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 companion 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, denounced by Christopher Hitchens, and barely dodging 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.
About the Author
John Reed was the kind of man who, one instant, might touch you to your very core -- send a symphony into the marrow of your bones. But he was also the type who, the next instant, might prove exasperatingly shallow. Such was his sad contradiction. There he'd be reciting something truly something -- but reciting it at the exclusive room of the trendiest possible of-the-second club to an audience of those beautiful and ambitious New Yorkers who, though not always successful at it, were the most "willing, " in the name of glory, to lead lives unexamined and vapid.
His tragic and untimely demise unfolded at a juncture when I was most disgusted with him -- for not a month earlier, his reprehensible behavior had ended our relationship. One that had seemed riddled...well, with potential.
He could be a boy sometimes, standing as he would have in 1977, a child of the Manhattan wasteland -- a body filthy and lean, and trying to discover for itself honor in the void. This aspect of his work had been of interest to me. And since, during the course of our romance, we discussed our writing with each other, I became quite familiar with his proposal for "Duh Whole" -- the tale of a girl gone awry, and a great big hole. Hence, it was not unexpectedly (the prospect of finishing the unfinished works of expired authors ever-tempting) that I was approached the very minute John first coughed (with luck, it'd be a foreshadowing of consumption and doom). His outline proved surprisingly complete, and having no book deal of my own, I was soon secured in the effort -- and with John's institutionalization and rapid decline, I was given the green light. If you like my work, you might look for other novels ostensibly by Reed, such as "Snowball's Chance" and "A Still Small Voice, " which, incidentally, I also wrote.
James Sherry is the author of 11 books of poetry and prose. He is the publisher of Roof Books and founder of the Segue Foundation. He lives in NYC.
Alexander Cockburn is a syndicated national columnist, whose work appears regularly in the Nation, NY Free Press, and LA Times, amongst others. Mr. Cockburn is co-editor of the online journal Counterpunch and has authored and edited numerous books, including the best-selling Whiteout.
“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.”
“John Reed excels in the realm of the strange.”
—San Francisco Examiner
“Orwell’s sacred pigs get a proper roast.”
“The estate of George Orwell is not happy about it.”
—The New York Times