Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm is a novel written by George Orwell about animals who over throw there farmer and establish a new government. This book is known as a allegory. This is supposed to depict the Russian Revolution.

They have many similarities in the book like how animalism sounds a lot like communism. Communism is the government that was first thought of by Karl Marx. The idea consists of that every one is equal.

In the book the Farmer Mr Jones just treats the animals horribly. He never feeds them and often he just shoots them and orders them around. The animals decide they have had enough of this and overthrow Jones and establish animalism.

Now in the book the pigs took power and told the half witted animals lies and the most stupidest things that you could think of. Because of course that actually happened. The three main pigs in the book are Napoleon, Snowball, and Squealer. They represent Stalin, Trotsky, and Squealer was actually the propaganda Machine.

In the book he would win every argument because he knew Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. They are known as Ethics, Emotions, and Logic. He would use these in every argument in the book. When Squealer would say something he would win the dumb animals over to him and Napoleons side.

If you know your Russian History you can probably guess what happened to Snowball because he is Trotsky. There aren’t really any spoilers in the book because these events actually happened. But when you read the book you find at least some sentiment for the things that happened to people during the Russian Revolution.

The one fact that stuns people is that how dumb the animals are. I mean you would think that they would be a little more smarter but there not. They are just plain dumb. Another main part of the book was that it also showed other countries as farms such as England and Germany as Pilkington and Fredrick who represent the farmers.

-Max U.

Animal Farm by George Orwell is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

In the wake of the unrelenting movements spanning across the globe on gender equality, an achingly honest account on the female experience rises from contemporary beginnings. Leni Zumas masterfully crafts together a mosaic of triumph and misery through the lives of five women:

  • A desperate list-making biographer whose anguish feeds her fire
  • A student brighter than the sun, knee-deep in an undesirable predicament
  • An exhausted wife/mother, carrying in her hands her breaking marriage
  • An arrested mystic guided by her own lunacy
  • And finally, an unacknowledged polar explorer of the nineteenth century.

In brash, burning, and heartrending prose, Zumas teaches us the interconnectedness of one life to another and the vibrancy of hope in tumultuous times. Set in a United States where abortion is banned and IVF illegal, Red Clocks is a novel of forward thinking and revolution. It’s witty and full of relatable quips – a reflection of life’s pitfalls and mountains and written with the hand of a skilled writer.

Zumas writes inside the heads of her characters – each sentence a gunshot ringing clear in the minds of the protagonists. Each woman wielding her own flaws, dreams, and faulty beauty, the reader gains a true and sometimes alarming insight into their lives. The novel is incandescent with the fire of the strange, sparking with the light of life.

Ultimately, through pain and reward, the women of Red Clocks learn their own lessons in the novel’s revelation. While its mature themes are not for everyone, there are countless aspects to love in Zumas’ political, hilarious, and gorgeous testimony to the horrors and beauty of a woman’s life.

-Esther H.

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

The Unfortunate Decline of Anna Seghers

annaseghersFame. Money. Glory.

For most prominent celebrities, authors, or personalities, the former nouns are essential to their ways of life. However, what happens after a renowned author loses all of their fame and glory?

Anna Seghers, one of the most important German woman writers of the 1900s, definitely knew the answer to that. Before her untimely death, Seghers wrote many outstanding novels during World War II. Her most popular novels included The Excursion of the Dead Girls, Transit, and The Seventh Cross.

Laden with beautifully-developed symbols and leitmotifs, each of her novels condemned Fascism, especially German Fascism under the influence of Adolf Hitler. Although Seghers herself lived in Fascist Germany for a while, she despised any form of Fascist totalitarianism. Her novels are a clear indicator of her anti-Nazi sentiment. Her novels were loved by many people all around the world. Citizens of Allied countries (during and after World War II) read her works fervently as they also fought against Fascism in Europe.

It was near the end of Seghers’ literary career that she started to lose both fame and glory. Although she fought against totalitarianism in Germany, she soon became a part of the Soviet Communist party while in exile. Simultaneously, Seghers condemned Nazism and preached the tenets of Communism.

After Hitler’s death and the end of the war, Seghers resided in the Soviet-controlled part of Germany. She tenaciously stuck to Communist beliefs, even after Stalin’s infamous show trials, where more people were killed than during the Holocaust. Almost immediately, all of her avid readers in the West were lost. Her American and liberal German readers lost interest in any of her other works. Anna Seghers went from a literary “hero” who fought against Fascism to a “traitor” who only carried on totalitarianism.

Seghers became a “spiritual” follower of Communism, taking part in Soviet politics and condoning the deaths of millions of people. Never again were her books ranked as national best-sellers. After her literary decline, Seghers only published two more novels; however, they did not receive any recognition at all. It was not a matter of how well her works were written; rather, it was a matter of what her novels stood for.

Anna Seghers was a phenomenal author; there was no doubt about that. However, it was what her novels preached that led to her gradual decline. Seghers’ unfortunate tale leads us to a very important conclusion: Individuals must always fight against tenets of evil and fight for tenets of good.

-Elaha N.

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

pathfinder_orsonscottcardPathfinder is a fictional novel by Orson Scott Card. Twenty years after writing his most famous book, Ender’s Game, Card proves that he writes with passion and imagination. Pathfinder has a very original plot, and meshes both the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

This book tells the story of Rigg, the son of a trapper who has the unusual ability to see the paths of living beings— not your average superpower. Rigg is educated and clever, often using reason and tact to solve problems. When his father dies, Rigg receives parting instructions to travel to a faraway city to meet his long-lost family. And with that, his life changes from average to exciting as he makes his journey to uncover his real identity.
Scattered throughout the story are short passages following a completely different character, Ram Odin, who pilots a fleet of starships to colonize a planet. Though the side story is interesting enough, it is rather confusing to keep track of two storylines at once. Of course, the two stories are tied together quite nicely later in the novel.

The most important feature of Pathfinder is the creativity of its author. The plot definitely takes several twists and turns, ensuring that the ending of the story is wildly different than the opening setting. All of the characters are vivid and have distinct personalities, even the robots on Ram’s ship. Another difference separating Pathfinder from other sci-fi novels is the presence of politics. Political maneuvering and mind games take up almost as many pages as the action, and there is surprisingly little romance. Of course this can be seen as a positive or negative thing depending on what the reader enjoys, but it’s definitely worth noting.

Unfortunately, one aspect of the book keeps it from perfection. While the storyline is very original and creative, this comes at the cost of losing reader comprehension. Between multiple storylines and the poor explanation of events and people, I often had to reread sections to make sense of what was happening. Perhaps if Card had slowed down the pace to give more time to setting the scene, the book would be improved.

Overall, Pathfinder is a fun read that will give you many new ideas to think about. It’s already been out for a few years, so the entire series is completed. Perfect for a reading marathon!

-Phillip X.

Pathfinder is available for check out at the Mission Viejo Public Library.