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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World (original 1932; edition 1972)

by Aldous Huxley

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36,91449617 (3.96)1040
Title:Brave New World
Authors:Aldous Huxley
Info:Penguin Books (1972), Edition: Penguin Modern Classics, Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)

  1. 712
    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. 472
    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. 100
    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. 30
    Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (Anonymous user)
  15. 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«.
  16. 118
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (fundevogel)
  17. 86
    Stranger in a Strange Land (Uncut Edition) by Robert A. Heinlein (meggyweg)
  18. 10
    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.
  19. 10
    Kallocain by Karin Boye (Mouseear)
  20. 10
    Love Among the Ruins by Evelyn Waugh (KayCliff)

(see all 39 recommendations)

1930s (2)

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» See also 1040 mentions

English (453)  Spanish (16)  French (7)  German (6)  Dutch (4)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (496)
Showing 1-5 of 453 (next | show all)
Theme: a society with genetic engineering, communal polygamy, no pain
Type: political science fiction , futuristic
Value: 1-
Age: mar
Interest: 1-
Objectionable: swearing, sexual overtones, sexual details (108-9)
  keithhamblen | Sep 29, 2016 |
He was a genius. that is all I can say. ( )
  avalinah | Sep 11, 2016 |
I thought I should read this having recently finished 1984. This book was not particularly well written or easy to read. The first few chapters were especially confusing.

It is sometime in the future and the world is a very different place. Babies are being manufactured in laboratories staffed by ever youthful adults who were also grown in labs. Deformities and disabilities have been eliminated. Individuality in appearance, thought and speech no longer exists within the civilised communities. Everyone has been conditioned from birth to think the same thoughts and behave in the same manner as everyone else. They are conditioned to make mass purchases of products to ensure consumerism ticks over. Everything they could wish for is on tap including sex with anyone they choose. There are no individual relationships and feelings are largely absent being seen as a weakness.

Bernard is not quite the same as everyone else, he feels uncomfortable and that there must be more to life than conditioning and duplicated experiences. He stumbles into uncivilised areas full of savages in his search for humanity. The savages seem to be remarkably similar to the human race as we know it. What will Bernard make of the fascinating horror that he has discovered and what will he do with his knowledge?

For some reason I found this book more chilling than 1984. The ideas were just a little too close to home to make enjoyable reading. Governments and those that think they know best are progressively conditioning the human race to think, act and speak alike through political correctness. They are eliminating all uncomfortable topics and subjects. People are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. They seek things for themselves at the expense of others. That is what happens when people abandon God and He eventually leaves them to their own devices. Brave New World may not be as far off as we think.....

For Christians, however, we can take comfort in knowing that all things are in God's hands and under His control. That nothing can happen without His allowing it and that one day Jesus will return and this earth will pass away.

Brave New World may make readers think. But it has a lot of sexual content some of which is quite graphic although not explicit. There is the odd swear word and some violence. For those reasons I wouldn't recommend it for sensitive readers. ( )
  sparkleandchico | Aug 31, 2016 |
i was thinking this was a pretty good book (in spite of the hitting me over the head with a hammer sort of thing he has going on) until he wrapped god into it in the end. i thought so much of his moralistic point was about truth and beauty and art and freedom, but (maybe i'm just annoyed with the ending of the lecture portion - i'm also not usually a fan of being lectured to in fiction - and the ending of the book itself) it seemed to end up being all about god and how god is needed to create a society of decent people. the arguments were weak and i found it really disappointing. and after thinking about it, i thought it was more an anti-sex morality than pro-art. although he certainly is pro-free thinking. still, i disliked the end so much that i'm left feeling kind of negative about it even though i liked the book for the first 4/5 or so.

i'll also admit that, in spite of how reprehensible hypnopaedia is, that i found myself at first thinking - maybe i can do that with my son to make sure he's compassionate and generous. i know that's reprehensible, too, but for a few beats there it seemed worth it.

i do wonder if being familiar with shakespeare's the tempest would make this read differently, since the title and many quotes throughout the book are from there. othello, too, and romeo and juliet and probably others i didn't catch the allusion to.

i think this book is best paired with 1984 and this, from the introduction, shows some of the reason:
"A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude."

"'...that is the secret of happiness and virtue - liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.'"

"'Words can be like X-rays, if you use them properly - they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced.'"

"'...you can't make tragedies without social instability.'"

"'Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.'"

and why this book might also pair nicely with the handmaid's tale:
"'People were ready to have even their appetites controlled then. Anything for a quiet life. We've gone on controlling ever since. It hasn't been very good for truth, of course. But it's been very good for happiness. One can't have something for nothing. Happiness has got to be paid for.'"

interesting ideas, great premise, pretty good execution, ending that half-ruins it all for me.

2.5 stars

from feb 2011: what does it say that there is nothing really surprising in here? (2 stars) ( )
  elisa.saphier | Aug 30, 2016 |
I read this work given its status as a "must read" 20th century novel. The social commentary on utilitarianism gone too far is interesting- more so the many examples created in this futuristic dystopian world, e.g., mass produced drugs to keep all the population happy, brainwashing, synthetic reproduction of classes of persons specifically geared for their best and highest use. The contrast of the "modern world" with those from the "old world" now restricted to reservations was also appealing.

However, I found the writing style choppy and disjointed and generally mediocre. In addition, the author's dialogue at the book's end between an "old world" and "new world' representative was a lazy way to compare and contrast the differing ideologies. ( )
  la2bkk | Aug 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 453 (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".
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
It has remained for Aldous Huxley to build the Utopia to end Utopias-or such Utopias as go to mechanics for their inspiration, at any rate. He has satirized the imminent spiritual trustification of mankind, and has made rowdy and impertinent sport of the World State whose motto shall be Community, Identity, Stability.

» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Huxley, Aldousprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Huxley, Aldousmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Atwood, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binger, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradshaw, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brochmann, GeorgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hernández, RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heuvelmans, TonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McAfee, MaraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mok, MauritsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montagu, AshleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orras, I. H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snow, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szentmihályi Szabó, PéterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
York, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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)
First words
A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories.
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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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)

(summary from another edition)

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