Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World

byAldous Huxley

Kobo ebook | July 1, 2014

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Now more than ever: Aldous Huxley's enduring "masterpiece ... one of the most prophetic dystopian works of the 20th century" (Wall Street Journal) must be read and understood by anyone concerned with preserving the human spirit in the face of our "brave new world"

Aldous Huxley's profoundly important classic of world literature, Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order--all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls. “A genius [who] who spent his life decrying the onward march of the Machine” (The New Yorker), Huxley was a man of incomparable talents: equally an artist, a spiritual seeker, and one of history’s keenest observers of human nature and civilization. Brave New World, his masterpiece, has enthralled and terrified millions of readers, and retains its urgent relevance to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying work of literature. Written in the shadow of the rise of fascism during the 1930s, Brave New World likewise speaks to a 21st-century world dominated by mass-entertainment, technology, medicine and pharmaceuticals, the arts of persuasion, and the hidden influence of elites. 

"Aldous Huxley is the greatest 20th century writer in English." —Chicago Tribune

Title:Brave New WorldFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:July 1, 2014Publisher:Harper PerennialLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062368230

ISBN - 13:9780062368232

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from More a propos than 1984 More than the oft-referenced '1984', Huxley's 'Brave New World' captures all the modern controls that have pushed advanced civilizations to submission to politics, or rather feel disenfranchised, or irrelevant and detached, even jaded in the whole process. Huxley has been able to highlight how a controlling society can be achieved without outright identification but rather subtly, through entertainment, drugs, pleasures. This is what modern society is experiencing with a push of more reality TV, pointing out that anyone could be a TV star, more money for sports facilities, less education. While aspects of 1984 are true, they are easier fought against than what Huxley has presented, which could have served as a blueprint for many demagogues. Huxley himself has highlighted as much in his 'Revisited' works. While the writing is not quite poetic or with elegant prose, it remains well concise and worded as well as an easy read.
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Story, Mediocre Book Brave New World is a futuristic novel with a society based on a strict hierarchy, drug abuse and sexual promiscuity. The book follows people who see flaws with this and want change. This book will shock with its similarities to today’s society. This novel is born from a strong idea, but unravels as the story goes on. Aldous Huxley was criticized and praised for his novel. Written in 1931, this novel shocked and appalled many. To this day, the literary merit of this book has been debated by many. Set in London in 632 AF, we are introduced to Bernard, of the highest caste who is shunned. We can relate to Bernard’s views as we find out that he is unhappy and wants to be individual, “not just a cell in the social body”. He starts to date Lenina, and confides in her with his values, but she fears change and difference and would rather follow the typical routine of working, taking Soma (hallucinogenic drugs) and having promiscuous sex. Bernard wants “to know what passion is” and wants “to feel something strongly”. Bernard and Lenina travel to a savage reservation. They meet John and his mother Linda, a woman who came from their society but got lost in the reservation on a trip. John and Linda to go back to civilization. Bernard bathes in the glory of his newfound fame of finding John and becomes egoistic. The story then changes protagonists from Bernard to John as we become appalled by Bernard and we understand John’s disgust of the society. After his mother dies, John causes a riot when he throws away drug rations of workers, asking them if they “like being slaves?” and if they “want to be free…?”. By doing this, he claims “I’ll make you free”. John, Bernard and their friend who helped start the riot are exiled by the World Controller, Mustapha Mond. Before being exiled, John and Mustapha debate over the unfairness of the society. John says “I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” In exile, John chooses to whip himself “to escape further contamination by the filth of civilized life” and is seen by the civilized people with curiosity. Trying to dissuade the onlookers, John lashes out, and ends up participating in an orgy. The story ends tragically, with a feeling of hopelessness. Brave New World is perfect for those who love futuristic novels, and is comparable to modern society, except less extreme. Like the widespread Soma, drugs are commonly used. Drug abuse may become as widespread as in the novel. Promiscuous sex was shunned back then, so it is shocking that Huxley would dare mention such immoral activities, activities which some people today partake in. Our dependence on technology and the influence the media has on us is mirrored in the book. We gasp when the society’s controlling ideals are set in the common people’s minds, but we are influenced by TV, internet, magazines and celebrities. We are closer to this demise than we thought. This story is creative and intriguing, but the writing itself helped destroy the novel. In Chapter 3, sentences spoken by different people were mixed together, causing confusion. Perhaps Huxley was trying a writing style, this just makes the reader want to put the book down. The protagonist transition from Bernard to John was unsmooth and like a slap in the face. We do not even get to explore the people under the hollow shells Huxley has made. This book is not exciting, as there is no suspense. This book is not a thriller, just a book on an old reading list. As well, there is no feeling present except for hopelessness, as there is no emotion in the writing. It seems as if John’s place was only a speck of dust, as nothing changed. The corniest parts were the names, like Bernard Marx, Lenina Crowne and Polly Trotsky. This made quirky combinations like Benito Hoover, Helmholtz Watson and Darwin Bonaparte. Brave New World is compared to George Orwell’s 1984, another novel dealing with a technologically advanced and controlling society. 1984 seems to be more realistic with more dynamic, in-depth characters. Readers finishing Brave New World would definitely find 1984 to be refreshing. Huxley provides a creative idea but burns it with his writing style. Fans of this genre may find this interesting, but others may want to pass on this. Just because a novel has a good story does not make it a good book.
Date published: 2013-04-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A world of drugs and instant gratification Brave New World by Aldous Huxley starts off slow and uninteresting. All sorts of chemicals are named and the description of how the children of A.F. 632 are created and grow up. After the first three chapters, the real story starts and it becomes more interesting. I did not like how later on in the story, John, a savage, was the main focus. I was hoping that the story would centre on Bernard the entire time. The idea was interesting as to why the world was created to its present state and the reasons why the new humans are told to live in a community. There is no such thing as marriage or seriousness in relationships. There is no such thing as aging or disease or pain over loss. There is great importance placed on how the children are raised to perform their assigned roles. May contain spoilers: It is a world in which humans are not born by mothers, but are created and grow up in the hatchery and conditioning centre. There are different casts to keep the world operating efficiently and keep everyone happy with their jobs. The higher castes are created to be more intelligent, while the lower castes are less intelligent. Everyone is said to belong to everyone else, thus everyone is encouraged to sleep with as many people they desire. There is a drug called soma that everyone is greatly addicted to, which makes one imagine everything they desire without a headache. The children are conditioned to have certain beliefs by having a speaker repeat the same lines numerous times for many years while they sleep. Solitude is discouraged, and only reference books are available to the public. Lenina Crowne has been seeing only one man for the past few months and this behaviour is looked down upon, since promiscuity is encouraged. Bernard Marx, who works at the same place as Lenina, feels that people should not just sleep with anyone else without getting to know them better, because that is what children would do. Another employee is Helmholtz Watson, who feels like there is something missing from his life because he doesn't feel satisfied. One day Bernard visits a savage reserve and meets John there. John is the child of a woman that was not born of a mother. Bernard becomes interested in John and wants to take him to the outside world. The story then focuses on John, the savage who is obsessed with Shakespeare, and how he reacts to the Brave New World. 3/5
Date published: 2009-06-09