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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World (original 1932; edition 1998)

by Aldous Huxley

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35,24446017 (3.96)990
Title:Brave New World
Authors:Aldous Huxley
Info:Harper Perennial Modern Classics (1998), Paperback, 268 pages
Collections:Your library

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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)

  1. 672
    1984 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. 442
    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. 150
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (afyfe)
  5. 131
    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. 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. 61
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (sanddancer)
  10. 50
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (mcenroeucsb)
  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. 118
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (fundevogel)
  14. 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«.
  15. 30
    Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (Anonymous user)
  16. 20
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (sturlington)
  17. 10
    The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley (John_Vaughan)
  18. 10
    Love Among the Ruins by Evelyn Waugh (KayCliff)
  19. 76
    Stranger in a Strange Land (uncut edition) by Robert A. Heinlein (meggyweg)
  20. 10
    Kallocain by Karin Boye (Mouseear)

(see all 37 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 417 (next | show all)
As a novel, poor. As social prophecy, meh. ( )
  middlemarchhare | Nov 25, 2015 |
This book is interesting enough to not need a plot or characters, so far. The world-building is positively fascinating.
Update: And then they added plot and characters and it went downhill. *sad* ( )
  benuathanasia | Nov 9, 2015 |
A Brave New World is a futuristic, dystopian novel; with many others like it. This novel is bizarre and far fetched. The dystopia is unrealistic. It is insulting that Huxley would even consider the human race capable of creating a world as described in the novel. The novel focus on the most on the bizarre, irrelevant characteristics of the society. The novel fails to develop an interesting plot. I was left bored and disturbed after reading A Brave New World. I would not recommend reading it. ( )
  CaitlinHooks | Nov 6, 2015 |
Why Brave New World?

Isaac Asimov once said, “Any book worth banning is a book worth reading.” First published in 1932, Brave New World has a long history of being banned. Brave New World depicts a totalitarian and somber future where the world has been taken over by a few and transgressions and disobedience has no space. However, the fundamental question the book raises is who decides the virtue and qualities of this new utopian world.

Prophetic, prescient and apocalyptic, Brave New World is all the more relevant in the present times where humanity is lulled and subdued into false sense of security and passive obedience by means of consumerism, utilitarianism, indulgence and pleasure.

To begin with, Brave New World is a portrait of dystopian world set in London in A.F. 632, that is, 632 years after Henry Ford first produced the Model T. In contrast to the 19th century which was full of hope and stability, the 20th century especially the latter half saw great upheavals in form of the First World War, the Second World War along with the advancement in modern technology, means of communication, nuclear technology and thus, a feeling of stability gave way to uncertainty, confusion, doubt, anxiety and above all, instability. A world as known is changing, traditional morality is questioned and debunked and this turmoil is also reflected in literature of the period. Whereas, the 18th and 19th century produced the variations of utopia in Swift’s society of Houyhnhnms, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, The War of the World; the 20th century saw some great works of dystopia or anti-utopia such as Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World and the like.

Huxley’s Futuristic Vision

Huxley’s vision of future is bleak, dark and grim as opposed to the exuberance and idealism reflected in Wells’ works. Often cited as a satire of Wells’ vision, Brave New World depicts a totalitarian world whose motto is “COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY”. A society where homogeneity and stability is achieved and maintained through genetic engineering, endless conditioning, mindless consumption, defined social roles, mind altering drugs et cetera. A society which is engineered around a strict division of castes, Alphas, the most intelligent beings, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons; where everybody has a predestined social role; where babies are hatched in a bottle instead of being born and citizens are conditioned into servility and compliance, material consumption, promiscuity, debauchery and sexual orgies through hypnopaedia or sleep-teaching and drug like ‘soma’ is dispersed by the government to maintain the illusion of happiness and stability.

In the very opening scene, the readers’ are plunged into the world which puts emphasis on control and happiness engineered by control and conditioning. The world where progress is achieved through Bokanovsky’s Process, “One egg, one embryo, one adult – normality. But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress”. Social stability, the motto underlying every action is achieved through Bokanovsky’s Process, “Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The whole of a small factory staffed with the products of a single bokanovskified egg. Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines.” The society which places reliance upon homogeneity, identity and similitude and where difference or heterogeneity is perceived as a threat to stability and hence, every caste is predestined and preconditioned in the Hatchery itself, “We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage works or future…” As happiness is the ultimate virtue, emotions are contemplated as a menace to stability, relationships among the members of the family group is labelled as obscene and thus, words like mother, father are expunged from the memory of the community as a whole, “The world was full of fathers – was therefore full of misery; full of mothers – therefore of every kind of perversion from sadism to chastity; full of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts – full of madness and suicide”, “…nobody had ever heard of a father.” As “everyone belongs to everyone else”, children are encouraged to involve in hedonism and erotic play and monogamy is seen as an evil.

Is civilization better than savagery?

Although no effort is spared to program the individuals into servility, everything is not well. Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson, Alpha Plus males’ starts nurturing transgressive tendencies. Bernard, small and ugly pines for something more than a cell in the social body, for freedom, “…I want to know what passion is… I want to feel something strongly.” On the periphery of this so called utopian and civilized world still exists the old world where babies are not hatched but born, where illnesses and diseases have not been eliminated, where human body does not retain the youth forever, where emotions run deep, where marriages still take place, “nobody’s supposed to belong to more than one person” and death of the dear one is mourned. Bernard brings back John, the savage from this world into civilization; who unable to grasp the futility of such existence adorns the role of the savior. Probing the virtues of such existence, he bellows,

“’But 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 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…’”

Self-exiling himself to a deserted island, John is yet again discovered by the society and his acts of atonement ultimately becomes an act of entertainment for others. In a new Foreword to Brave New World written in 1946, Huxley stated that “If I were now to rewrite the book, I would offer the Savage a third alternative. Between the utopian and the primitive horns of his dilemma would lie the possibility of sanity…” As prophesied by Huxley, this brave new world is already upon us. With this masterpiece set in future, Huxley shocks the readers out of their false sense of security, reveals the nightmares that the near future holds for us.

Brave New World has been classified as a classic for a reason and despite some structural weaknesses and flaws which perturbs the reader for a little while, the book is a must, must read. ( )
  ishaaggarwal21 | Oct 23, 2015 |
I've had this book on my TBR for about 4 or 5 years now and I'm so glad I was finally able to pick it up. It was absolutely everything I thought it was going to be. I was so engrossed and literally couldn't put it down. Mindblowingly fantastic (in my opinion anyways).

Brave New World is about a society that is completely controlled from before birth and all the way through their lives with conditioning and scientific influence. All babies are born from test tubes and are "conditioned" (raised) in centres that assure that they will be perfect adults that fit into society absolutely. This is achieved through pre-determining their rank and how they will be conditioned such as are they going to be scientists or factory workers. They are then subjected to conditioning that moulds everyone to believe that they are living the perfect life. In my opinion this entire concept is what makes the book mind blowing because it is totalitarian to the point of dsytopian.

The portrayal of sex in the novel is another key point throughout this novel and I thought it was executed brilliantly. Sex is viewed differently from our perceptions; practically everyone just has sex and it is a form of entertainment. They start from an early age and no one marries or falls in love. They just have sex with someone a couple times then move onto the next one. This was so interesting to watch to play through.

Also the use of Soma (a drug that induces euphoria and in heavier doses, deep sleep periods called soma holidays) was incredibly well done. The citizens of this controlled world rely on the drug to get on with day to day life. It's controlled addiction.

The characters themselves didn't seem to be used as main plot points, except for John, the Savage, who is the contrast in the book, who attempts to prove that liberty and the happiness/pain that goes with it is superior to this controlled and conditioned civilisation. John serves as the reader's opinion on the aspects of the controlled environment because it is in our nature to view this sort of culture as disturbing and horrifying.

This book really brings about some important philosophical and ethical questions about whether it is right or wrong to condition (passively control) everyone to adapt to a set of ideals that brings about general happiness for everyone. It takes away our born right of freedom and liberality and forces us to be happy. What is the difference between forcing someone to be happy or sad when in the end you're still forcing someone to do something or think a certain way, when they have no actual choice? This book definitely induces these types of philosophical ponders.

Absolutely amazing premise and execution. Would recommend to pretty much everyone who doesn't mind a small amount of mind-fuckery.

[RE-READ 13th September 2015] Feel pretty much the same about this book. It's awesome.
( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 417 (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
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".
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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)

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