Over the last 2 plus years, I’ve enjoyed posting a lot about the writing styles of famous authors.
To this day, the most popular post on my blog is about Jonathan Franzen’s 10 Rules For Writing. But I’ve posted about many other writers and their insights about their craft as well—Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, John Steinbeck, C.S. Lewis and others.
How about some of those tips in one easy to find place? Well, here you go!
Here’s some great writing tips from authors I’ve talked about on 101 Books, plus a few others for good measure:
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.
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:
Well, at least you guys have a sense of humor.
It’s pretty clear, after reading through yesterday’s comments, that most of you think it funny to watch a 35-year-old man read a Judy Blume book about a girl coming of age. A bit uncomfortable, perhaps?
What will the world look like in 40 years?
Difficult question, yes? No one really can answer with certainty. And, if we try to answer, more than likely we’re going to come up with some goofy, off-base version of the future that, in 40 years, will be over the top and lame. Kind of like The Jetsons or those rides at Epcot.
What George Orwell lacked in his sense of facial hair fashion (see photo), he more than made up for in his writing ability.
I suspect that many of you, since you are reading a blog about books, are avid readers.
Many avid readers, I would propose, have at least a passing interest in writing–most of you have blogs, I’ve noticed.