All The King’s Men is said by many critics to be the greatest political novel of all time.
I don’t know about that, but it is a really freakin’ good book. And since I thought I hadn’t tackled that many true political novels as part of reading the Time list, I started wondering what else is out there.
Here’s what I found–and well, it turns out, I have read a few political novels:
Food is awesome.
I like to cook it. I like to eat it. I like to experiment with it. I like to try different types of it.
And I also like to start blog posts with the feel of a third grade essay. Food is the coolest.
Anyway, books are cool, too. Maybe you like them? That’s why, when I saw this article by Summer Tomato, I knew I had to share.
She theorizes that reading can make you cook better. You’re thrown into different cultures and places in time with different takes on food and its deliciousness.
It’s time for another death match!
If you’ll remember, Infinite Jest took out Gone With The Wind in the first death match. Today’s battle features two literary superstars: the fierce, intimidating God-like lion, Aslan, from C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, versus the evil, manipulative and propaganda-spewing pig, Napoleon, from Animal Farm.
A lion versus a pig? Come on, right? The King of the Serengeti versus the King of Boone’s Farm? Is it a no brainer?
Well, let’s break it down.
Somehow I let this post slip by.
For newcomers, I usually stop and explain my latest rankings after each set of five books. Book #30 (Animal Farm) came and went and I totally forgot to recap. So today’s post is a quick explanation of my rankings for the last set of books (26-31).
Remember, these are my highly subjective and totally opinionated rankings of the first 31 novels.
I could probably have a much more entertaining review if I let my one-year-old son review Animal Farm.
Me: “What’s the cow say?” Him: ”Moo!” Me: ”What’s the pig say?” Him: ”Oink! Oink!” Me: ”What’s the doggy say?” Him: ”Woof! Woof!”
Outside of animal noises, though, I’m not sure how much insight he could give you. And, really, he’s so fond of pigs right now I don’t want to burst his bubble and reveal Napoleon’s dastardly deeds. That just might break his heart.
I can’t quite remember the first time I read Animal Farm, but I think it was sometime in seventh or eighth grade.
Up to that point in my brief reading history, my exposure to literature was pretty much books like The Hardy Boys, comic books, and the like.
But when I read Animal Farm, I remember thinking, this is different. Yeah, this is a story about animals who get pissed at the way they are being treated and revolt on a farm, but I also realized that the story had another level, that it was talking about more than just animals and farmers.
Few things get me more excited about a novel than a strong opening that presents some type of tension and conflict right away.
With that in mind, one of my favorite parts of Animal Farm is Old Major’s speech in the first chapter. Old Major was obviously the Vince Lombardi, the MLK Jr., the JFK of the pig kingdom. Never has a swine had such a way with words.
Look at the beauty of this. Who knew pigs were so articulate and insightful?
Animal Farm is one of those novels that has become so integrated into our culture that it’s everywhere. The book is appealing to everyone from history buffs to sixth graders, mostly because the story goes as deep as you want to take it.
I think that’s why it’s so easy to find references to Animal Farm throughout pop culture, whether it’s American, British, or otherwise. After just a few minutes of research, I found several references to this book in music, film and television.
Time for George Orwell, take two.
Earlier this year, I read 1984. Loved it. Fascinating novel. This will be my second read of Animal Farm, though the first time I read this book was probably sometime around seventh grade. It’s been awhile.
So I’m pumped to read this novel. Not only is a great story, it’s a short story, just a little over 100 pages. And the beauty of it is the depth of the novel, masked as a children’s tale.
Here are a few facts about Animal Farm:
If you’ve read this blog for at least a few months, you know that I enjoy letting the blog readers pick what I read next. I put a post up asking for votes on Friday, and I gave you all weekend to vote. The result? Well, we had a tie.
I asked you guys to pick the next five, but we had a four-way tie for the fourth book. So that means we’re having the first ever 101 Books “runoff.” I know election year isn’t until 2012, but work with me here.
Here are the three books that are in: