once you’ve read it, it can never be unread. Well, I think this is like that.

I always considered this to be a children’s book and now that I’ve finally read it, I realized I couldn’t be more wrong. If a piece of writing can be considered a slap in the face, this is definitely it. And it’s not just the irony you find in the story, but the fact that it all rings true. And it kinda hurts.

But lets just start at the beginning.

The book presents four journeys of a Mr. Lemuel Gulliver, each journey in a separate part and the story is told from his point of view. These journeys lead him to different lands unknown to the rest of the world, each fascinating in its own way.

Putting aside the physical differences between the inhabitants of these lands and humans (the Lilliputians are much smaller, the citizens of Brobdingnag are giants, etc. ), the moral differences or similarities are the ones that really matter.

In the first parts the author uses irony to portray the faults and immoral behavior of human kind, but attacking them head on in the last. It was really shocking to see all the wrong in the world presented like that. And really, the worst part was knowing that it is true. It did hurt though, because I felt that he didn’t even give a fighting chance to those who are considered good, or at least better than the rest. But than again it made me wonder how an outsider would see us as a species? And knowing our history, with all the wars for the right causes and all the mean and violent things that go on in the world, I wouldn’t be surprised if those outsiders did view us as Yahoos. And I’m ashamed for that. And I think we all should be.

This was definitely a powerful book, and actually, I’m glad I didn’t read it when I was little, because I probably wouldn’t have understood it as it was meant.

The ending, though, seemed a bit exaggerated, even if I consider what Gulliver went through, but maybe that’s just me. Besides that, I really liked the book, it had interesting ideas and interesting ways of making a point. I would definitely recommend it, and if you have already read it when you were little, I think you should take the time to reread it.

For those of you who would like to read it online, you can find it here: Gulliver’s Travels

So I guess that’s all for now, next time I’ll be presenting Karl May’s “Winnetou”. Until then, have a nice day and a nice read 🙂