First of all, I have no idea what to feel about this one. On one hand, I feel bewildered about the premise and I couldn't quite grasp the concept about animals being as intelligent as we are. On the other, I understand that cruelty begets cruelty and the desire for change. I can also see the allegory between this book and the USSR.
The plot is a bit complex. It's about a bunch of animals who revolted against a cruel farmer. They form their own farm and run it like a state under the premise of socialism Animalism. In the end, the 'leaders' of this so-called 'equal' state ends up no different than Soviet Russia a state run by human beings- who they supposedly despise but end up imitating.
Marx/Lenin Old Major: He is the pig with a dream. He was described as being twelve years old and fathered 400 piglets (???). At the beginning of the book, he delivered a stirring speech that led the animals to organize a revolt even after his death. Sadly, his ideals does not match reality.
Stalin Napoleon- At first I found his name funny since I heard that naming a pig after Napoleon is illegal in France. Then again, this book is set in England so...Anyway, Napoleon s definitely a self-centered, selfish, and extremely greedy pig. While undoubtedly sly and clever, he uses his natural gifts to advance himself and his kind. His character is absolutely disgusting- especially the way he alters the rules to suit his own needs.
Propaganda Machine Squealer- He's Napoleon's personal PR manager. Everyone believes what he says because he's such an effective speaker.
The Common Peasant Boxer- Boxer is said to be dedicated, hard-working, and loyal. Sadly, the reward for this loyalty is a one-way ticket to the glue factory.
If you can stomach the idea of animals being able to be as smart as people- or even human-like to the point of being able to walk on hind legs, then this book is for you. If you don't like mass slaughter and good characters being sent to die, then I suggest you skip this one.
Rating; 4/5 for Boxer's death.