Animal Farm, Interpreted Literally
This is so much better than my review of Animal Farm.
John Self is the protagonist in Money. I’ve already shared with you some of his pretty hilarious zingers. No doubt that Martin Amis is gifted with witty writing.
In the book, one of Self’s friends gives him a copy of Animal Farm. Self hates reading and routinely talks about his disdain of reading throughout the novel.
So, as an inexperienced reader, Animal Farm is completely over his head. The poor guy doesn’t even realize it’s an allegory.
The only thing that puzzled me was this whole gimmick with the pigs. Pull the other one, mate, I kept saying to myself. I mean, how come the pigs were meant to be so smart, so civilized and urbane? Have you ever seen pigs doing their stuff? I have, and believe me it’s a f*ing disgusting experience. I checked out these pigs when I was on a farm making a commercial for a new kind of pork-character rissole. I almost walked off the set when I realized what I’d have to be working with. You should see these hairy-jawed throwbacks, these turd lookalikes, honking and chomping at the trough. To eat your girlfriend’s tail when she isn’t looking—that counts as good behaviour, that counts as old-world courtesy, by the standards of the sty. And when I think of what they get up to in the hay even I have to shudder. I tell you, it’s no accident that they’re called pigs. And yet Orwell here figures them for the brains behind the farm. He just can’t have seen any pigs in action. Either that, or I’m missing something.
You’re missing something, buddy.
I can’t tell you guys how many times I’ve laughed out loud reading this book.
Juxtapose that with my cringing and squirming during some of Amis’s graphic passages, and Money is a hard novel to figure out.
Animal Farm. If you believe John Self, it’s just a story about extremely smart pigs.