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
"British actor Michael York's refined and dramatic reading captures both the tone and the spirit of Huxley's masterpiece." (AudioFile)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No. This book is part of the High School senior reading curriculum and was inappropriate for that age group.
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.
He fluctuated his tone from low to high too often. I had trouble finding an ideal volume level.
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.
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.
No, but I won't be reading any more Aldous Huxley or listening to Michael York.
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 I had been the editor the whole thing would have ended up on the floor. Not much there to work with.
This book just didn't appeal to me at all and the narration just made it worse.
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.
Narrated by Logan 5. Fitting considering the material.
Michael York does an outstanding job with the narration.
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.
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.
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.
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