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Brave new world by Aldous Huxley
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Brave new world (original 1932; edition 1998)

by Aldous Huxley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
44,48461021 (3.95)1218
Huxley's classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.
Member:violistpm
Title:Brave new world
Authors:Aldous Huxley
Info:New York : HarperCollins, 1998.
Collections:Your library
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Work details

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

  1. 764
    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 him- or herself.… (more)
  2. 511
    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. 282
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (MinaKelly)
  4. 180
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Both are benchmarks for dystopian literature.
  5. 151
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (afyfe)
  6. 130
    Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (pyrocow)
  7. 163
    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.
  8. 60
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (sturlington)
  9. 71
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (sanddancer)
  10. 60
    The Tempest by William Shakespeare (Sylak)
    Sylak: Caliban in The Tempest has many parallels with John the Savage in Brave New World.
  11. 50
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (mcenroeucsb)
  12. 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?).
  13. 40
    This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (KayCliff)
  14. 129
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (fundevogel)
  15. 30
    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.
  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. 30
    Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (Anonymous user)
  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. 21
    Men Like Gods by H. G. Wells (Sylak)
    Sylak: Basically a parody of Wells' own book published seven years earlier.

(see all 40 recommendations)

1930s (3)
Midwest (12)
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Showing 1-5 of 554 (next | show all)
My main thoughts on this book centre on the technology and items that Huxley managed to predict in his book, amazing foresight. However, I didnt find it enjoyable overall, and will not be rushing to read another of his books soon. ( )
  CliveUK | Sep 20, 2020 |
interesting point with soma, society pacified by drugs. the die-hard emphasis on moralism bothered me
  abstroyer | Sep 13, 2020 |
This was a thought-provoking book. I had always heard before I read it that it was about a dystopia of hedonism: a world where everyone is miserable because they have everything they want. I think this is an intended theme, but it goes so much deeper than that. Brave New World is a dystopia of commercialism and conformity.

Everything is for sale and intended to make someone money. Nothing can be enjoyed for its own sake. At one point a hypnotist describes training everyone to hate nature, but to love country sports, so they will pay money to travel into the country and pay money to do stuff there instead of enjoying natural beauty. The horror isn't just upper class ennui, it's having to force every second of your life into somebody's hustle instead of just enjoying yourself.

The same can be said for the abolition of family: you can't just find happiness in your loved ones, you need to pay to take someone on a date if you want companionship. In a way, your life doesn't belong to you: every second of joy must be bought.

Furthermore, the "hypnoconditioning" that is supposed to make everyone content with their lot in life just doesn't work as advertised. One of the main characters, Bernard, is dissatisfied with the approved recreations of his class: something that should be impossible if the hypnoconditioning is really infallible. A elevator operator shows a deep desire to escape his elevator and enjoy the sunlight, and several female characters show a desire for monogamy (which is forbidden). Even a prominent government official expresses nostalgia and grief over the disapearence of his date 20 years ago. If Brave New World is really a society where everyone is unthinkingly content that would be impossible. This is a world which expects rigid conformity, and exiles anyone who doesn't pretend to fit in.

Finally, Brave New World is a eugunicist's dream. I would like to point out one thing: the classes aren't randomly assigned. They break down along racial lines. Epsilons are usually described as "Senegalese" or "negro" , or other terms to show they are black people; and alphas and betas are universally Caucasian. The "savages" are actually American Indians (Zuni). So this isn't just a society where nobody has to think. Your race and circumstances of birth determine your destiny: factory worker or intellectual. And while the upper-class insists that the lower classes don't mind, I think there is textual evidence that this isn't true (the elevator operator wanting to get out of the elevator onto the roof, the mechanics treating Bernard with contempt, Bernard's whole arc, etc.). We spend the entire book from the perspective of upper class white people, and they are miserable with their lives. Why do we take their word for it that hypnoconditioning works any better on the lower classes?

All this to say that Brave New World is a better book than a lot of its fans give it credit for being, and possibly a better book than Huxley knew (because Huxley seems entirely focused on the Noble Savages/books good TV bad angle). ( )
  Rachel_Hultz | Aug 15, 2020 |
Brave New World was probably the first adult book I read. For some reason this book filled with sex and drugs was on the bookshelf in my eighth grade English classroom. Several parts of the book confused me, but overall I thought it was pretty neato.

Fortunately in AP English in senior year, we had to pick between The Handmaid's Tale or Brave New World to read. Since I had read Handmaid's Tale in the last year or so from then, I picked Brave New World. (This was for the best because every single girl with long straight hair taking three AP classes at once was in the Handmaid's Tale group. I do not remember if this was before or after the Hulu show was out.) Not only did I understand it this time, I'm quite certain I was the only one in the Brave New World group who enjoyed it.

For the assignment at the end we had to write a short story about the dystopia and the future of it. This annoyed me as Brave New World is essentially, a perfect dystopia. Most people aren't unhappy, and the few that aren't are shipped out to the islands where they have more freedom. Sure, it's fucked up, but unlike other dystopia of its' caliber, most people do not care. And that's what makes it stand out from the bunch, ( )
  cally-jean | Aug 9, 2020 |
This book was quite confusing to me. It seems to, at various different points, to be for or against consumerism, authoritarianism, communism, and religion. I guess maybe the author wanted the readers to decide the greater evil? I'm not really sure. The first few chapters were terrifying, but then the story just kind of dropped off and didn't go anywhere. ( )
  LynnK. | Aug 4, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 554 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (59 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Huxley, AldousAuthorprimary 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
Rosoman, LeonardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salemme, AttilioCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snow, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Southwick, RobertEditorsecondary 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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Huxley's classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.

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Huxley's bleak future prophesized, in Brave New World was a capitalist civilization, which had been reconstituted through scientific and psychological engineering, a world in which people are genetically designed to be passive and useful to the ruling class. Huxley opens the book by allowing the reader to eavesdrop on the tour of the Fertilizing Room of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning center, where the high tech reproduction takes place. Bernard Marx (one of the characters in the story) seems alone, harboring an ill-defined longing to break free. Satirical and disturbing, Brave New World is set some 600 years into the future. Reproduction is controlled through genetic engineering, and people are bred into a rigid class system. As they mature, they are conditioned to be happy with the roles that society has created for them. Concepts such as family, freedom, love, and culture are considered grotesque.
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