This is one of those books that I’ve read about a dozen times. So much so that I’ve listened to this specific audiobook edition (by Ralph Cosham) three or four times. It was also one of the first “adult books” (such as it is for adults — Hint: It is, as far as I’m concerned) I read in whole, and read in one go. The book is also the subject of a lot of limiting criticism about what it’s an allegory for.
He calls it a fairy story, so it’s obviously “about” something, not just about what it’s about. But it’s also deeply limiting (and not particularly fair to Orwell)view to see it as simply an allegory for Soviet Communism (and nothing else). To me, while it is about Soviet Communism with various analogs to be found among the pigs and other animals, like good literature, it’s clearly elevated beyond this strict reading to be about the dangers of authoritarianism. The limiting reading is also frustrating because it often means that a lot of people on the Right love to claim this as a conservative book (meant in the most partisan way) because it’s anti-Communist, which would limit to agitprop or hack writing. And people on the Left sometimes deny that it’s about Communism because of an unfortunate tendency to defend Stalinism. Regardless, it’s a book about power, about abuse of power, and the corruption of that power, and who gets left behind, and who is destroyed by it, and like 1984, it’s not a happy story at all.