Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Book Report: Animal Farm

I was flipping through my Google Reader feed last week when I spotted a blog post titled "Some Ants are More Equal Than Others."  Had I come across this title a few weeks earlier, I would have smiled at the turn of phrase and moved on.  Having just finished George Orwell's Animal Farm on the plane back from State College, however, I knew where it came from and the deeper meaning implied by my very well-read colleagues.  So what I'm saying is, I'm probably constantly missing cultural references and not even realizing it. (As opposed to when I don't recognize the people on the cover of the magazines in the checkout line.  I know that I'm missing a cultural reference and I'm fine with it.)  This may be the first of several "classics" I'll be reading this year.  Many of them, along with innumerable movies and albums, are on the list of things Geoff can't believe I've never read/seen/heard.

Unfortunately, when you read the the classics after you have already heard about them for years, some just don't tend to have the same impact.  After hearing about Catcher in the Rye being banned for years in schools around the country, I was expecting something a little more salacious and mostly just wanted Holden Caulfield to quite whining (I wasn't a particularly sympathetic teenager).  When I finally read On the Road, my synopsis was "get a job, hippie." So I guess it wouldn't surprise you that my thoughts on Animal Farm were "Yep, the the ideals of communism were corrupted in the Soviet Union."  I suppose the story may have had more punch in 1945.

Are there any "classics" you were disappointed by?  What about ones that exceeded your expectations?  I found Where Angels Fear to Treat and Of Mice and Men unexpectedly moving.

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