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 expected a little more from a book that I'd heard of forever and just now got around to listening. I was interested from about the 2nd chapter, but it lost my interest in the last 2 chapters. I wanted the characters to learn more about themselves to change history or make a huge impact, but they didn't.
I have to say that I am surprised by the number of people that liked Michael York's narration. I gave up at Chapter 4 - and I have never given up on an Audible book so far and not stuck with the recording to the end. I just couldn't do it. His narration was so overly theatrical to me that it became distracting to the story.
I think this is one of those books that might benefit from reading and listening at the same time. Maybe. Or maybe I will just stick to the classic print edition.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I really enjoyed this book, although it is not for everyone. Written in 1931, it is amazing to me how much of this sci fi novel has come to fruition. Not so much in the technical sense, although some of that is true, but in the philosophical sense of ideas and questions that may have been close to non-existant at the time, but now they are very pertinent--human cloning other reproductive assistance, social conforming, etc. Fascinating.
Never really got into the story. I think I would have liked this more if I actually read it instead of listening to it. It was a little hard to follow the narration.
False pleasure, Gluttony, Monotony
I really connected with this book because I see it happening in our society today. People are starting to lose themselves and society is becoming a cog. Soon there will be no individuality. This is a great way to look into the future of what the world will become; that is if we can even make it that far.
Say something about yourself!
Lower list but essential. It is a must "sometime"
I started the paper version of the book atleast five times. The hatchery part always killing my buzz for whatever reason. The audio brought me through, and it was well worth the time.
Yes, its a classic and can be appreciated as such, along with consideration of its 1932 publication date, and the author's foresight for his time. It must have been nightmarish once, to the previous generation. There is, however, nothing new for the modern reader. We've seen, read, or experienced it all, on one or more levels. In general, I found it too tedious and rather old.
I like Michael York's voice and a British accent is always refreshing, but the ponderous, funereal pace had me Up the speed to the hilt, in order to get to the end as quickly as possible.
Enjoyable? Nah. But it was one of those books I thought I "ought" to read. I'm busy overcoming that early conditioning. I got my Litt. degrees long ago, and its time to get over it and read fun, enjoyable books. Life is short and books are many :-)
I know this is a classic, but honestly the rationale behind how the characters got to where they were socially and psychologically just didn't make sense to me. I couldn't buy into the world created by Huxley. This is the first negative review I have given on audible, and I am not the least bit deterred from finding my next book. Some books just don't click when you listen to them.
No, I honestly got very annoyed with York. His voices just didn't sound right I guess.
The narrator is driving me crazy!
1. The tempo he chose is sloooow and drawn out. Drives me crazy. It's like listening to a 45 record played back at 33-1/3 speed. For those who never had the pleasure of vinyl records and a turntable, figure the narrator is about 30% slower than he needs to be.
2. The book has a lot of back and forth between men and women as well as the internal thoughts of the characters (male & female). Imagine one narrator trying to convincingly pull this off. Well he doesn't - it doesn't work. Reminds me of fingernails on a chalkboard.
In order to make this audio book more palatable, I've increased the playback speed on my mp3 player. Not the best solution but at least I'll get thru the book a lot faster. What this audio book needed was a female to handle the female voices.
I would listen to the book again if I had to. I actually got the book for a school assignment and I didn't want to read it so I got it on audible. Its a good book but its very descriptive, if you can get passed that the book really isn't that long and is very interesting...
The director showing the student how babies weren't conceived and that 96 babies (twins) were born from 1 egg to be put to work in factories.
Yes but his accent is annoying after a while...
Good luck to all students who have to read and write about this for school :)
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.
"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!
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.
"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!
"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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"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
"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.
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