I am delighted to share my review today for an old classic. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was written in 1931 and published in 1932. A book that I have wanted to read for years but actually managed to pick up and read at the beginning of December last Year.
Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story’s protagonist.
This is a book that I have been wanting to read for years but never got to it. I finally decided to give it a go. I was only aware of the basics of this book and I hadn’t read any other reviews about it.
What I discovered is quite a bizarre story that became quite addictive. It does have a strong literary fiction feel to it. At times the writing is poetic, at others disjointed and overall a story that gradually got under my skin.
The world that Huxley has created is one where people are expected to be happy, they are brainwashed into feeling this. There is no mother, father or in fact any type of family connection. Each person has been produced in a test tube and altered at a genetic level to become what is required for Huxley’s world to function. There is a layered social system where people are born to be what they are engineered to be, so someone with a lowly job will be content with that job. They don’t aspire to be anything more than what they are supposed to be.
Creating this world, the author then throws an anomaly in the system, this is something that shows that even with the use of technology there will be a time when nature intervenes, or it may be a simple human mistake. Either way, this is where the characters that start to question the system have a more important role.
In the second half of the book, there is a move from the system to that of the outside world, this is more what we know today. Parents, relationships and unique traits and characteristics. This for me is where the story then takes an even more addictive turn. The comparisons built up between those in the system and those out of it are great. By the end of the book, I found I was very interested in some of the characters. The ending, well that was a shock!
This is a fabulous book to read, and I did struggle to find the flow at the beginning. I did read it in two sittings. The first sitting was a bit wobbly and at 33% I decided to have a break, this turned out to be a great time to pause and then come back to it the following night. I then found myself unable to put this book down and finished it.
This is a book that has loads of reviews, has loads of opinions and there are probably theories and it will have been analysed in every aspect. I read for the pleasure of it, so for me, this book was one that intrigued me. It did feel disjointed, to begin with, but it grew on me. I enjoyed this and I am very glad that I have read this book.
For a book that was written in 1931 and published in 1932, it has some brilliant imagination and foresight into a possible future. A world where people are engineered to fit into a hierarchical society. It is a very good book and it is one I would happily recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This most prominent member of the famous Huxley family of England spent part of his life from 1937 in Los Angeles in the United States until his death. Best known for his novels and wide-ranging output of essays, he also published short stories, poetry, travel writing, and film stories and scripts. Through novels and essays, Huxley functioned as an examiner and sometimes critic of social mores, norms and ideals. Spiritual subjects, such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism, interested Huxley, a humanist, towards the end of his life. People widely acknowledged him as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time before the end of his life.
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