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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World (original 1932; edition 2007)

by Aldous Huxley

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33,16241121 (3.96)873
Title:Brave New World
Authors:Aldous Huxley
Info:Vintage Classics (2007), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Read 2012, Your library

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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)

1001 (119) 20th century (303) British (219) British literature (243) classic (919) classics (616) drugs (126) dystopia (2,020) dystopian (329) English (140) English literature (231) fantasy (122) fiction (3,296) future (301) futuristic (123) Huxley (129) literature (629) novel (531) own (157) politics (131) read (547) satire (142) science fiction (2,724) sf (271) social commentary (126) speculative fiction (110) to-read (359) totalitarianism (187) unread (123) utopia (255)
1930s (2)
  1. 632
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (chrisharpe, zasmine, MinaKelly, li33ieg, haraldo, Ludi_Ling)
    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.
  2. 422
    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. 252
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (MinaKelly)
  4. 140
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (afyfe)
  5. 130
    Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (pyrocow)
  6. 143
    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. 80
    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. 61
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (sanddancer)
  10. 40
    Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (Anonymous user)
  11. 40
    This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (KayCliff)
  12. 40
    The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster (artturnerjr)
    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. 30
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (mcenroeucsb)
  14. 118
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (fundevogel)
  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. 10
    The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley (John_Vaughan)
  17. 10
    Kallocain by Karin Boye (Mouseear)
  18. 10
    Men Like Gods by H. G. Wells (Sylak)
    Sylak: Basically a parody of Wells' own book published seven years earlier.
  19. 10
    Love among the ruins : a romance of the near future by Evelyn Waugh (KayCliff)
  20. 76
    Stranger in a Strange Land (uncut edition) by Robert A. Heinlein (meggyweg)

(see all 34 recommendations)


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» See also 873 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 375 (next | show all)
In a future "utopian" world, babies are bred in laboratories, incubated in jars, and born to a particular station and function. They are conditioned from birth to accept their place and given recreational drugs to make it all ok. Emotion is highly discouraged. Very thought provoking. ( )
  Tina_Ervin | Jun 20, 2014 |
A new world of complete government control from the womb (a bottle in a laboratory) to the grave (incineration to harvest the phosphorous). No individualism, supposedly no strong emotions, drug usage and all. The same premise as Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. I can't interest myself enough in this philosophical new world enough to read on.

Seems to me the author was obsessed with sex. It wearies me, and I can not believe that anything like this world is possible, even though there are some similarities in the media thought control, crowd ethics and individual thought shaming happening right now. After watching Thug Notes on YouTube, I see that the story holds out no hope or change for the characters, and I don't want to read that kind of story now.

The narrator, Michael York, is the only reason I could stand it this far. He is excellent. ( )
  MrsLee | Jun 8, 2014 |
Huxley's Brave New World is almost the exact opposite of Orwell's totalitarian [b:1984|5470|1984|George Orwell|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348990566s/5470.jpg|153313]: people are free to consume and are happy. Yet, that is all they are allowed to be. Orwell feared those who would ban books, Huxley's world is one where there is no reason to ban them for no-one wants to read them.

Brave New World is a world with parallels to our own modern society (mass consumerism, present-tense obsessed culture etc.) and that is why this book is so powerful. It is a world not far removed from our own and the reader is drawn in, simultaneously marvelling at the society's progress but also despairing at its consumerist-driven culture that obliterates history. ( )
3 vote xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
Loved this book! I was surprised at how engaging it was. ( )
  emp_lib | May 19, 2014 |
Written in 1931, Brave New World is set in London of AD 2540 (632 A.F.—"After Ford", as in Henry Ford, the American industrialist) exploring the impacts of reproductive technology/control, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and mental conditioning on the society.

Post WWI, amidst the advent of industrial revolution, and at a time where there is a fear of Americanization in Europe (I think this is still ongoing throughout the world), Huxley had just visited America (San Francisco). He was disgusted with the youth culture, sexual promiscuity, commercial cheerfulness, and the book by Henry Ford “My Life and Work”. Huxley authored “Brave New World”, leveraging Shakespeare’s “Tempest” quotation. It’s truly revolutionary to think how his “disgust” (right or wrong, and heck, if only he saw the ‘60’s version of SF!!) generated this inventive book that is still relevant today and easily for decades to come.

After the “Nine Years War” with death, destruction, and anthrax bombs, the people is willing to give anything for a quiet life. A one sentence summary is trading truth and beauty for happiness and comfort. Out goes democracy, knowledge; in comes caste system, pre-conditioned thoughts and acceptance. The caste system created Alphas, Betas, followed by Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons, the last of which are simply “stupid morons”. Deltas and Epsilons have been genetically split from a single egg creating copies of twins (8, 16, up to 96), while Alphas are always created from a single egg to be the elites of society. Not happy, pop one or more soma pills. Looking old? Never. Perfect balancing maintains youthfulness till the expiration age of 60.

The most difficult emotion to control is always, always love. In Huxley’s BNW, love is removed from accepted life by 1) making all births artificial, thereby eliminating familial love. Being called a father is a joke, while being called a mother is an obscenity. Viviparous is a dirty word. 2) By having a promiscuous society as being the norm, “Everyone belongs to everyone else.” No exclusivity, no monogamy, no loving one person only.

With these heavily-principled books, I have a dislike for the extensive verboseness that inevitably occurs to explain and to philosophize on the principles. Huxley was no different having spent two chapters elaborating his final thoughts, in case you still didn’t get it from the previous 15 chapters. :P

Nothing comes for free. “Happiness has got to be paid for”, said the Controller. There is a price for everything.


On Promiscuity – my eyebrow went up on all these:

Lenina: “Somehow, I hadn’t been feeling very keen on promiscuity lately…”
Fanny: “But one’s got to make the effort…”

Henry: “Lenina Crowne? Oh, she’s a splendid girl. Wonderfully pneumatic. I’m surprised you haven't had her.”
Assistant Pre-destinator: “I can’t think how it is I haven’t. I certainly will. At the first opportunity.”

Lenina: “But he’s the one I want.”
Fanny: “As though there weren’t millions of other men in the world.”
“But I don’t’ want them”
“How can you know till you’ve tried?”
”I have tried.”
“But how many? One, two?”
“Dozens. But it wasn’t any good.”
“Well, you must persevere…”
“…I shall always like him.”
“…why don’t you just go and take him. Whether he wants it or no.”

On Blissful Ignorance – yikes:
“Because our world is not the same as Othello’s world. You can’t make flivvers without steel – and you can’t make tragedies without social instability. The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get. They’re well off; they’re safe; they’re never ill; they’re not afraid of death; they’re blissfully ignorant of passion and old age; they’ve plagued with no mothers or fathers; they’ve got no wives, or children, or lovers to feel strongly about; they’re so conditioned that they practically can’t help behaving as they out to behave. And if anything should go wrong, there’s soma. Which you go and chuck out of the window in the name of liberty, Mr. Savage. Liberty!” He laughed. "Expecting deltas to know what liberty is! And now expecting them to understand Othello! My good boy.”

On Happiness – yikes again:
“Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations 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.”

On God – I found these 7 simple words profound, considering how religion is regularly, conveniently twisted:
John, the Savage: “But God doesn’t change.”
Mustapha Mond, the Controller: “Men do, though.” ( )
1 vote varwenea | May 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 375 (next | show all)
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 (43 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aldous Huxleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bradshaw, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hernández, RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McAfee, MaraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montagu, AshleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orras, I. H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snow, GeorgeCover artistsecondary 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!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:26 -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)

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