Welcome to Part Two of Animal Farm by George Orwell, our latest audio adventure in Tales for Our Time. If you seek a respite from the woes of the world, if only for twenty minutes before you lower your lamp each night, you may prefer one of its predecessor tales, such as Psmith, Journalist by P G Wodehouse, or Three Men in a Boat, or even a contemporary inversion of a classic by yours truly. Whatever your taste, we have plenty of other yarns in all genres over on our Tales for Our Time home page.
Still, these are serious times, and Orwell's self-described "fairy story" is a serious tale. After our opening instalment, George Pazin, a First Month Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club, wrote to say:
I love Animal Farm. I first read it aloud to my dad and my brother when the three of us were taking a day trip to Harrisburg, where my dad was scheduled to speak. I finished it before we arrived from the drive. But I didn't do the various voices Mark does....
Mark observed, during the reading of Nineteen Eighty-Four, that he is less interested in the various worlds of dystopian future fiction than the how of how we get there. I believe Animal Farm illustrates quite well how we get there.
Looking forward to Part Two...
Well, we're certainly getting there, George, and very fast. In tonight's episode of Animal Farm the old regime crumbles with what, even to the revolutionaries, is bewildering speed:
They filed back to the farm buildings and halted in silence outside the door of the farmhouse. That was theirs too, but they were frightened to go inside. After a moment, however, Snowball and Napoleon butted the door open with their shoulders and the animals entered in single file, walking with the utmost care for fear of disturbing anything. They tiptoed from room to room, afraid to speak above a whisper and gazing with a kind of awe at the unbelievable luxury, at the beds with their feather mattresses, the looking-glasses, the horsehair sofa, the Brussels carpet, the lithograph of Queen Victoria over the drawing-room mantelpiece... Some hams hanging in the kitchen were taken out for burial, and the barrel of beer in the scullery was stove in with a kick from Boxer's hoof, otherwise nothing in the house was touched. A unanimous resolution was passed on the spot that the farmhouse should be preserved as a museum. All were agreed that no animal must ever live there.
Tales for Our Time started as an experimental feature we introduced as a bonus for Mark Steyn Club members, and, as you know, I said if it was a total stinkeroo, we'd eighty-six the thing and speak no more of it. But I'm thrilled to say it's proved very popular, and and we now have quite an archive. If you're a Club member and you incline more to the stinkeroo side of things, give it your best in the Comments Section below.
We launched The Mark Steyn Club four years ago, and I'm truly grateful to all those members across the globe who've signed up to be a part of it - from Fargo to Fiji, Vancouver to Vanuatu, Cook County to the Cook Islands, West Virginia to the West Midlands. If you've enjoyed our monthly Steyn Club audio adventures and you're looking for a present for a fellow fan of classic fiction, I hope you'll consider our special Club Gift Membership. Aside from Tales for Our Time, The Mark Steyn Club does come with other benefits:
~Exclusive Steyn Store member pricing on over 40 books, mugs, T-shirts, and other products;
~The opportunity to engage in live Clubland Q&A sessions with yours truly, such as this coming Wednesday's special hybrid version;
~Transcript and audio versions of The Mark Steyn Show, Mark's Mailbox, and our other video content;
~My video series of classic poetry, the latest episode of which airs this Sunday;
~Booking for special members-only events such as The Mark Steyn Christmas Show (if such things are ever again permitted by law);
~Priority booking for our annual Mark Steyn Cruise (see parenthesis above);
~Advance booking for my live appearances around the world (likewise see parentheses above);
~Customized email alerts for new content in your areas of interest;
~and the opportunity to support our print, audio and video ventures as they wing their way around the planet.
To become a member of The Mark Steyn Club, please click here - and don't forget that special Gift Membership. As soon as you join, you'll get access not only to Animal Farm but to all our other audio adventures.