Snowball's Chance is a book by John Reed that is both a sequel to and a parody of George Orwell's Animal Farm. As an allegory of the events leading up to and immediately after September 11, 2001, Reed leads us from where Orwell left off and in a short span of pages makes us realize that the farm is no longer just Russia, globalization has made the farm into McWorld. Snowball returns and bring with him Capitalism. Animal Farm is turned into Animal Fair, and slowly, the farm begins to take over the neighboring farms, immigration of animals from other farms becomes a problem, and the woodland beavers, who are religiously fanatic, plan to attack the farm, which now has twin mills and a ferris wheel.

Reed cleverly uses Orwell's writing style both to capitalize (excuse the pun) on his popularity and satirize it. Many of the songs and poems that were in Animal Farm are revamped for their use in Snowball's Chance.

I recently met the author and was very taken by his comments on how the book was received. Orwell writer Christopher Hitchens blasted Reed and called him a bin laden-ist, and said that he blamed the victims. However, the book has also received heavy criticizism from the Marxist left as well.

During his talk, Reed spoke about how Animal Farm was widely used in the school system of the US during the Cold War as a propaganda piece. I asked him if he was afraid of his book becoming part of the propaganda machine as well. He answered me honestly and said that if it means selling more books and enabling his voice to be heard on a larger scale, he might be willing to do that.

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