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Brave New World [Paperback]

by Aldous Huxley
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,336 customer reviews)


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Book Description

September 1, 1998 0060929871 978-0060929879
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."
--Saturday Review of Literature

"A Fantastic racy narrative, full of much excellent satire and literary horseplay."
--Forum

"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."
--Martin Green


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Grade 8 Up-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a classic science fiction work that continues to be a significant warning to our society today. Tony Britton, the reader, does an excellent job of portraying clinical detachment as the true nature of the human incubators is revealed. The tone lightens during the vacation to the wilderness and the contrast is even more striking. Each character is given a separate personality by Britton's voices. As the story moves from clinical detachment to the human interest of Bernard, the nonconformist, and John, the "Savage," listeners are drawn more deeply into the plot. Finally, the reasoned tones of the Controller explain away all of John's arguments against the civilization, leading to John's death as he cannot reconcile his beliefs to theirs.The abridgement is very well done, and the overall message of the novel is clearly presented. The advanced vocabulary and complex themes lend themselves to class discussion and further research. There is sure to be demand for this classic in schools and public libraries.
Pat Griffith, Schlow Memorial Library, State College, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060929871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060929879
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,336 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) is the author of the classic novels Island, Eyeless in Gaza, and The Genius and the Goddess, as well as such critically acclaimed nonfiction works as The Devils of Loudun, The Doors of Perception, and The Perennial Philosophy. Born in Surrey, England, and educated at Oxford, he died in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
356 of 382 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Through the eyes of a savage November 8, 2001
Format:Paperback
Aldous Huxley's novel "Brave New World" is both one of the best science fiction books and one of the most brilliant pieces of satire ever written. BNW takes place on a future Earth where human beings are mass-produced and conditioned for lives in a rigid caste system. As the story progresses, we learn some of the disturbing secrets that lie underneath the bright, shiny facade of this highly-ordered world.
Huxley opens the book by allowing the reader to eavesdrop on a tour of the Fertilizing Room of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, where the high-tech reproduction takes place. Into this seemingly advanced civilization is introduced John, a "savage" from a reservation where old human culture still survives. Thus, BNW is also a tale of "culture shock" and conflict.
Huxley creates a compelling blend of bizarre comedy, serious character study, futuristic extrapolation, and philosophical discussion. His writing style is crisp and witty, and cleverly incorporates references to canonical works of literature. Probably the scariest thing about BNW is the fact that, in many ways, humanity seems to be moving closer to Huxley's dystopian vision.
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154 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At what price contentment? June 10, 2003
By ehakus
Format:Paperback
Brave New World is an excellent book and, what's more, one that seems to be becoming more relevant all the time in our fast paced world. And unlike many other books with a similar philosophical orientation, Brave New World is quite refreshing, as Huxley's prose is somehow manages to be clear, elegant and insightful without being overly obvious.
As regards the actual plot, Brave New World is in essence a portrayal of a utopia (or dystopia, depending how you look at it) in which there is constant prosperity, people are always content, as they are well provided for and have been programmed to like their society in all respects. This programming is undertaken by workers in charge of breeding the future citizens of this idyllic world, which is united under one government, under Ford. As everybody has been programmed to like their class and job, everybody is constantly content and has no wish to do anything other than what is required of them. If they happen to become depressed, of course, there is always the mood altering drug Soma.
Through presenting a few individuals who do not exactly fit into this molded world, however, Huxley presents us with a challenging and endlessly interesting question: What can possibly be wrong with a world in which everybody is happy, even if there is no real free will involved in actuality? If we can make ourselves superficially content and never have to suffer a moment of desperation or uncertainty, why not just do that? With the help of William Shakespeare and a young man from a "savage reservation," Huxley explores the alternatives to his invented society's promotion of mindless satisfaction. Should true art and the deep thought and emotion that inspires it be sacrificed to perpetual happiness without thought or deeper feeling?
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556 of 628 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
As critic and best-selling author Neil Postman points out so well in the introduction to his book "Amusing Ourselves To Death", we have congratulated ourselves prematurely by figuring we made it past the totalitarian nightmare state depicted in George Orwell's gripping cautionary tale "1984". Perhaps, Postman suggests, we should remember another visionary totalitarian nightmare scenario and use it to critically examine the contemporary state of social and psychological well-being. Of course he was referring to Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World, written before Orwell's by 15 or so years, and even more frightening in its own way in the world it describes. More and more, that frightening vision looks like our contemporary world.

Picture his ironic portrait of a populace doped into Nirvana on "soma" (read Prozac and Zoloft), isolated and diverted by petty preoccupations in mindless trivial pursuits (read video games and internet surfing to all the porno sites), oblivious to anything not directly pertaining to themselves and totally unaware of the degree to which they are being socially, economically, and politically co-opted. Beginning to sound more familiar? Remember, says Huxley, brute force is not the only method an oligarchy can use to influence, manage, and finally control our hard-won freedoms and liberties; it can be done with over-indulgence and the deliberate fertilization and promulgation of apathy through self-absorption, as well.
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73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I've put off reviewing Brave New World, as I thought I wouldn't be able to give an unbiased review. But, after re-reading the book for the tenth time (or so), I decided to give it a shot. Brave New World is the most important science fiction novel ever written. Not necessarily the best, not necessarily the best-written, but the most important. It is very good and very well written, but those are subjective points open to debate.
Brave New World, published some ten years before Orwell's more popular, anti-Communist 1984, imagines a world where people are conditioned from the moment of their birth to be part of an economic and intelligence-based caste, where the media exists for the sole purpose of distracting people from the humdrum of their lives and news is created as sensationalist entertainment, where different thinking is treated with social ostracization or drugs or both, and where the rule of the entire society is maximizing consumption of material goods. In short, not unlike the world today, and America in particular.
BNW (the society outlined in the book) is a Capitalist and Freudian Hell, where people are manipulated to buy things they don't need and conditioned to be perfect molds for that manipulation. The book follows three main characters: Helmholtz, a reporter who realizes the truth about BNW, Bernard Marx, a man who ultimately succumbs to the ostracizing criticism of his so-called "friends," and John Savage, an outsider who grew up with books and without the benefit of BNW's conditioning. All three eventually come to the same conclusions about BNW: that it is a society based on dictatorship-like control for the sole purpose of increasing consumer-base for a large, unnamed corporation-government.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Look around you....it is happening.
This book was written in 1931. Most of the technology in this book was either very new or just prophecy when he wrote it. Some folks say he missed the internet. I disagree. Read more
Published 15 hours ago by Steven C Hawkins
5.0 out of 5 stars How prophetic!
Prophecy?

I first read BNW in 1966 during spring of my college freshman year. I enjoyed the book and assumed it was merely imaginative science fiction. Read more
Published 16 hours ago by Chris Gregory
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Brave New World is very interesting, yet very astounding. It takes place in a futuristic society that completely contradicts society today. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Teddy LaBarca
5.0 out of 5 stars strange and fascinating
A good book, telling how science can change the world for better or worst. Aldous Huxley is a great writter with many talents which are shown throughout this book.
Published 2 days ago by chris cundy
3.0 out of 5 stars Padded Introduction...
Overall, I enjoyed this book and it was a quick read. This book does make you think about our current society and a near Godless world. Read more
Published 2 days ago by His-4-Ever
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Futuristic Novel
I enjoyed this novel more than 1984, though they encompass many similar ideas. In 1984 people are forced to be compliant with the establishment, but in Brave New World they choose... Read more
Published 7 days ago by pen_pal
5.0 out of 5 stars His father and Denver
What is truly the Austrian economics of Lucerne and Denver Broncos. The state's attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Denver post on my blog. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Timothy L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Look at Society today and think
While the first small part of book confused me when going quickly from person to person it all came into understanding quickly. Read more
Published 9 days ago by george butler
4.0 out of 5 stars an awakening read
Reading Brave New World is a bit like looking down your own throat; chilling but you want to keep going. Read more
Published 9 days ago by melody
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating
Reading both this and 1984 give a great insight into thinking as to what the future holds as seen from the mid 1900's. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Brian Lynne
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May 12, 2009 by M. Johnson |  See all 4 posts
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i'm hoping to rediscover a book i'm thinking about, but can't recall the title or author. maybe someone here can help.

i thought i was thinking of either Orwell's 1984 or Huxley's Brave New World, but current re-reads of both show that not to be the case.

what i recall from the book i'm... Read more
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