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Brave New World Audiobook

Brave New World [Audiobook]

When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

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Publisher's Summary

When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

On the 75th anniversary of its publication, this outstanding work of literature is more crucial and relevant today than ever before. Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

©1932 Aldous Huxley; ©1998 BBC Audiobooks America; (P)2003 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

"British actor Michael York's refined and dramatic reading captures both the tone and the spirit of Huxley's masterpiece." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (4687 )
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4.1 (3729 )
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Performance
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  •  
    João 12-31-14
    João 12-31-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic!"

    Great book, especially when you consider it was published in the 30s. Decades ahead of its time. The performance was great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    smarmer Los Angeles, CA USA 11-13-14
    smarmer Los Angeles, CA USA 11-13-14 Member Since 2011

    smarmer

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    "A true dystopian classic"
    Any additional comments?

    Michael York does a superb job reading this story.

    I listened to this after a binge on dystopian novels, starting with Fahrenheit 451, Darkness at Noon, 1984, and Brave New World. Of course I had read all of them back in high school, but each one came alive again decades later.

    Those who have a dark view of the direction of civilization at this time would be well served to read all four of these classics. Each one presages a different part of the slide into a potential new Dark Ages.

    For example, 1984 is a version of the esoteric negative side that can be found in Plato's Republic. Brave New World also partakes of aspects of The Republic, together with Huxley's prescient vision of the impending ability to control the genome and the mind via new frontiers in the neurosciences.

    In some ways Huxley is more optimistic than Orwell. Huxley's hero refuses to surrender and though he can no longer live in the Brave New World, he never capitulates. Poor Winston Smith, Orwell's hero, ends a broken shell of himself.

    I highly recommend all four of these to anyone who read them in their youth. They are urgently needed to be heard with adult ears.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn 10-11-14
    Marilyn 10-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Irritating narration and not much of a story"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I can't imagine anyuone enjoying listening to this book. The story itself had too many "holes" and inconsistencies. If all urges were satisfied then what happens when individuals want different things. Seems like crime would be rampant. The whole thing just didn't make sense to me. And the narration was just plain irritating.


    Has Brave New World turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, but I won't be reading any more Aldous Huxley or listening to Michael York.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Particulalry annoying, were the various English and Irish accents attributed to the charactors. If all babies were raised and trained by the state they would not grow up speaking with different accents. There was so much whining and screaming and yowling going on in the narration of this book It made it hard to take an interest in any of the charactors.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Brave New World?

    If I had been the editor the whole thing would have ended up on the floor. Not much there to work with.


    Any additional comments?

    This book just didn't appeal to me at all and the narration just made it worse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 09-11-14
    Ryan 09-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Clever concept, mediocre story, bad ending"
    What could Aldous Huxley have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The premise was interesting. His description of the society and how it functioned was original and clever. The story was just so-so, and it really didn't draw me in. I didn't really care about the characters either. I couldn't relate to the "civilized" characters, who had been conditioned from birth to live in that society, simply because their values were so skewed. I also couldn't relate to the "savage" John, who was supposed to be more like a modern day person, but his decisions and beliefs were just a little too annoying at times. His character made sense based on his background, but I grew tired of him.


    Which character – as performed by Michael York – was your favorite?

    Narrated by Logan 5. Fitting considering the material.

    Michael York does an outstanding job with the narration.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Brave New World?

    The last chapter didn't fit the rest of the book. John can't fit into society, so he is allowed to go off and live on his own in the wilderness. He is eventually discovered and, while flogging himself in repentance, he is filmed by a reporter. The footage is turned into a movie and distributed widely, where it had an adverse effect on the population. Based on the society that 17 of the 18 chapters of the book built up, there is no way that this would have happened. It would have been censored. I found this really annoying, to read through a book, only to have something this lame thrown in at the end.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the descriptions of the helicopters in the book rather interesting, considering the year the book was written. The references to Henry Ford as their deity were amusing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ChaseNutley26 09-07-14
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    "All-time Great -- A Masterpiece"
    Any additional comments?

    There's a reason why this book lands on so many "Best Ever" lists. "Brave New World" basically wrote the book on how to craft a dystopian novel. Huxley brings the satire (Oh, Ford, does he ever!) and layers it underneath a complex message relayed by well-drawn characters. The book contains a ton of themes and ideas that have become archetypes for the genre, and Huxley's influence can still be felt all the way from George Orwell to Philip K. Dick to Suzanne Collins.

    Huxley's book is wonderfully prescient -- people being slaves to their televisions, taking drugs to induce happiness, etc. And even in cases where his visions have proved a bit wide of the mark, they still plant the seed of fear that his world isn't very much different from the one we live in today.

    Michael York does an admirable job with a difficult narrative. Some of the montage chapters are a bit tough to understand in the beginning, but once you realize that viewpoints are shifting it's easier to appreciate how great of a job York does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan 09-06-14
    Nathan 09-06-14
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    5
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    "terrible and boring"
    Would you try another book from Aldous Huxley and/or Michael York?

    not if it is anything like this one


    Would you ever listen to anything by Aldous Huxley again?

    no


    What didn’t you like about Michael York’s performance?

    the stupid accent


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    none that I could see i couldn't get through chapter 3


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 09-04-14
    George 09-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really?"

    I know that this is a classic sci-fi and that nobody will care that I had to plod through it. I listened to a British version and it was dopey. I began to feel like I was listening to a Shirley Temple movie. Especially heinous was the brit accent on the New Mexican pueblo indian..."bay-ah" for "bear," e.g. I could see the New Mexico impact on his book as he must have spent some time here before the book was published in 1931. As for the predictions, I can begin to see them coming, but who would want to live in an environment like that?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck21623 Simi Valley, CA, United States 08-29-14
    Chuck21623 Simi Valley, CA, United States 08-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Outstanding...well worth your consideration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Brave New World to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely...Michael York's narration and characterizations take this book over the top!


    What about Michael York’s performance did you like?

    He is a talented actor who delivers a compelling performance. I listened to this book straight through.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a must listen for those of us who HAD to read it in high school and found it disappointing. This audio version brings out the humor, the cleverness and the pathos that we missed as teenagers. I can't say enough about Michael York's rendition.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry L. Verwey Hobart, IN 07-24-14
    Sherry L. Verwey Hobart, IN 07-24-14 Member Since 2014

    Gypsysoul_

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A classic for past times"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This book is a classic in dystopia storylines, but I think I should have read it when I was younger. Maybe I'm too jaded, or just this type of universe is no longer shocking to me, but it didn't have the impact I was expecting.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The part that I loved learning about was the way in which babies were programmed and the efforts in defining class was executed. I really enjoyed it, and wanted to know more of how they were brought up. Least interesting: the trip to New Mexico sanctuary. Too much description and not enough story.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Michael York's female voices were awful, sorry Mr. York. Otherwise his performance was enjoyable.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Absolutely, and it should be. I think that it would translate very well, and the lengthy descriptions that distracted from the storyline could be easily summarized by a skilled director in a few camera shots.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Algonquin, IL, United States 06-20-14
    John Algonquin, IL, United States 06-20-14 Member Since 2011

    Any fool can know something the point is to understand!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If I profane with my unworthiest hand"

    Wonderfully read and a great story. Is freedom of want and pain really freedom or a trap. ""All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects." If you could take a drug induced holiday and forget any worries you had would you? Is freedom the freedom to suffer? Great questions and a good story to review them with an ending befitting better science fiction!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    3/11/09
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Bleak and excellent. An interesting thought experiment. As opposed to Orwell's "1984", in which a totalitarian government rules by fear and brutality, the Brave New World leaders remain in power by enslaving their population to unbounded, self-indulgent pleasures. All humanity is lost when grief, pain and suffering are eradicated, and the book cleverly introduces a 'savage' from an 'old world' reserve who understands the loss that the new world has undergone. Despite it's cautionary tone (that seems to be more relevant in this day and age than when it was written) I couldn't help feeling I could do with just a little bit of unbounded, self-indulgent pleasure. Huxley would turn in his grave!! Clear sound and excellently narrated.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • George
    Harrogate, United Kingdom
    8/6/11
    Overall
    "Marred by narration"

    Great book, no doubting that, but I'm half way through and had to break to come on here and say I can't STAND Michael York's narration. Really after 20 audiobooks or more from Audible this is the first time it's happened, and it's particularly surprising given he's such a well known actor, but absolutely every moment of his performance is over-egged. It's Jackonory story-telling, subtle as a brick and prone to spasms of indulgent and frankly frightening wailing and crying. And the accents, entirely his contribution from what I gather, are atrocious. I'm probably in the minority given other reviews here, but give the sample a go and try before you buy, that's my advice!

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Cross Stitcher
    NR. HALESWORTH,, United Kingdom
    8/4/09
    Overall
    "Sublime"

    I have never posted a review before, as I have never felt strongly enough, in either direction, to want to make a public comment on something - until now. It is more years than I care to remember since I last read Brave New World, and what a delight to listen to Michael York as the narrator. For anyone who thinks that they 'ought to' read this book, then this is the perfect way to do it; and anyone who wants to revisit this timeless classic, then you are in for a sublime 8 hours. If only all audio books were of this standard.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Nick
    kings lynn, norfolk, United Kingdom
    4/23/08
    Overall
    "Better than a gram of soma...."

    Superb. An absolute classic! This thought provoking tale of social engineering is made even more accessible by the masterly narration of Micheal York. Sheer auditory pleasure!

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Sean
    southampton, hampshire, United Kingdom
    7/6/10
    Overall
    "Interesing characters and ideas of the future."

    Michael York makes listening to this book very easy.

    The story portays a world where human engineering has advanced so far that children are grown in test tubes rather than born naturally. Distinct classes of people are manufactured in the test tube. Love and partnerships no longer exist as everyone belongs to everyone else. Subliminal teachings repeat the mantras of the new world order, ensuring stability and conformity. Drugs are freely available to wash away any hardship or stress. Gone are the writings of Shakespeare and all references to God.

    But there are a few that are not content with the way of the world and look for answers to their feelings of emptiness.

    The story follows these characters through their journey of self realisation and weakness, exploring the state's reaction to their outspoken views.

    I really enjoyed the story and considering its age was impressed by the forward thinking.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    7/11/08
    Overall
    "A classic, but period piece"

    I read this book many, many years ago when it still had resonance for many fearing the emergence of regimented, totalitarian, mainly communist, states. Being set in the distant future it contains all sorts of predictions about technology and how societies function. It's funny to read it again and to see how things have turned out and how technology like mobile phones and computers simply weren't envisaged in the 1930s. Although it's force has in many ways been superceded by events, it's still a classic and fascinating read.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Gargamel
    Göteborg, Sweden
    3/26/13
    Overall
    "Great book, some volume issues"

    First of all, this is a great book which I recommend. I do think there is a problem with the sound volume however, in that the volume difference between the most quiet and the loudest parts is too big. I listen a lot while commuting and I had to frequently lower the volume at the loud parts, and increase the volume at the most quiet parts to save my ears / be able to hear. I think it would have been clever if the publishers edited or mixed the sound to prevent that.



    I don't think that should stop you from listening to this book still. Because it's great.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Penny
    BlackpoolUnited Kingdom
    7/19/10
    Overall
    "Memories"

    I first read this book 25 years ago at school. Time (or my age) has made this book even better! Well read by Michael York. If you like George Orwell's 1984, you'll love this.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • M
    Wakefield, United Kingdom
    10/15/12
    Overall
    "Parody not prophecy."

    This novel has to be read with the writer's historical context kept firmly in mind to appreciate its absolute genius. It's a parody - and a very funny one - of all the utopias being prescribed and promised by the political theories that are sweeping the world in that very strange period that was the 1930s. Capitalism was being battered - due to the Great Depression - and Socialism, Communism and Fascism were vying for dominance of people's hearts and minds; each declaring they had the keys to human happiness. And, alongside this, the science of eugenics seemed to be justifying the European dominance of its empires as well as the right of the upper-classes to rule the lower. So throw into this already very heady mix the hedonism of the Roaring Twenties, and the still very fresh memories of the Great War, and Alduous Huxley is writing in an extremely volatile time. So what does he do? He takes the piss out of everybody.

    We follow the petty proto-revolutionary bureaucrat Bernard Marx (what a great name: George Bernard Shaw/Karl Marx) in his pathetic and ultimately futile quest for respect and importance in the genetically 'stable' utopia that has been manufactured. It's a very uncomfortable read at times - the erotic play of the toddlers comes to mind - and brutal too - the death clinics, and the descriptions of the Savages' reservations - but Huxley's point is to show that no matter what the grand Social Theories promise, they won't be able to take into account each individual's little weaknesses and lusts and ambitions; humans can't be put into little boxes and expected to be happy. The Shakespeare quoting savage John isn't happy in the reservation nor in the Brave New World; the stunted Bernard won't ever find acceptance from his peers, and Lenina ("Wonderful girl; splendidly pneumatic.") will never be able to understand her taste for something 'different'. Huxley isn't being prophetic, he's being parodic in Brave New World and he's having a lot of fun too. 5 stars

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • William Hayes
    Ireland
    9/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "what an amazing book!"

    I simply could not believe that a book as prescient as this was written in 1931 / 1932. This gets to the heart of so much that is wrong in our own era and reads like a creepy but amazing prophecy speaking into all the problems of our age.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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