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Brave New World Audiobook

Brave New World [Audiobook]

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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

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  •  
    Sara 02-09-15
    Sara 02-09-15
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    "Disappointed"

    A thinly veiled allegory regarding communism and social control. A little too bizarre and unrealistic for my taste. Didn't enjoy the various accents and inflections employed by the narrator (variations on British and Irish)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TDH 02-08-15
    TDH 02-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Crazy Good & Just Crazy"

    Great story, narration is mediocre, but the quick plot and engaging philosophical issues make for a great listen. Love the classics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kris Australia 02-04-15
    Kris Australia 02-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Pretty much what I expected"

    I've always liked this book. I'm not sure I liked the accents used by the narrator for Bernard and John. It makes sense that John would have a different accent having grown up elsewhere, but I've no idea why Bernard would. The rest of the nation was good though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. M. Ferguson Grew up in St. Paul's Crocus Hill, now in New Jersey 01-22-15
    S. M. Ferguson Grew up in St. Paul's Crocus Hill, now in New Jersey 01-22-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Michael York brings Brave New World alive!"
    What did you love best about Brave New World?

    Michael York's amazing acting skills are put to the test in Brave New World. He handles the early chapters where the scenes cut back and forth extremely well, and breathes life into the characters. I don't think many audiobook readers could handle this book as competently.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lenina Crowne is the perfect earnest airhead with complete faith in the government. In this era she would be a volunteer with Organizing For America.


    Any additional comments?

    Between George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, the Huxley book is a more accurate social critique of the hedonistic, valueless society we live in today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tulio 01-13-15
    Tulio 01-13-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A great book and a formidable narration."

    I have been planing to read and listen to Brave New World for a while, and I am not disappointed after all. The combination of Aldous Huxley and Micheal York is lovely.
    For reflecting our modern society this is an indispensable book. And the narration happens to give us a new great approach.
    Read and listen do it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    t murd 01-11-15
    t murd 01-11-15
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    "Inappropriate for High School Seniors"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. This book is part of the High School senior reading curriculum and was inappropriate for that age group.


    What was most disappointing about Aldous Huxley’s story?

    The book promotes promiscuity and drugs in the ideal society. It had many sexual references and that all women and men belong to one another and should be shared. In addition to many references of 'soma', a drug that puts the person in a euphoric state, to eliminate any feelings.

    For adults, it was an appropriate book, however, for a coming of age book required in our public school system it was not. I would be surprised it many 16-18 year old students and interpret past the drugs and sex to the actual message of the book.


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

    He fluctuated his tone from low to high too often. I had trouble finding an ideal volume level.


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

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb 01-06-15
    Deb 01-06-15
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    "Excellent classic book"

    Excellent reading of a classic! I read this book 20 years ago. It's even better than I remembered. Awesome dystopian fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    João 12-31-14
    João 12-31-14
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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
  •  
    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
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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
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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.

    11 of 11 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!

    21 of 22 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.

    8 of 8 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!

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Outskirts of London
    5/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Imaginative, But Flawed!"

    Set sometime in the distant future (A.F. 632 which may translate to around 2540 A.D. according to some calculations), in an advanced dystopian world; this was at times a fascinating but challenging listen. However, I could not help feeling somewhat disappointed by the end as I did not find it to be the classic that it was alleged to be.

    Often compared to Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four", but very different in terms of the worlds both authors so carefully constructed, I found Huxley’s style of writing at times to be overly verbose and difficult to follow. It also made me wonder at times how far he was trying to exhibit his own philosophical beliefs at the expense of the plot and overall story.

    I found nearly all the characters unlikeable. Naturally, the only ones I truly sympathised with were John and Linda. No doubt this was deliberate on Huxley's part, as to an outsider looking into this so called "civilised world" where people had been conditioned to show no real lasting unity to one another, you could only feel appalled at their self-centredness. John the Savage (as he was unfairly referred to), represented our world and programming, and his reaction to the likes of Lenina and some of the lower caste members and their behaviour was at times desperate, but understood.

    When you take a step back and take it all in, the world Huxley created here is truly frightening, but nonetheless captivating.

    Finally, I found Michael York's narration rather strange and somewhat irritating at times. Some of his choice of accents for the characters were quite bizarre and not well thought out (Bernard's and John's especially), and kind of took some of the gloss off of this work.

    6 of 6 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
  • 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

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Antony Harris
    London, UK
    4/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great ideas, pulpy plot, hammy performance"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The performance and the plot.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Fix the clunky dialogue and sketchy characters.


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

    Hammy delivery. Wobbly regional accents randomly distributed. For example, Pueblo Indians that sound like they come from Bristol, my luvverr.


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

    Yeah probably, just to see how they do it.


    Any additional comments?

    Seek out an alternative version.

    2 of 2 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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