I read Animal Farm a good few years back. It came in a boxset of Penguin classics that my folks gave me and was the slimmest book in there. I'll get around to reading One Hundred Years of Solitude and On The Road one of these days, probably.
It also happened to be one of the options for prescribed fiction for the English Leaving Cert course, which I was doing at the time, but our teacher preferred for us to read Lord of the Flies. Turned out Orwell's little piece of satire was far more useful for the purposes of my history exam, as it helped me to grasp the intricacies of Stalin's Seven Year Plan and the full betrayal of the Marxist dream in a way that a bare history book never could. And that, I suppose, is chief among the reasons why we'll always need good fiction.