Considering the hype behind the novel, Animal Farm by George Orwell, and my love of graphics novels, I think I put too much pressure on this book, Animal Farm: The Graphic Novel adapted and illustrated by Odry. There is not much I can say about the theme of the book that hasn’t been already said (the animals of Manor Farm, in a coup, take over the farm and makes it Animal Farm. Here all animals are equal. Or are they?) At the time, this must have been a real “slap in the face” of people. And, sadly, we are still seeing parallels.
I knew the story from talking to people about it; books today used this as their templet, and it was obvious what the story was about (Comrade anyone?). Therefore, the story itself fell just a smidgen flat. However, the art is AMAZING. It is worth the price of the book. I could not get over the beauty and horror of them. The use of color (or lack thereof) is perfect. Of course, red is important, as is brown. The details are minimal in some of the non-traditional paneling, while others are full page portraits. I know a few areas of the book would have been lost on me if not for it being illustrated. This helps keep straight a few of the characters (I kept getting Snowball and Napoleon mixed up, even with the obvious implications of Napoleon’s name, if the image was not there). If you are having issues with the book, this is a great “cliff note” way of complimenting the novel.
The only real issue I have with this book is that names are very telling when it comes to the animals. I am sure the humans are too, but more so with animals. This could be a bit “heavy handed” for me. Yet, at the same time, I cannot think of a better way to present them. The dark nature of the book comes alive on the pages. And while I knew what I was getting into, I was not sure what to expect. I will say, I would not feel comfortable giving this to a reader under 13 due to the violence presented. Yet, eventually everyone should read this.