Animal Farm

By George Orwell,

Book cover of Animal Farm

Book description

The perfect edition for any Orwell enthusiasts' collection, discover Orwell's classic dystopian masterpiece beautifully reimagined by renowned street artist Shepard Fairey

'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.'

Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

13 authors picked Animal Farm as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I return to this book again and again – and I do so as a Socialist. It is storytelling at its very best; the analogy of the farm animal's revolt is brilliance. If ever a book predicted the reality of history and humanity through their failings, it is Animal Farm.

You immediately bond with the animals and their struggles, but the insidious nature of the pig's totalitarian regime as later created, soon returns the reader to reality. One is left to understand that Karl Marx hit the nail on the head; Socialism cannot exist without being born of a…

When we think of scary animals we think of gnashing teeth and tearing claws, but obviously Orwell’s famous parable presents a very different kind of malevolence: that of overweaning ambition and our deep-seated instinct to control.

The pigs that present themselves as heroes and then slowly, greedily, inexorable turn into murderous dictators, forcing the other animals to do their bidding and then slaughtering them when they become too old, are of course not really pig-like at all—they are human-like, and therefore all the more terrifying. 

From Ben's list on malevolent beasts.

A group of animals rises against their owner, a dysfunctional farmer with a penchant for alcohol. They build a parallel society on the farm’s grounds, led by a couple of charismatic pigs and seven commandments. 

One of my biggest influences is George Orwell. Animal Farm was to be expected here: it is a cornerstone of satirical novels’ legacy. But beyond the praises, the novel’s broad coverage and reach in academic settings, Orwell’s massive brand recognition… What makes Animal Farm such an amazing exercise in storytelling? One word: timeless. Originally written to mock the former Soviet bloc, Animal Farm shapeshifts based…

From Andre's list on highly political satirical.

The Fornax Assassin

By J.C. Gemmell,

Book cover of The Fornax Assassin

J.C. Gemmell Author Of The Fornax Assassin

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Inclusive What-if worrier Eco-warrior Mountain trekker Ten-mile runner

J.C.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In 2038 a devastating pandemic sweeps across the world. Two decades later, Britain remains the epicenter for the Fornax variant, annexed by a terrified global community.

David Malik is as careful as any man to avoid contact with the virus. But when his sister tests positive as an asymptomatic carrier, she must relocate to Fornax Island to join the isolated population of contagious untreatables. Fortunately, the British prime minister’s latest manifesto includes reintegrating the islanders with the nation. Yet, he does not survive a visit to Fornax Island to unveil his new policies.

The military suspects one of its junior officers is responsible for his death. Malik seizes his chance to represent the possible assassin, allowing him to protect his sister. Yet within days of taking on the case, he finds himself accused of masterminding the assassination. 

The Fornax Assassin

By J.C. Gemmell,

What is this book about?

2038: a devastating pandemic sweeps across the world. Two decades later, Britain remains the epicentre for the fornax variant, annexed by a terrified global community.

David Malik is as careful as any man to avoid contact with the virus. But when his sister tests positive as an asymptomatic carrier, she must relocate to Fornax Island to join the isolated population of contagious-untreatables.

Fortunately, the British prime minister’s latest manifesto includes reintegrating the islanders with the nation. Yet, he does not survive a visit to Fornax Island to unveil his new policies.

The military suspects one of its junior officers is…


I first read this at school, and it fascinated and terrified me at the same time in portraying how power corrupts leaders, how language acts as a device to persuade us that day is night, and how even a morally upright stand against tyranny can descend into an even worse tyranny. The lessons are not just about the decay at the heart of the Bolsheviks in Russia but about how we need to think about leadership, especially political leadership. In democratic systems, we consistently strive to elect and promote the best leaders available, but perhaps this isn’t the most important…

It’s impossible to talk about dystopian fiction without mentioning George Orwell. But rather than recommend his seminal 1984, I prefer his more subversive Animal Farm. While the novella is a satirical allegory of the Russian Revolution and Stalinist Soviet, its appeal and lessons are much broader. After the animals of Manor Farm stage a revolt and drive their drunken master off the property, they establish a doctrine of ‘all animals are equal’ and the maxim "Four legs good, two legs bad." But as the pigs begin to assert their governance, and then their dominance, the lofty ideals of…

From Mikhaeyla's list on dystopian to feed your rebellious spirit.

In this classic tale, farm animals revolt against human tyranny only to discover that an incremental slide into a totalitarian state is eminently worse. The first time I read Animal Farm, I couldn’t put it down. Each page horrified me even more than the last as its allegory pulled back the curtain to uncover just how nasty people can be to each other. Animal Farm is a quick and disgusting tale about the ultimate selfishness of humanity, and I reach for it when I want to be creeped out.

Even though this is another book by the same author, it can’t be left off this list. For one, it’s a very easy read, almost like a child’s storybook. And, once again, you’ll gain first-hand knowledge of slogans such as “Some animals are more equal than others.” You may even wince when the sheep in the story start chanting…familiar, isn’t it?

Like Bulgakov, Orwell chose to critique Stalinist Russia via satirical allegory. In 1940s Britain, the liberal intelligentsia was hugely sympathetic to the Soviet Union and it was near-impossible to publish anything overtly critical.

The novella works because it’s witty and accessible. The animals are three-dimensional characters, not just ciphers for Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, etc. I’ve never got on with Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, which I find too heavy-handed. Animal Farm, by contrast, is done with a lightness of touch that makes it as fresh as the day it was written.

My own novel satirises a lobbying campaign that rewrites…

In a book with so much treachery and deceit, it may come as a surprise to find a story of touching loyalty. This comes in the form of Boxer, the old cart horse. Although Boxer’s loyalty is his undoing in the end, he remains steadfast and resolute in service this fellow animals throughout the book. Again and again, Boxer works himself to exhaustion and never once complains or asks for reprieve. Boxer’s heroic efforts, both as a worker and as a warrior during one of the key battles and the rebuilding of the windmill, win him admiration from his fellow…

From Will's list on animal loyalty.

Forced to read this in high school, I grudgingly took up this tome on a Friday night while grounded. The fact that it had been made into a cartoon did not add to its appeal to a teenager, past all this baby-style stuff. 

The tale completely negated both the onerous requirement, while I glanced over my shoulder constantly as I read; fearing my parents might discover my pleasurable escape from their punishment. 

After dozing off as I reached the end, I woke the next morning desperate to seek more books that portrayed important issues in ways that entertained while reaching…

From Richard's list on science fiction for a good belly laugh.

Want books like Animal Farm?

Our community of 9,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like Animal Farm.

Browse books like Animal Farm

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in George Orwell, dystopian, and totalitarianism?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about George Orwell, dystopian, and totalitarianism.

George Orwell Explore 30 books about George Orwell
Dystopian Explore 541 books about dystopian
Totalitarianism Explore 45 books about totalitarianism