Snowball's Chance Tenth Anniversary with Neversink

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An SPD all-time Bestseller.


[Reed] not only shanghais Orwell’s story, but amps up and mocks the writer’s famously flat, didactic style–that fairytailish simplicity that has ensured ANIMAL FARM a place in high school English classes for the last 50 years. 

—John Strausbaugh, New York Press 

Orwell’s sacred pigs get a proper roast. 

—Paul Duchene, Portland Tribune

A pig returns to the farm, thumbing his snout at Orwell ... the world had a new evil to deal with, and it was not communism.  

—Dinitia Smith, New York Times

SNOWBALL'S CHANCE parodies Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM, dragging it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. 

—Ed Nawotka, Publisher’s Weekly

Reed has managed to take a dated masterpiece ... and revive it for the odd, casino-like social and political world we're mired in today; in the process he's created his own masterpiece. 

—John Grooms, Creative Loafing, Charlotte   

A volatile new novel! 

—Arthur Salm, San Diego Union Tribune 

The New York author has ignited a fierce literary debate; is it ever right to write a book modeled on a classic, that twists the original message into unrecognizable form? 

—David Robinson and Jacqui Goddard, Scotsman 

John Reed is as fearless and honest as writers come.

—Greg Dybec, Critical Mob

A swift and satisfying read, viciously funny.  

—William Georgiades, New York Post

In other words: What did the victim do to deserve it?  

—Cathy Young, Boston Globe 

Likely to offend almost everyone. … Witless parody.

—David Futrelle, Money Magazine 

It will take a great deal more than a fortnight's work by a smart-aleck anti-corporatist to undermine the most brilliant satire of the 20th century.

—London Telegraph 


Melville House

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.


Snowball's Chance Teacher's Guide.


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. 

—Jonathan Ames 

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.  

—Richard Falk

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

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