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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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Brave New World (1932)

by Aldous Huxley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
38,44951016 (3.96)1089
  1. 742
    1984 by George Orwell (chrisharpe, zasmine, MinaKelly, li33ieg, haraldo, Ludi_Ling, Waldstein)
    zasmine: For Orwell was inspired by it. And Orwell's 1984 is as much of a prize as it.
    li33ieg: 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451: 3 essential titles that remind us of the need to keep our individual souls pure.
    Ludi_Ling: Really, the one cannot be mentioned without the other. Actually, apart from the dystopian subject matter, they are very different stories, but serve as a great counterpoint to one another.
    Waldstein: It's essential to read Huxley's and Orwell's books together. Both present the ultimate version of the totalitarian state, but there the similarities end. While Orwell argues in favour of hate and fear, Huxley suggests that pleasure and drugs would be far more effective as controlling forces. Who was the more prescient prophet? That's what every reader should decide for his- or herself.… (more)
  2. 481
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (phoenix7g, meggyweg, Babou_wk, haraldo)
    Babou_wk: Contre-utopie, société future où l'unique but de la vie est le bonheur. Toute pratique requérant de la réflexion est bannie.
  3. 262
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (MinaKelly)
  4. 161
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (afyfe)
  5. 130
    Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (pyrocow)
  6. 153
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (hippietrail, tehran)
    hippietrail: The original dystopian novel from which both Huxley and Orwell drew inspiration.
    tehran: Brave New World was largely inspired by Zamyatin's We.
  7. 110
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Both are benchmarks for dystopian literature.
  8. 60
    The Tempest by William Shakespeare (Sylak)
    Sylak: Caliban in The Tempest has many parallels with John the Savage in Brave New World.
  9. 50
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (mcenroeucsb)
  10. 50
    The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster (artturnerjr, KayCliff)
    artturnerjr: If you read only one other dystopian SF story, make it this one (well, you should read 1984, too, but you knew that already, didn't you?).
  11. 61
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (sanddancer)
  12. 40
    This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (KayCliff)
  13. 40
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (sturlington)
  14. 128
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (fundevogel)
  15. 30
    Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (Anonymous user)
  16. 30
    Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm (rat_in_a_cage)
    rat_in_a_cage: Hinweis auf Rückentext bei »Hier sangen früher Vögel«.
  17. 20
    Daedalus; or, Science and the Future by J. B. S. Haldane (leigonj)
    leigonj: Haldane's ideas of eugenics and ectogenesis, which are laid out alongside others including world government and psychoactive drugs, strongly influenced Huxley's novel.
  18. 86
    Stranger in a Strange Land (Uncut Edition) by Robert A. Heinlein (meggyweg)
  19. 10
    The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley (John_Vaughan)
  20. 10
    Love Among the Ruins by Evelyn Waugh (KayCliff)

(see all 39 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 466 (next | show all)
"Brave New World" is, of course, a brilliant book. Written so many years ago and foreshadowing many issues to come. It is, more than anyone realizes, a tribute to the values of individuality, of freedom, of selfhood, and of monogamy. It is a voice in the wilderness crying out against conformity, consumerism, marching in lockstep, promiscuity, and drug-influenced bewilderment.
Huxley created a world of genetic design, a world where the only goal is happiness, where there are no families, no marriage, no creativity, and no individuality. It's a world where everyone belongs to everyone else and the common good is all that matters. Mass production is important. Romance, literature, religion have all been abolished. Drown yourself in the drug soma, disposable clothes, free love, and sex hormone chewing gum.

Yes, everyone is happy, but nothing matters anymore. No one needs to have ideas. No one needs to stand out. If you don't fit in, you are exiled to some far off island.

This book expressed concerns about how the world was changing, but it's not our world today. Individuality, freedom, family still matter. But the warning are there about even the most benevolent dictatorship.
( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Boken är en dystopisk skildring av framtiden, där människor är genmanipulerade, lever i en högteknologisk värld och hålls under kontroll. Huvudpersonen Bernard Marx passar inte riktigt in i den nya världen med varken sitt utseende eller sin personlighet.
"Brave New World" är skriven 1931, men högrelevant idag med tanke på utvecklingen vi ser runt om i världen. ( )
  Damir_C | Sep 10, 2017 |
A science fiction dystopian novel that is very unsettling. I found it to be even more poignant this time reading it. I also find it interesting that the Indians and the reservation of savages in New Mexico managed to mirror the past so well. ( )
  SadieRuin | Sep 8, 2017 |
"He began to talk a lot of incomprehensible and dangerous nonsense." (pg. 83)

Brave New World is a prescient but uneven depiction of a dystopia, one that is unnervingly similar to the world we live in now. In this future, happiness (or, more bluntly, gratification) is the ultimate aim, and every human is a 'product' to be 'optimized' (I've heard HR execs and start-up types using those exact same words). Materialism is the highest ideal; 'community' and 'identity' the lauded principles; standardization and micro-management the means of control. Distractions – in the form of 'feelies' (dumbed-down entertainment) and immediate gratification (the want-it-now generation?) – keep dissent from forming. Author Aldous Huxley doesn't hold back: with further themes like the rejection of God, sexual promiscuity, habitual drug use, denigration of family, sexualization of children and the lowering of standards, the book could easily read like a modern conservative's litany of gripes – though gripes not entirely without merit.

Comparisons to George Orwell's later Nineteen Eighty-Four are unavoidable, and I'd be very much surprised if Orwell hadn't been inspired by Huxley's book. But Nineteen Eighty-Four is a vastly superior novel – in terms of plot, pace, character, and all the other trappings of storytelling – and it also explains its concepts better. Thought-crime, doublespeak and Big Brother are more lucid than Huxley's concepts of social utility, drug inducement, perpetual comfort and hypnopaedia, which coin much less arresting phrases such as 'feelies' and bumblepuppy. Perhaps this is why Nineteen Eighty-Four has proven more enduring and idiomatic in our modern society, even though in truth our modern satiated society resembles Huxley's dystopia more than Orwell's.

That said, the fact remains that Huxley's Brave New World is just not as good a book as Nineteen Eighty-Four. Indeed, the prescience of its social concepts aside, I'm unsure whether it's even a good book, period. The Introduction to my Flamingo edition, written by David Bradshaw, notes how Huxley was "unsure in his own mind whether he was writing a satire, a prophecy or a blueprint", and this muddle is reflected in the course of the book. Characters don't settle, plot seems absent or at least secondary to exposition, and there's a bit too much jargon invented by Huxley, giving an impression of stodginess. It's hard to stay on the tracks at times, and Huxley's eventual moral to the story seems to be that we have wrongly forsaken belief in God (one character literally flagellates himself with a knotted whip as atonement). If I've read it right, that's crap: you don't trade one false balm (material gratification) for another (a benevolent sky-deity). Ironically, it is the self-flagellating character at the end who had previously, through his love of Shakespeare's plays, stumbled upon the closest thing to an answer: art, culture, science and inquiry. Freely asking questions about the human condition. That's the closest we've come to genuine spiritual contentment: "the purpose of life was not the maintenance of well-being, but some intensification and refining of consciousness, some enlargement of knowledge", as it is remarked on pages 160-1, though all the characters move past this philosophical truth as though it had never happened.

In the end, it's a shame that Brave New World is not a better novel, as its concepts are very much of contemporary importance to those of us living in the Western world. But then, I suppose, if you want this story better and more refined, just step out into the world today and experience a day in the life. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Sep 3, 2017 |
I thought this book was brilliant. Especially when you consider it was written in the 30s I know it's meant to be a set in a dystopian future, but that's not what struck me. Sure, at first blush it sounds horrific. But as I read and thought on it more it seems to be a meditation of otherness. Unlike most dystopian novels with totalitarian controlling regimes almost everyone in the is book is content and happy. The vast majority of the people have found peace and happiness. It's a very interesting concept. Really in the end there is only two people who are unhappy. One because she has been cast out of this dystopia and the other because he longs for something different. Something more. In the end, that a pretty good track record for a society. It's very interesting to contemplate. I particularly enjoyed how no one or even anyone's point of view was vilified. ( )
1 vote ZephyrusW | Aug 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 466 (next | show all)
En este libro visionario escrito en 1932, Aldous Huxley imagina una sociedad que utilizaría la genética y el clonaje para el condicionamiento y el control de los individuos. En esta sociedad futurista, todos los niños son concebidos en probetas. Ellos son genéticamente condicionados para pertenecer a una de las 5 categorías de población. De la más inteligente a la más estupida: les Alpha (la elite), los Betas (los ejecutantes), los Gammas (los empleados subalternos), los Deltas y los Epsilones (destinados a trabajos arduos). "El mundo feliz" describe también lo que seria una dictadura perfecta que tendría la apariencia de una democracia, una cárcel sin muros en el cual los prisioneros no sonarían en evadirse. Un sistema de esclavitud donde, gracias al sistema de consumo y el entretenimiento, los esclavos "tendrían el amor de su servitud".
 

» Add other authors (42 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Huxley, Aldousprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Atwood, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binger, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradshaw, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brochmann, GeorgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herlitschka, Herberth E.Übersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hernández, RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heuvelmans, TonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McAfee, MaraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mok, MauritsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montagu, AshleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moody, PaulineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orras, I. H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salemme, AttilioCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snow, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szentmihályi Szabó, PéterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
York, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Les utopies apparaissent bien plus réalisables qu'on ne le croyait autrefois. Et nous nous trouvons actuellement devant une question bien autrement angoissante : comment éviter leur réalisation définitive ?… Les utopies sont réalisables. La vie marche vers les utopies. Et peut-être un siècle nouveau commence-t-il, un siècle où les intellectuels et la classe cultivée rêveront aux moyens d'éviter les utopies et de retourner à une société non utopique moins 'parfaite' et plus libre.
(—Nicholas Berdiaeff)
Dedication
First words
A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories.
Quotations
Unorthodoxy threatens more than the life of a mere individual; it strikes at Society itself.
..."What fun it would be," he thought, "if one didn't have to think about happiness!"
"I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin ... I'm claiming the right to be unhappy". "Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind." ... "I claim them all".
"All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny."
"No civilisation without social stability. No social stability without individual stability."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Brave New World is by Aldous Huxley. If you have H.G. Wells as the author of Brave New World, please correct your data. Thank you.
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Book description
A fantasy of the future which sheds a blazing, critical light on the present - considered to be Aldous Huxley’s most enduring masterpiece.

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 harbouring 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…
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060929871, Paperback)

"Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today--let's hope the sterility and absence of individuality he predicted aren't yet to come.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:05 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A fantasy of the future that sheds a blazing critical light on the present--considered to be Aldous Huxley's most enduring masterpiece. Mr. Huxley is eloquent in his declaration of an artist's faith in man, and it is his eloquence, bitter in attack, noble in defense, that, when one has closed the book, one remembers. A Fantastic racy narrative, full of much excellent satire and literary horseplay. It is as sparkling, provocative, as brilliant, in the appropriate sense, as impressive ads the day it was published. This is in part because its prophetic voice has remained surprisingly contemporary, both in its particular forecasts and in its general tone of semiserious alarm. But it is much more because the book succeeds as a work of art. This is surely Huxley's best book.… (more)

» see all 22 descriptions

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