Snowball's Chance

Snowball's Chance

4.7 9
by John Reed
     
 

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Fiction. Reed's first novel, A Still Small Voice, received high praise from an array of writers and critics. Paul Auster called it "a fine first novel by a young writer of great promise." SNOWBALL'S CHANCE is far more than a scathing sequel to George Orwell's Animal Farm, although it assuredly does count as that rarest of things: a successful sequel to a…  See more details below

Overview


Fiction. Reed's first novel, A Still Small Voice, received high praise from an array of writers and critics. Paul Auster called it "a fine first novel by a young writer of great promise." SNOWBALL'S CHANCE is far more than a scathing sequel to George Orwell's Animal Farm, although it assuredly does count as that rarest of things: a successful sequel to a classic work. In a brilliantly conceived and executed riposte to the marketplace's unthinking cheerleaders, Reed's Snowball, the Pig ousted from the Animal Farm for rationality, returns to bring marketeering to the farm. "While reading SNOWBALL'S CHANCE, one plays this terrifying guessing game of animal clef: Which animal am I? Which animal is my neighbour? Which animal is my enemy? Written in lucid, wise, funny, fable-prose, this book brings to mind Spiegelman's Maus--the use of a playful metaphor to reveal horrible, frightening truths we might otherwise refuse to see. A scary, engrossing novel, a sustained triumph"--Johnathan Ames.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Written in lucid, wise, funny, fable-prose, this book brings to mind Spiegelman’s Maus—the use of a playful metaphor to reveal truths we might otherwise refuse to see.” —Jonathan Ames

“Reed is an extraordinary talent.”
—Fran Gordon
 
“John Reed excels in the realm of the strange.”
—San Francisco Examiner
 
“Orwell’s sacred pigs get a proper roast.”
—Portland Tribune

 
“The estate of George Orwell is not happy about it.”
—The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612191256
Publisher:
Melville House Publishing
Publication date:
08/08/2012
Series:
Neversink Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
660,983
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

JOHN REED was born in New York City in 1969. Among his many books are the novels A Still Small Voice and The Whole, a play, All the World’s a Grave, and the non-fiction Tales of Woe. He currently teaches at The New School, and is a senior editor at The Brooklyn Rail.

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Snowball's Chance 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of course, I was extremely bitter. But I liked the book anyway, despite the horrible 9/11 ending. A fair rebuttal of Animal Farm, but I'm not sure quite as scathing as everyone makes it out to be. Funny. I thought it was funny.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was told that this book was the litmus test for anyone who talked about Orwell's Animal Farm, that if you hadn't read it, you really couldn't talk about Animal Farm in terms of contemporary literature. I, of course, recoiled. I hate that kind of snobbery. But now I read it, and I could hear myself saying it too. The book is amazing: the way Reed amps up the Orwell language, and updates the characters, and challenges Orwell on his very vision of what it means to be alive, especially today. Very few authors put themselves so at stake I admire Reed for weathering the attacks against him, and at times, he makes me so angry I want to rally against him myself. Really, an amazing title.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After being exiled from Animal Farm, a contrite Snowball returns insisting that he learned his lesson of excess and abuse of power and will harm no one. He slowly begins his means of taking over through ¿democratic¿ processes by promising if elected in charge he will reform the farm so that the animals will have plenty of pie and the stables will be heated and well lighted. No one will want under his enlightened leadership. Snowball¿s reform succeeds so that newcomers from the surrounding areas begin to flock to Animal Farm for a taste of the good life. These refugees are given the jobs none of the old-timers want to do and live in the oldest dilapidated barns. The original loyal followers of Snowball move into choice property outside the crime ridden center. Snowball continues to expand Animal Farm bringing prosperity to his inner circle.--- Winning a court case, Snowball gains control of the water rights. This leaves the Beavers with nothing but anger and frustration that leads to counterinsurgency with an opportunity to a better afterlife if they die for the cause of freeing the beaver woods.--- John Reed provides an intriguing ironic follow-up to George Orwell¿s superb satirical personification of communism by applying the same cast to the personification of capitalism. Some diehard Orwellian fans will loathe what might seem as an assault on the author, but this reviewer believes that Mr. Orwell on THE WHOLE would have done something similar if he lived today. Mindful of a Jay Ward Fractured Fairy Tale involving Sleeping Beauty, SNOWBALL¿S CHANCE is a strong satire of a strong satire turning Orwell on his head.--- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been teaching for twenty years, and in that time, I've never seen my students so engaged in literature. My freshman composition class just went wild in duiscussing this book. Bravo Mister Reed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read every book by george orwell, and john reed will never measure up to orwell. Yeah okay the book might be funnier, but you don't read a book like this for it to be funny. I find it sort of offensive of George orwell, but i also suspect that he would rather enjoy this book and not have any objections to its publishing. It was profficiently written, but not nearly as good as even the most simple things that orwell wrote.
Guest More than 1 year ago
SNOWBALL'S CHANCE is in the tradition of the strongest critiques, Derrida's deconstructions¿where, with a sense of humility Derrida dissects and undermines, by admitting that the text he deconstructs is inescapable, yet it lacks distinction from the critique of it, his work like Reed's stands on its own. That is what I found so special in SNOWBALL'S CHANCE! In Reed's embrace of the narrative that secures Orwell's animal farm he refutes the world it constitutes. Obviously, like Derrida, Reed's work is more than, different than an update or a revision. So I guess what I am saying is that "Harsh-honest-humility" goes a long way, in straddling the Derridarian knife edge, less-be-draggin-to the-bloody-mat.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know too much about the debate between John Reed and the Orwell Estate, but it was rather interesting to hear Reed attacked on the BBC radio. It looks like the Brits don't appreciate any questions about their Saint George. What nobody's talking about, however, is what a perfectly written book SNOWBALL'S CHANCE is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Snowball's Chance and Animal Farm this week to get a sense of the cotroversy that's brewing over these two books. Reed's work is hysterical, and targets Orwell fairly, although, despite protectors like Christopher Hitchens, I'm not sure that Orwell would have any objection to the work. There is quite a bit of buzz going on about this title. We'll see what happens once it hits stores.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There has been a lot of questioning George Orwell's legacy, lately. And for me, Snowball's Chance helped me to understand why I had always had reservations about Animal Farm--ever since high school. From what I understand, Snowball's Chance official release has been delayed two months because the Orwell estate is suing, which is ridiculous because the book is obviously a parody. But, anyway, the book is coming out in November. It's really funny! Much funnier than Animal Farm. But also, the book is very frightening, especially the end. I'm from New York State, so the way the book brings us right up to the attack on the "Twin Mills" really made me think, and remember. There are so many things to say about this book, I hope that everyone gets a chance to read it.