The idea of an illegal copy of The Gulag Archipelago used as stuffing for a new pair of boots is wonderful!
I never read Animal Farm. I know what it’s about, but I don’t even know any spoilers for the novel so it’s all completely fresh to me.
It’s simplistic, but that’s intentional and it’s fitting for the subject matter. I like the way it’s told in very straight forward language – we get a clear idea of the animal’s personalities quickly and clearly.
And as a primer for how these sorts of things happen, it’s clever
The idea the Russian serf was “backwards” (in terms of farming) is misleading for many factors: innovation was unnecessary since they did not farm for profit, new ideas were suspicious because they were exploited labor, and they did not have access to meet methods. They worked with what they had.