Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An Allegory For The Times: Animal Colony

Tea Party activists have discovered Baylor Grad's book

The cover reminds one of Orwell's Animal Farm. From there,
the only similarity is that they are both political
allegories; all other comparisons need not apply.

Thomas Allen Rexroth and Mark Andrew Olsen's book, subtitled
"A cautionary tale for today," is making the rounds of Tea
Party rallies and meeting with author Mark Andrew Olsen.

A Baylor Professional Writing Program graduate, Mr. Olsen is
a screenwriter, the author of 4 solo novels and has co-
authored four more, including Bible stories and military
thrillers, some of which have been made into motion

In this work, the reader is treated to a tale of barnyard
animals facing a brutal winter in a remote Brisish colony.
Instead of being inspired by a pig, as in Mr. Orwell's
parabolic fantasy, the animals are led by a large and
powerful draft horse named "Hoss."

They are determined to escape and take their chances in the
wild rather than face certain starvation, the whips and
brutality of their lazy masters, and the certainty they will
be slaughtered for their meat as the weather becomes worse.

Hoss leads them into the wilderness, across a huge river,
and onward through woods where the dogs, the colony's
outriders and scouts, find a village abandoned by Indians
who died in an epidemic, complete with shelters, stocks of
seed corn for crops, and a rudimentary fort.

At each turn of the plot, the story advances along the lines
of their setting up a society - an economy, currency, common
defense forces, child care, health resources, a barter
system and an agricultural cooperative.

From the first scenes, the reader is gripped by their
desperate circumstances, made to really care what happens to
the fledgling society and the geese, chickens, pigs, horses
and dogs that populate its ranks, each with a role to play.

They work out the problems of producing crops, electing a
government, repelling an invasion of humans who are trying
to enslave them, and just when things are going to their
liking, the central conflict arises.

A certain set of problematic ideas has taken root among the
population, a dangerous belief system that threatens their
core values. It is causing rebellion and discontent among

What will they do?

"The humble beasts must then learn to tell truth from
enticing lie, or risk losing everything for which they've
fought and bled," says an introductory note on the back

In this novella of 177 pages, some are not more equal than
others, as in Orwell's story. The values of personal
responsibility, hard work and cooperation with the rest of
the population are what wins out in terms of survival.

It's available through for $12.95

The publisher's website is at:

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