This unauthorized companion to George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a controversial parable about September 11th by one of fiction’s most inventive and provocative writers.
Written in 14 days shortly after the September 11th attacks, Snowball’s Chance is an outrageous and unauthorized answer to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, in which exiled pig Snowball returns to the farm, takes charge, and implements a new world order of untrammeled capitalism. Orwell’s “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” has morphed into the new rallying cry: “All animals are born equal—what they become is their own affair.”
A brilliant political satire and literary parody, John Reed’s Snowball’s Chance caused an uproar on publication in 2002, was denounced by Christopher Hitchens, and narrowly dodged a lawsuit from the Orwell estate. Now, a decade later, with America in wars on many fronts, readers can judge anew the visionary truth of Reed’s satirical masterpiece.
While reading SNOWBALL’S CHANCE, one plays this terrifying guessing game of animal á clef: which animal am I? Which animal is my neighbor? 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 truths we might otherwise refuse to see.
John Reed challenges us deeply with his elegant September 11 updating of Orwell's ANIMAL FARM. It is a savage satire directed at awakening us from the long nightmare of our response to al Qaeda terrorism, and somehow manages to be entertaining along the way.
The novel transcends its particular circumstances … Snowball’s gambit is to turn the farm into a giant spectacle of happiness, and his Animal Fair represents more than just a place: it names an entire ethos.
—Craig Epplin, Guernica
As brainy as it is base, destructive as it is innovative.
—Los Angeles Review
Reed's tale, crafted amid ground zero's dust, is chilling in its clarity and inspired in its skewering of Orwell's stilted style. Whether you liked or loathed the original, there's no denying Reed has captured the state of the farm today.
—Jay Macdonald, Fort Myers News-Press
This book has something to upset almost everyone who reads it, just like a good book should.
—Dennis Loy Johnson
Reed skewers our early 21st century (edgy, tragic, absurd) with a marvelously precise wit.
—Faren Miller, Locus Magazine
Fearless, provocative, and both reverent and irreverent at the same time.
—Robert Lopez, WordRiot
One of the keenest thinkers of our time.
—Shathley Q, PopMatters
Charming but obnoxious.
—Lisa Nuch Venbrux, Popmatters