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brave New World
brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley
ISBN: 244
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Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
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ophelia99 avatar reviewed brave New World on + 2527 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.
Leigh avatar reviewed brave New World on + 377 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 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 on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a fantasy of the future, and a classic tale and as impressive as the day it was published. Huxley speaks in a prophetic voice, that is still contemporary, both in the particulars of his vision and his very real sense of impending doom and alarm.
reviewed brave New World on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The first of the dystopias, Brave New World is a predecessor to books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. Join a removed scientist in a sad world where socialism is bent and foaming into even the biology of our civilization, and rationality is found in the savage. Also find a sweet picture of Huxley himself on the back.
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reviewed brave New World on + 3 more book reviews
This is still a great book, very relevent. ANd, this printing includes the book Brave New World Revisited, written by the author years after the book, which is even more phrophetic on were our worl has gone, and why.
reviewed brave New World on
This book is a classic. Although it was written around WWII era, themes are still alive today. Predictions of future attitudes in sexuality shown in story actually are happening today. Thank heavens the fashion and food have not come true.
DJinVC avatar reviewed brave New World on + 10 more book reviews
I am a big fan of Brave New World, read it years ago and again not so long ago. I got this one for my 14 yr old niece to make sure she has a chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I have.
kevinsbebe avatar reviewed brave New World on + 162 more book reviews
Very original, and intereting take on a future society. My only complaint is that I wish there would have been more storyline with the character Bernard. I really liked his character and thought the book would be mainly aobut him. Good book though.
fog avatar reviewed brave New World on + 132 more book reviews
Thought I'd give this book another read. I first read it in high school way back then and best I can remember I didn't care for it; I think it was because of all the interpretation that the teacher wanted us to do about the meaning of the book, analyzing the characters, finding hidden meanings and warnings in the text nd blah, blah, blah. Well, without all the distractions this turned out to be a fun read and without really thinking about it I found myself comparing the book to the present day situations in the world. What a fun way to spend the day. It's good to go back and read some of the classics without the bother of having to analyze the authors intent. Grab copy and enjoy.
confuzzledbooks avatar reviewed brave New World on + 475 more book reviews
Brave New World is a interesting take on the world in the future and how we interact with each other and do or react to things.

I read this and, 1984 by George Orwell, a couple of months ago. In my mind they have jumbled together and I am not sure what scenes come from which book. I believe after reading other reviews that I do remember the main characters. One character a man who questions the way people live and the fact they can not question why. The other character is a woman who the man is attracted to (sorry I don't remember their names). The woman is attracted to him as well but just in the way that is normal for society, meaning people are very promiscuous.

I have to say that this is another classic that I just wasn't a big fan of. I liked it a little better than The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which if you read my review for does not take much to be better than.

If you are a fan of 1984, or Fahrenheit 451, you will probably enjoy as for me I am still in search of a classic that sticks with me and doesn't make me bored.
constantki avatar reviewed brave New World on + 7 more book reviews
Brave New World had a lot of things going for it, the premise was so interesting and I really enjoyed how brilliantly Huxley framed the background of this dystopia at the beginning of the novel. However, not all scenes were well framed; some were so explicit and transparent that they came off as preachy. Other parts were unbelievably ridiculous and badly written. Also, the characters were mostly flat (although I was partial towards Bernard). This book's value lies not in its characters, but in the world that it presents and the attitudes of the society as a whole.

What made me really appreciate this book was that Huxley gives some credit to the World State. Yes, he spent a lot of time exploring its shortcomings and its "immorality" but he also defended it. I liked that he left it open ended, and put the onus on the reader to form their own opinions about the World State. This book is very provocative and creative, and I definitely think that it is worth reading.
reviewed brave New World on + 10 more book reviews
This is a very old book... the cover price was $.95 Does that say anything?
From the cover.... It is as sparkling, as provocative, as brilliant, in the appropriate sense, as impressive as the day it was published. This is in part b/c its prophetic voice has remained surprisingly contenporary, both in its particular forecats & in its general tone of semi-serious alarm. But it is much more b/c the book succeeds as a sork of art. This is surely Aldous Huxley's best book.
reviewed brave New World on + 10 more book reviews
My son had to read this in his senior year of high school.
reviewed brave New World on + 27 more book reviews
One of the books they force you to read in high school that is as absorbing as it is "important", as well as a ripping good yarn.

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