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Brave New World (P.S.)
Brave New World - P.S.
Author: Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley's tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future—where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780060850524
ISBN-10: 0060850523
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Pages: 288
Edition: Reprint
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 216

3.8 stars, based on 216 ratings
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Brave New World (P.S.) on + 2503 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
It's hard to believe this book was written in 1931, Huxley is awfully accurate on some of his futuristic visions of how society could end up.

This book basically describes a society that appears to be Utopian at first glance. Humans are made at certain genetic intelligence and caste; they are conditioned to be grateful for their place in life. Of course humans being humans there are occasionally those who divert from the norm. The story focuses mainly on Bernard Marx, an Alpha who is born too short, and as such ostracized and isolated in a society based on community and on Lenina a woman who is a fairly average society girl who agrees to travel with Bernard to Reservation. At the reservation they meet a Savage named John who travels back with them to "proper" society. What ensues is basically disaster.

The kind of creepy thing is that Huxley is pretty spot on about some of the things in his Utopian society. There is a lot genetic engineering going on, subliminal messaging, regulated drug use to promote serenity, etc. The beginning of the book is the most shocking because they explain how they modify the chemical make up of the fetuses to make them smart or stupid, strong or weak. This is followed by a discussion of how they condition the infants to like or not like certain things based on what function they will have in society. It is a society where everyone is equal but no one gets to make any decisions.

The people in the society are encouraged to be somewhat infantile in their decisions; time not working is spend playing games or engaging in sexual activity. Despite the society being depicted as somewhat British the members are encouraged to give into their baser natures whenever they want...emotion makes for unhappy people so it is best to not think about it too much.

What happens when John, a Savage raised by a (gasp) mother, a man who loves and hurts is brought into this society is fascinating but predictable. He has a hard time making sense of a society where "mother" is an indecent word and love is a foreign concept.

The book is very readable and well-written. The story is engaging. I am sure at the time this book was written it was ground-breaking. Unfortunately most of the factors of society that are discussed in this book I have read discussed in more current books. For me what set this book apart from other dystopians was the fact that it was written so long ago, also the fact that Huxley didn't pull any punches on the human conditioning...they are pretty ruthless, and lastly how reasonable he makes the set-up of such a society sound. There is a portion towards the end of the book where the Controller explains to John how their society evolved to what it is today; the Controller explains what they tried and what actually worked. The Controller's argument sounds disturbingly reasonable and almost makes you understand how a society set-up like the one in this book might work out well for a large amount of people.

Overall I enjoyed the book and I am glad I read it. None of the ideas really blew me away and the story was engaging, but not absolutely incredible. It is a book that makes you think; especially when think of the time frame in which it was written. The topics discussed are something which will make you take pause but some of the ideas presented aren't that far away from where we are today (genetic engineering, etc.). Definitely something to read and something easy to relate to.
reviewed Brave New World (P.S.) on + 376 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
A readable, fantastic story of a futuristic world where one is born, purposely, into a certain class of people; therefore, occupations are chosen far in advance - Class D taking out the garbage (if I remember correctly).

A stranger wanders into this world and things begin to change and people begin to question. If you're like me, "taking a soma holiday" will become part of your permanent vocabulary. Recommended for lovers of classics and lovers of philosophical sci-fi.
reviewed Brave New World (P.S.) on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A darkly satiric vision of a "Utopian" future - where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order.
reviewed Brave New World (P.S.) on + 134 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A fantasy of the future which sheds a blazing, critical light on the present--considered to be Aldous Huxley's most enduring masterpiece.
reviewed Brave New World (P.S.) on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Loved reading this classic. I was a bit frightened at first of some of the language being so old-school, but once I got into the story I could not stop. This book is as relevant, if not more, than it was when Huxley first wrote it. It is a striking premonition of the future state of the world, where the words 'mother' and 'father' are some of the dirtiest words one could speak, and monogamy is not even considered. A great read!
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reviewed Brave New World (P.S.) on
A masterful piece of work. If you like 1984 by Orwell, you will also love this. A dystopic read that was written so long ago, but is right on target to where are future is heading and is now.
reviewed Brave New World (P.S.) on + 48 more book reviews
ok, read for a college class
reviewed Brave New World (P.S.) on + 10 more book reviews
Intriguing premise about a possible dystopian future of people kept under control through pleasure and drugs. Not as compelling or vivid as George Orwell's "1984," Aldous Huxley nontheless has some interesting ideas which work as counterpoints to Orwell.

My biggest problem with "Brave New World" is the quality of Huxley's writing. His prose lacks any subtlety and feels amateurish. The writing "tells" much more than it "shows," which distracted me from what might have been a great read. I expected better from something considered such a classic.

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