Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley

Random House Of Canada | August 28, 2007 | Trade Paperback

Brave New World is rated 4.04 out of 5 by 25.
Marking the 75th anniversary of its original publication, Vintage Canada is proud to publish the first Canadian edition ever of the 1932 classic Brave New World with an original introduction by Margaret Atwood.

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone in feeling discontent. Harbouring an unnatural desire for solitude, and a perverse distaste for the pleasure of compulsory promiscuity, Bernard has an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress.… Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.72 in

Published: August 28, 2007

Publisher: Random House Of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 030735654X

ISBN - 13: 9780307356543

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from An eye opener. "Brave New World by Aldous Huxley" was a brillant dystopian novel that masterfully depicted a religion against science conflict. It featured a society where era's was measured by Before Ford or After Ford, instead of B.C. and A.D. People were not born normally but mass produced in Petri dishes. Drug use, sex, adultery, and other immoral things were praised, and the government was ruled in totalitarian. It was then tested by the main characters of the novel who showed the religious and morally proper mindset that our society currently supports. The ideal audience for this novel is late teens and up with the explicit material this novel holds. I think the themes created in this novel make this dystopia so controversial, that it's just brillant and so hard not to talk and think about it. This novel is certainly one to read and something people can learn from and see where our society could end up if we don't take things seriously. It's just amazing to see how religion, art, freedom, can really take away what the basis of humanity is. That there seems to be no point in life when there is no goal or risk to be taken in this society where everything is stable and so immoral. This novel should be read and enjoyed by our older youth, or our "future leaders".
Date published: 2013-04-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Creative World, Weak Plot. Brave New World Book Review Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Published by HarperCollins in New York City, NY in 1932 268 Pages If you’re one of those people who look at today’s society and wonder if the future will be any better, Brave New World might crush your hopes a little. This dystopian themed novel by Aldous Huxley will immerse you in a future where you should throw away all your current morals before entering unless you feel like having the world as you know it turned upside down and inside out. With technology ruling mankind, causal sex and drugs in every street corner, and a totalitarian government, this book is not for a young audience or those easily offended. Published back in 1932, at the time the morals and ideas portrayed in Huxley’s book might have seemed even more disturbing than they appear now due to society still being not quite as diverse as now. At the time there were quite a few books that were using the dystopian theme. 1984 by George Orwell in particular is often compared to Brave New World as both share a distinct similarity. Brave New World, despite offering some unique characters and a well thought out setting of a technology-takes-over-man dystopian society, fails to back them up with a strong plot which is confusing at many times and at some points, quite disturbing. The tale starts off with an introduction to how humans are “formed” and raised in a special manner so that they develop in a very specific way, opening the doors to one of the book’s main themes: technology. As the plot progresses, more characters are introduced, with some being the stereotypical citizen of this high tech future, and others seeming more similar to our current people. Eventually apart from society in the city is introduced and they are followers of religion, not science, and considered to be more like animals by those within the science based society. An ambassador from these “Savages” eventually comes in contact with the head of the Society and two worlds begin on their travel on a dangerous path that may lead to the destruction of one of their worlds with one wrong step. Huxley takes a stab at trying to create the image of a future where human morals and emotions have no place in society and all is controlled by technology and everything is already planned out for everyone. The moment these “people” are born they have their lives set in stone already. While his attempt was decent, there are still points in the plot that leave many scratching their heads wondering what just happened or why it happened. Brave New World includes several slightly hidden references to many modern day problems or conflicts which are quite easy to connect to. For one there is the reference to the drug and alcohol problem in today’s youth which is demonstrated by Huxley’s use of “Soma” a concoction consisting of beer and cocaine. Another major theme is how we as humans are being taken over by technology as it advances more and how science and religion will always collide at one point or another. While these are very relatable subjects, Huxley seems to take them to an extreme where it is almost becoming hard to believe our problems will escalate to that point. There are a few issues that the book could have addressed but didn’t, such as pollution which was slowly becoming a bigger problem in the era when it was written, along with political tensions that may stir up a war, especially since world war II broke out soon after this book was written. While reading through the book, some might get rattled by how far our current problems have come, along with how they might even relate to yourself and others around you. In terms of creating a dystopian world, Huxley has done a fantastic job, detailing it well and really letting you feel how all your current morals are no longer in use and emotions are a thing of the past. But without a stronger plot to back up this well thought out world, Brave New World doesn’t satisfy completely.
Date published: 2013-04-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Eight Bookcases Check out my review of Huxley's work on my blog at: http://8bookcases.blogspot.ca/2012/09/brave-new-world-by-aldous-huxley.html
Date published: 2012-09-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I prefer 1984 more. I don't know. :/ There's something about the way Huxley developed the book makes it impossible for me to get through. I can't believe I picked this book for my English assignment. This book is just odd. No doubt deep in life lessons but also full with mumble jumble. Not a fan! Took me about 2 months to get through a 255 page book. :/ I can't say more.
Date published: 2012-08-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Savage or Soma. . . Brave New World is a book about cloning people who have to live in whatever caste they were born into. They are raised and conditioned into the people they will become. There are people who live free from this society that live on reservations. This book made me feel really sad when I read it. It really makes you think of humanity as a whole, and makes you focus on the fact that we'll never see true peace. We are destructive by nature, we crave power and control over life. This book shows a society where everyone is happy, but there is no real connections or literature or music in this world. The books society takes the very nature of freedom away from the people and makes them into sheep. It's a sad, bleak look at society. Maybe John did find the only way to be happy in his society as seen by his pair of feet. "Slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-south-west; then paused, and, after a few seconds, turned as unhurriedly back towards the left. South-south-west, south, south-east, east. …"
Date published: 2012-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great visionary Aldous Huxley's look at a supposed "utopian" society left a great many readers hoping that they would never themselves live in such a society. The society was reliant on a hallucinogen to sustain them, and drew pleasure only from that and a vast selection of strange sensual inventions. The work was visceral, sparing no details, and the characters reminded people of the worst and best parts of themselves. Nevertheless, it was considered worldwide as an amazing book, and ultimately, ended up influencing the world for the better, with its forward-thinking ideas and political views. Today, "Brave New World" is still as relevant as it was when it was written in 1931. The story is fantastic, the characters are believable and interesting, and it has stood the test of time well. Recommended for anyone who enjoys a good 'what-if' scenario.
Date published: 2011-01-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not bad. Not the best utopia book I've ever read, and at times it was a bit hard to follow, but it had a very interesting concept behind it. Enjoyable for the most part.
Date published: 2010-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Crazy amazing. Crazy. Amazing. Definitely to be read at least once in one's life, in my opinion. Huxley's BNW is fascinatingly and scarily accurate.
Date published: 2010-06-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Intriguing I had to read this book for school, and even though it's not what I usually go for, it was pretty interesting. Personally, I thought it was boring at times, but the main idea behind the story was really intriguing. It made me wonder whether happiness can really exist without its opposite, and whether life would be better or worth living if we didn't have obstacles to overcome. To tell you the truth, it's a little scary thinking of living in the society Aldous Huxley created in "Brave New World", and that alone makes this book worth reading.
Date published: 2009-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I've finally read it, and I'm content in my discomfort Good Ford! I sit here exhausted after finishing Brave New World, and the first thought to enter my mind is that I am grateful to my High School English Department for not including it in our studies, as I’m sure it would have sent me into a fast and furious depression. Alas, I feel that a gramme of soma may be my only recourse. haha Huxley’s didactic and political satire has sent me into a spiral of whirling emotions, as I draw far too many comparisons from his dystopian society to our modern day. A revolutionary of his time, Huxley’s oppressive World State is not a far cry from the western world, as he conjures up images of the lower-caste members as “… a long caterpillar of men and women travelling home on the monorail.” (Wasn’t I a part of that caterpillar in my trek home on the TTC yesterday, minus the doses of soma to keep things civil?) How about the nine-years war, which created a state of fear and panic, forcing the government to take charge and control all measures of the World State in pedantic form, in order to stabilize society and provide uniform happiness? However, to me, enforced happiness seems just as ridiculous and unattainable as enforced democracy. Of course one could argue that both of these things are illusions, in and of themselves anyway. One of the most disturbing aspects of this ‘fictional’ world is the use of a structured class system, derived by embryo manipulation, sleep hypnosis, and the numbing soma, to create a population of slaves who happily carry out the dirty work for the upper-caste members of society. This of course being the most powerful parallel to western civilization, as the capitalist machine oppressively ensures that immigrants and children of low-income families get stuck in the cycle of low-paying, dead-end jobs, unable to afford an education that could possibly enhance their opportunity for personal growth. How would consumerism continue at this accelerated rate if everyone were educated? Who would take on the monotonous task of flipping the burgers, or working the assembly lines? In the end, theirs is a sacrifice for the greater good of the collective. (I can’t help but be reminded of the Borg.) And if they complain, just write them a prescription for the latest anti-depressant or anti-psychotic that the ravenous pharmaceutical monster is peddling. All in all, the World State is a mirror of our world wrought with consumerism, sexual liberation and sedation through government-issue medication, simply exaggerated. In this state of disillusionment and contentment through instant gratification, the truth of our existence is lost. Without our passion for each other, artistic expression, scientific exploration or dogma, what is the purpose of our time here on earth? I choose to live life on my own terms, and if that means I must suffer through pain, misfortune, destitution and fear, then so be it. At least this will sustain in me an ability to recognize and enjoy pleasure, prosperity, security and heroism. The struggle, of course, is maintaining the balance. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2009-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eerie I read 1984 in high school, but not Brave New World until recently at age 34. I used the word "eerie" as my review title not only because this is the world we live in now, but also (and more so) because we as a collective society are voluntarily striving for. We have countless self-righteous advocate groups that use media and lobbying to sway opinions in their favour that become a society norm. Our children are "grown" through an education system that now goes beyond teaching math, reading and writing to one that teaches our children relative morals - we as parents no longer have a say in our children's upbringing and way of thinking and if our teachings defy the modern left and their politically correct ways we are wrong. We are striving towards a world that is fully pre-planned and does not require real individual decision making. It's hard to imagine that this book was written in 1932. What insight you had Huxley!
Date published: 2008-06-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty good. I had to read it for Grade 11 high school. It was alright.
Date published: 2008-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Where do I start. This book is just amazing. I just finished reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and I have to tell you that it is a must must must read. This book caused me to miss my subway stop and not even realize I missed my subway stop until we were standing for a long time and I wondered what’s taking so long to move just to realize I was at the end of the line. This book talks about a time when children are harvested in bottles to remove the need for mothers , fathers and relatives. The word mother and giving birth is considered a very shameful thing. It talks about a time when children are conditioned in their sleep and all their lives to be satisfied, happy, work hard without asking any questions where all their carnal desires are met. This book talks about a time when not having sex is considered abnormal, having only one sexual partner is abnormal and a big shame and it is considered “good manners” to pat a woman’s behind. It talks about a time where you can erase your worries by having soma and everything feels good again and you are happy again. A savage is brought into this world as an experiment and we see this world through his eyes and what a a journy it is. Is this a Utopia where there is no illness, no growing old and no unhappiness? You can have whatever you want, consume as much as you want, be beautiful and young till the day you die. Or is it a Dystopia because you can have anything anytime making everything lose it’s value? If you could have sex all the time ,with as many people as you want dosn’t it make it lose it’s value and it becomes like eating ? Wouldn’t a hungry person enjoy good food a hundred times more than a person who just got his fill? An excerpt: A man grows old; he feels in himself that radical sense of weakness , of listlessness, of discomfort, which accompanies the advance of age; and, feeling thus, imagines himself merely sick, lulling his fears with the notion that this distressing condition is due to some particular cause, from which, as from and illness, he hopes to recover. Vain imaginings! That sickness is old age; and a horrible disease it is. They say that it is fear of death and of what comes after death that makes men turn to religion as they advance in years. But my own experience has given me the conviction that, quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason comes less troubles in it’s working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed; whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, turns towards the source of the light; turns naturally and inevitable; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations it’s life and charm has begun to leak away from us, now that phenomenal existence is no more bolstered up by impressions from within or from without, we feel the need to lean on something that abides, something that will never play false - a reality, an absolute and everlasting truth. Yes, we inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment is of its nature so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it, that it makes up to us for all our other losses” ‘ Mustapha Mond shut the book and leaned back in his chair. ‘ One of the numerous things in heaven and earth that these philosophers didn’t dream about was this’ (he waved his hand), ‘us, the modern world. “You can only be independent of God while you’ve got youth and prosperity; independence won’t take you safely to the end.” Well, we’ve now got youth and prosperity right up to the end. What follows? Evidently; that we can be independent of God. “The religious sentiment will compensate us for all our losses.” But there aren’t any losses for us to compensate; religious sentiment is superfluous. And why should we go hunting for a substitute for youthful desires, when we go on enjoying all the old fooleries to the very last? What need have we of repose when our minds and bodies continue to delight in activity? of consolation, when we have soma? of something immovable, when there is the social order?’ ‘then you think there is no God?’ ‘No, I think there quite probably is one’ ‘Then why…?’ Mustapha Mond checked him.’But he manifests himself in different ways to different men. In our modern times he manifested himself as the being that’s describes in these books. Now…’ ‘ How does he manifest himself now?’ Asked the savage. ‘Well, he manifests himself as an absence, as though he weren’t there at all.’ Lots to think about and ponder after reading this book so I will leave it for you to decide. It’s definitely going on my favourite books of all time list.
Date published: 2007-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Huxley's Classic Distopian SF It's a classic. Huxley writes the quintessential distopian novel of the future. Our possible present.
Date published: 2007-12-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Review Having heard from countless sources how great this book is, I was excited when I finally had the opportunity to read it. Sadly, the book was not at all what I expected. It started off well, describing the scientific intricacies involved in creating and molding human beings. Instead of blossoming, however, the story quickly became unbearably boring. There was no clear plot to draw the reader in, and the characters were completely one-dimensional. Finally at page 56, Huxley's prose deteriorated to the point where I was tempted to throw the book out the window. At that point, I decided not to continue. What a disappointment.
Date published: 2007-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Timeless Classic Huxley was indeed ahead of his time. This book, written decades ago, predicts many of the major problems facing western society today. It presents a utopian society where individuals are bred into classes and pumped full of seratonin enhancing "somas" that make them love themselves and their place in a totally contrived and controlled society. If you liked 1984, The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake, you can add this one to your list of fantastic reads!
Date published: 2006-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A true classic Some readers who love reading, but don't necessarily enjoy reading a lot of classics may be scared away from this novel imagining it to be a difficult read. However, Brave New World is a novel that everyone should read. Not only is it a great read, but the subject matter really gives you good ideas to ponder. Is all the technology and science being created really for our benefit? At what point should we let Mother Nature or God rule? Who should decide how our children are raised or which genes are desireable? This is a must read for all book clubs... I got a little push back on chosing this classic, however, I was thanked at the book club meeting.
Date published: 2006-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Marvellous Dystopia In a marvellously original work, Huxley imagines a genetically engineered society in which humans (if they can be considered that) are assigned a specific classification and role. Huxley's ease of writing brings the Brave New World to life. This novel reads as though he was really there. Although some interesting concepts are brought to light, Huxley's work does not live up to its reputation of being a warning about the future. At the very least, such a world is yet far in the future. I greatly enjoyed Huxley's simple prose, telling detail, and intriguing characters. His timeless thought left me wondering if he really did write the work in 1932. Most dazzling is Huxley's creativity: I cannot fathom how he arrived at the ideas behind this work. This is an absolute must-read, and is an especially important comment for anyone interested in eugenics, hypnopaedia, or dystopian fiction. It is comparable in magnitude to Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, although distinctly different.
Date published: 2006-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great yet, underwelming Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, his world-renowned novel which, amazingly at first was not accepted by publishers. A tale similar to that of Ninteen Eighty-Four, except Nineteen Eighty-Four is more, say well-devloped and more of a indulgence of thought in ones mind. Not to say this novel isn't amazing though. Huxley hit us right on the nose with the premise of genetic enginneering and we think, Wait, this guy guessed we would do this a century ago? . Yes, yes he did. Nice novel, I suggest reading before Nineteen Eighty-Four because it may come off as a little underwelming.
Date published: 2005-12-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worthy of Reading Brave New World is as much an experience, as it is a read. Aldous Huxley created an entirely new world inside this novel. I can see why this book is upheld as a classic. However, I found that many of the situations and/or characters were often hard to believe. Sometimes it's just not real enough, and it's harder to get into. To sum it up, it's worth reading, but if you're looking for dystopia at its best, go for 1984 by George Orwell.
Date published: 2005-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brave New World Brave New World tells us a story of a not to distant future, excellent
Date published: 2005-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How far down the path to the New World are we? In the 1930's, when people feared losing control of their lives through war, Huxley speculated whether people could be seduced into handing over control of their lives. Although Huxley's writing style is arduous, his ideas are fascinating. People may be willing to trade their freedom for security, knowledge for entertainment, uncomfortable feelings for drugs. His novel forces us to ask who the Epsilons are in our own society--surely they are the working poor-- and our modern European Union and NAFTA seem similar to the Ten Economic Zones Huxley predicts. His Brave New World seems closer and closer.
Date published: 2002-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best to Say the Least A tribute to science and fact beyond what was presently known, Huxley, a true literary genius and revolutionist creates a visually exciting piece of work. Before much of the advances in medicine and in a time of much conservatism, he challenges himself, his collogues and the many who seek refuge in this wonderful book. A simplistic design forged from his background in science and the desire to continue his ties with an occupation that would never become, he balanced melodic verse with exciting forethought to what would become. A savage, a women clad in velvet, the world of the masses, a brilliant finale, shocking ending and masterful drama... Live a moment of history and realize that history is now.
Date published: 2001-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chemical Happiness? Could your happiness and life be dicatated by the effects of a little pill? This book is an absoultely amazing (considering it was written 70 years ago) description of today's society. It startelling to see how far society has degenerated and this book issues a passive yet potent warning of where this could lead. Head the warning from past.
Date published: 2000-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Brave New World isn't so far away.... Imagine a world where your alotted position in life was one you were chemically and mentally made to accept? Where people are grown in test tubes and taught that such words as "mother" and "birth" are obsene. This is the frightening portrait of a futuristic world painted by Aldous Huxley in this infamous work which will have you pondering our own beliefs and what is to come for weeks after enjoying it.
Date published: 2000-09-26

– More About This Product –

Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.72 in

Published: August 28, 2007

Publisher: Random House Of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 030735654X

ISBN - 13: 9780307356543

Read from the Book

Chapter I A squat grey building of only thirty-four storeys. Over the main entrance the words, Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, and, in a shield, the World State’s motto, Community, Identity, Stability. The enormous room on the ground floor faced towards the north. Cold for all the summer beyond the panes, for all the tropical heat of the room itself, a harsh thin light glared through the windows, hungrily seeking some draped lay figure, some pallid shape of academic goose-flesh, but finding only the glass and nickel and bleakly shining porcelain of a laboratory. Wintriness responded to wintriness. The overalls of the workers were white, their hands gloved with a pale corpse-coloured rubber. The light was frozen, dead, a ghost. Only from the yellow barrels of the microscopes did it borrow a certain rich and living substance, lying along the polished tubes like butter, streak after luscious streak in long recession down the work tables. ‘And this,’ said the Director opening the door, ‘is the Fertilizing Room.’ Bent over their instruments, three hundred Fertilizers were plunged, as the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning entered the room, in the scarcely breathing silence, the absentminded, soliloquizing hum or whistle, of absorbed concentration. A troop of newly arrived students, very young, pink and callow, followed nervously, rather abjectly, at the Director’s heels. Each of them carried a note-book, in which, whenever
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From the Publisher

Marking the 75th anniversary of its original publication, Vintage Canada is proud to publish the first Canadian edition ever of the 1932 classic Brave New World with an original introduction by Margaret Atwood.

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone in feeling discontent. Harbouring an unnatural desire for solitude, and a perverse distaste for the pleasure of compulsory promiscuity, Bernard has an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress.… Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.

About the Author

Aldous Huxley was born on July 26, 1894, in Surrey, England, into a distinguished scientific and literary family; his grandfather was the noted scientist and writer, T.H. Huxley. Following an eye illness at age 16 that resulted in near-blindness, Huxley abandoned hope of a career in medicine and turned instead to literature, attending Oxford University and graduating with honors. While at Oxford, he published two volumes of poetry. Crome Yellow, his first novel, was published in 1927 followed by Antic Hay, Those Barren Leaves, and Point Counter Point. His most famous novel, Brave New World, published in 1932, is a science fiction classic about a futuristic society controlled by technology. In all, Huxley produced 47 works during his long career, In 1947, Huxley moved with his family to southern California. During the 1950s, he experimented with mescaline and LSD. Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, both works of nonfiction, were based on his experiences while taking mescaline under supervision. In 1959, Aldous Huxley received the Award of Merit for the Novel from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died on November 22, 1963.

Editorial Reviews

“Provoking, stimulating, shocking and dazzling.”
—Observer

“Not a work for people with tender minds and weak stomachs.”
—J.B. Priestly
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