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Brave New World Hardcover – 18 January 2018
Mass Market Paperback, Import
Audio, Cassette, Audiobook, Unabridged, Import
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Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone in feeling discontent, 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...
Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.
It is impossible to read Brave New World without being impressed by Huxley's eerie glimpses into the present ― New Statesman
The 20th century could be seen as a race between two versions of man-made hell - the jackbooted state totalitarianism of Orwell's Nineteen Eight-Four, and the hedonistic ersatz paradise of Brave New World, where absolutely everything is a consumer good and human beings are engineered to be happy -- Margaret Atwood
Aldous Huxley was uncannily prophetic, a more astute guide to the future than any other 20th century novelist ... Nineteen Eighty-Four has never really arrived, but Brave New World is around us everywhere -- J G Ballard
A brilliant tour de force, Brave New World may be read as a grave warning of the pitfalls that await uncontrolled scientific advance. Full of barbed wit and malice-spiked frankness. Provoking, stimulating, shocking and dazzling ― Observer
About the Author
- Publisher : Vintage Classics (18 January 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1784874167
- ISBN-13 : 978-1784874162
- Reading age : Baby and up
- Item Weight : 377 g
- Dimensions : 14.4 x 2.7 x 22.2 cm
- Generic Name : BOOK
- Best Sellers Rank: #170,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from India
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A decanted embryo is raised according to the caste it is predestined to born into. Alphas are breeded to be intellectuals and have excellent physical and mental conditioning whereas epsilons are conditioned to have stunted growth and low IQ so as to perform menial jobs. Once a child is born from the embryo , it is made to undergo a training program wherein it's reactions to various stimuli is engineered depending upon its caste and future job role. The juveniles are exposed to hypnopaedic learning or sleep teaching and also encouraged to perform erotic play to encourage promiscuity.
In the world state, there is no concept of religion, family or marriage. Women are born freemartins and don't give birth. All the residents are non- chastate and are promiscuous ("Everyone belongs to everyone else"). The world is depicted as technologically advanced where everyone commutes in a helicopter and residents are secure from all diseases and worries. They are kept in a false state of happiness with sex, drugs and music.
The residents of the world are conditioned not to question their existence or have an opinion on things. There are no history books or literature available to them. 'Soma' is a magical drug which removes their worries, anger and frustration and calms them. The drug is rationed to all the residents and they all are shown as its slave. The world depicted in the story shows no struggle for the residents and all of them are kept in a false state of happiness. Terms like vibro vacuum massage, sec hormone chewing gum and feelies ( movies where you feel all sensations) are a part of the false utopian world of the residents.
Other than the residents of the state world, there also exists 'savage' reservations. There is no specific protagonist in the story. There are various characters like Bernard Marx, Lenina, Helmholtz, John (savage), Linda ,Mustafa Mond etc. The story takes Bernard and Lenina to a savage reservation in Mexico where they meet John and Linda and bring them along to their world in London. The rest of the novel involves the Savage's point of view and his feeling with respect to the so called utopian world. The story with a few turn of events change the Savage's perception of the world completely.
The book is an excellent read. This book is equally good if not better than Orwell's 1984. Highly recommended.
"what do we want to want?", "what do humans want to become when we can achieve anything through technology?", "what is happiness to humans, is it the pleasure after suffering or can it be resolved with tweaking your brain!".
The book gets a little boring midway because of the writing but it picks up after that, so don't drop it.
That is all I can say without spoiling anything.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 August 2020
I accept that the frame of reference from Huxley's era was very different to ours, sadly it doesn't translate very well to this story at all.
The thing about 1984 is the prophetic way in that it describes the 'future', our present day. Orwell's writing style is relaxing to read and allows you to become absorbed in the world that he expertly crafts.
Brave New World does none of this, it is an awkward, difficult read. Not in a fun, challenging way but in a structureless and clumsy manner. It's repeated returns to 'toddler's erotic play' are revealing more of the author's own obsession than a narrative on his predicition of the future.
The main characters are not given any flesh, and I was unable to find any common ground with any of them, and found myself unable to understand any of their, apparently, randomly changing motivations.
This text has very strong undertones of religious zealotry and tries to persuade the reader in favour of religion over all. Further, the constant copy-and-paste paragraphs from Shakespeare became tiresome.
Very disappointed in this book, I persevered in the hope of a satisfactory ending but found it to be rushed, confusing and ridiculous.
If you're looking for a classic that provides a 'prophecy of the future', read 1984 instead, don't bother with Brave New World, you'll only leave disappointed.
And also no art, no literature or true creation of any kind. No gods or spirituality, no adventure or surprises or passion of any kind, ever. No parents or families or friends or intimacy. No scientific advancement. No private thoughts. Everyone is for everyone else. Your time must be shared. You can never experience solitude and reflection. You can never have autonomy. Your words are not your own. Your body is not inviolate. If you are not like this you are shipped off to an island with the few other defective members of society who are like you. Whether that is lucky or unlucky is a matter of perspective.
Effing frightening stuff if ever I heard it. I loved this book more after I finished than when I was reading, because the challenge wasn't in accepting the world the characters inhabited, as it was really easy to digest because of its intentional tone (extraordinarily light, as if you're on a drug inducing you to be that way the entire time, hint hint), but accepting the world around me as being frighteningly familiar to it in some unsettling ways. It deosn't wholly reflect the world right now, but when it does it is in big ways. Though short it feeds enough into the psyche about our society as a whole, how we need suffering for heroism, mutual passion for love, pain and rejection for inspiration, and loss to understand the value of life - without these things creativity and progression are impossible. In Brave New World they are unwanted. Even sitting here now I'm remembering things that have so much more meaning after digesting than they did at the time. I suppose that's a good sign, being able to think...
Having been released in the 40s (and so forgiveness must be given for some more outdated things in it), I'm sure it was a frightening vision of the future like its fellow 1984. Nowadays, maybe it doesn't always get the same reception because we're slipping into a distracted world and are conditioned to not see it coming...even like it... There are so any things I could write now the layers are springing up, but I would probably write an essay. Or a book. It'd probably be something very much like this one.
As an added bonus, there was was also that moment I realised the film Demolition Man was clearly inspired by this book. That was a revelation.
Like 1984, this book shows you into a world where society works very differently. But this book mostly avoids pushing a moral judgement on the reader, leaving you to make up your own mind. And that can be tricky, as some of the aspects of the brave new world are appealing and others are revolting. Which is which will depend on the reader, so it's a great book for discussions!