Boxer on the Ropes

Just ahead of the latest episode of our nightly audio adventure for members of The Mark Steyn Club, a quick reminder of today’s combined Steyn Show/Clubland Q&A, which you can hear in full here.

As our serialization of Animal Farm rattles toward its climax, Steyn Clubber Richard Woodruff, a First Week Founding Member, writes from North Carolina:

Thanks, Mark, terrific read.

As the top pigs and dogs grab more and more privileges, I was reminded of a story in the L.A. Times back in the 80s that casually mentioned that Mikhail Gorbachev wore a Rolex watch.

That wasn’t what the story was about, this fact was just mentioned in passing, but surely this ties in with Orwell. Did Gorbachev really think owning a Rolex was part of the great Socialist march forward? What a hoot.

Indeed, Richard. Of course, in such a society who ultimately pays for Gorbachev’s Rolex – or, in tonight’s episode, Napoleon’s case of whisky? I always find this chapter the most moving – and the cynicism of the regime the most contemptible. I only hope I’ve done it justice. In Part Eleven of our tale, Boxer, Orwell’s equine embodiment of the Russian working class, discovers very belatedly that his loyalty to Napoleon is not reciprocated:

A cry of horror burst from all the animals. At this moment the man on the box whipped up his horses and the van moved out of the yard at a smart trot. All the animals followed, crying out at the tops of their voices. Clover forced her way to the front. The van began to gather speed. Clover tried to stir her stout limbs to a gallop, and achieved a canter. “Boxer!” she cried. “Boxer! Boxer! Boxer!” And just at this moment, as though he had heard the uproar outside, Boxer’s face, with the white stripe down his nose, appeared at the small window at the back of the van.

Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read Part Eleven of Animal Farm simply by clicking here and logging-in.

If you’re new to our Club, or if the day’s developments simply make you despair, there’s nothing healthier than taking a short break from the hell of the hamster-wheel news-cycle and exploring the delights of our Tales for Our Time home page. It’s configured in Netflix tile style, with the stories organized by category – thrillers, fantasy, romance, etc – which we hope will make it easy for you to find a favorite diversion of an evening.You can access four dozen of our cracking yarns here – and all previous episodes of our current adventure here.

If you’ve yet to hear any of our Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club and enjoy our nightly audio adventures every evening twenty minutes before lowering your lamp – or hoard the episodes and binge-listen at the weekend or on a long car journey, if your government still permits you to take one. For more details on that and other benefits to Steyn Club membership, see here – and don’t forget our special Gift Membership.

Please join me right here tomorrow evening for the conclusion of Animal Farm.

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