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Animal Farm

Narrated by: Simon Callow
Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (398 ratings)

Non-member price: $25.82

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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Incredibly enticing

Amazing listen and such a good story line, George Orwell definitely knew why he was doing, such a good commentary on communism and socialism

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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.

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whats the deal with nepolian?

the voice of nepolian, a central character, changes about half way through into a scottish accent. wtf.

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really good messages behind it... loved the themes

short and sweet story!! good messages and relevant to a lot of the political stuff happening around the world right now

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Great drama and voices

The reader did a great job with the voices and little additions of the music. Great to listen to

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Outstanding

Very timely critique of Marxist ideas. Absolutely loved it. Every kid should read this book and understand how awful communism is.

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review

I loved the story, great narrative and such an enjoyable performance that is engaging and attracting theistener.

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A good rwad

A well read, written and valuable read. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book again after years!

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The review I had to write

I did not love this book; to do so would be alarming at best, disturbing at the least. I enjoyed it regardless. A great many truths are told within as if they were fiction. The cult of personality, fascism, totalitarianism, the worst of capitalism and communism all spelled out with the station of greed.

Human, or animal, or pig. No matter, you can be enthralled and taken aback by this tale. Never mind some older English or the poor whistling, this is the dramatised unabridged version of the infamous Animal Farm.

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  • Matthew
  • 11-09-2013

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-03-2019

Insightful and relevant to our day and age

The insight of Orwell into the mechanism with which leftism drives reason out... Truly brilliant.

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  • Gabriel
  • 18-01-2019

Of course, a classic

I always find it frightening how populism currents seem to be poor copies of these amazing books, yet, the vast majority fails to notice the patterns and similarities.

4 legs good, 2 legs bad all over again

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Avinash Ripla
  • 22-01-2018

Great narrative

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

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  • AS
  • 14-05-2017

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!

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  • Kathryn Dunn
  • 23-03-2015

Thought Provoking

It's one of those stories I can't honestly say I liked due to the subject matter but am glad I listened to. Read excellently by Simon Cowell so much do I put off listening to certain portions of the book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 20-08-2013

I don't think George was a fan of Stalin

Classic that is a good fable. We all know it is Communist Russia and Napoleon the pig is actually Stalin, sorry did I just do a spoiler alert? Well, it isn't as great as '1984' but Mr Orwell is a great author, just don't expect any 'OMG' moments or twists in the tale. Never trusted pigs anyway, but you have to give it to them, without opposable thumbs they certainly do run an efficient farm.

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  • Ian
  • 18-06-2012

Excellent reading of a supreme book.

OK so Orwell was a genius and this was one of his best works. Instantly accessible but simultaneously deep this is nearly as important a work of political literature as 1984. I have hesitated for some time in buying this work because there is one section that is so moving for me that I find it difficult to read every time (lots and lots of times) I have approached it. Work out which bit for yourself when you listen to it. It might just be the best way I can think of to spend 3 hours.

Simon Callow is a good narrator. He is one of those actors who sometimes winds me up because he gets just a bit too thespy but in this he is restrained and easy to listen to.

Add it to your collection.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Grahame
  • 06-03-2012

I Don't Remember It Being This Good In High School

Would you listen to Animal Farm again? Why?

Yes, It is an interesting commentry on society.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Boxer. His strength and deturmination where impressive

Which scene was your favorite?

The Pigs realising they had been paid for the wood with a fake note.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Boxer being tricked into being taken to the Knackers

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  • Manie
  • 26-12-2011

Excellent and still perfectly relevant

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

Thought provoking Read and strongly reminding me of 'King Rat' or 'Lord of the Rings'

What was one of the most memorable moments of Animal Farm?

Molly's escape

Which scene was your favorite?

Final scene

If you could rename Animal Farm, what would you call it?

Irrational Revolution

Any additional comments?

Orwell's 'Lord of the Rings'

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  • Anthony
  • 15-06-2014

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...

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa Smith
  • 23-11-2014

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.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miss
  • 23-12-2012

hilarious

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • migueldavid
  • 31-05-2015

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mec
  • 13-04-2013

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 14-09-2011

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Catwat
  • 26-06-2015

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 .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • W
  • 28-05-2015

...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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Noel Quigley
  • 13-04-2013

A Clasic,and rightly so

Originally read this book 30 years ago when its relevence to the Communist/Western divide was in much starker contrast.Its simply a classic and worth reading by any "young" person who wants to see how power corrupts.I have taken an interest in George Orwell and his writings in recent times and it helps to see how he viewed the world of the 1930's and 40's.Animal Farm is recommended for its insight into how a state can control its citizens.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David Morfill
  • 07-04-2013

Fantastic

This is an excellent tale read by one of the greats, Simon Callow. A really good audiobook

4 of 5 people found this review helpful