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)
Yes because I feel it serves such a strong warning against allowing the government to rule and regulate that which is inherently flawed and as a result, beautiful and perfectly created. When the government oversteps nature, a chain reaction ensues.
The detail the author provides leaves the reader which powerful imagery and leaves very little to the imagination in the sense the reader does not have to supplement with what might be false or misguided images. For example, when describing the hatchery, the author is certain to mention in detail the process and in essence sets up a great foundation for the reader to better understand the actions of those that stemmed from the hatchery.
I have not but I had always "heard" this book in American English and it was brilliant to hear it in its native tongue if you will as the story is centered in London.
The narrator was very vivacious, animated and energetic. Some of the most touching moments included the dynamic of John and "Linder" or Linda.
I highly recommend this to everyone. This book is a good "starting point" for those getting into current affairs. This is a true foreshadow of events that have occurred that the author hit on years prior but a closer look reveals that "Big Brother" and conditioning are amongst us. To have free thought is to be a strong reader and this supports such. Happy reading!
Scary how timeless this book is. I read it in high school and really didn't give it much thought but now as an adult who is aware to the outside world this book will scare the pants off of you. It would not take the society to many steps to get to where they are in the book (I guess that is the genius of it). Great book, a classic for a reason and worth your time. I strongly reccomend giving it a listen even if you read it years ago as I did.
Oh and I am not some conspiracy theorist nut job either, just in case I came across that way.
i greatly enjoyed this book. though parts were a little shuffled for an audio version and made it a little tough to hang onto the story, it was well narrated. the story itself is a twisted story that is sure to open eyes to the way we live today.
a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.
Read this at the inspiration of.....reading GW Bush's book decision points, and well...glad I did. This was an amazing glimpse of what today (80 years after it was written) is a very believable future. The idea the people will opt for comfort over everything else. Control of the press, drug the people, tell them all that it is for their own good, remove any differances, and eliminate the family. Then you findout there is no more strife, and that no one is human anymore.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
WOMEN'S HEAVYWEIGHT WRESTLING
Everyone has heard of this book, while few have read it. All of my reviews are based on entertainment value here and now. This was my second reading of the unabridged version and it is a must for anyone who claims to be a science fiction fan. Written in 1958, the predictions of a possible future are amazing. The main problem in reading it, is that is more of a thesis than a story. I strongly suggest that instead of reading this, spend 95 cents and get the one hour dramatized version. Not long ago I listen to the dramatized version and was very pleased. The shorter version hits all the high points and really gets you thinking. If you go ahead and get this version, it is more enjoyed in shorter bites.
The world Huxley dreams up, has partly come true and other parts might come true. The book is extremely thought provoking. One thinks of Hitler's desire to build a master race. In 1958 monogamy was the norm and women lost their virginity on their wedding night. In 1958 who would have dreamed of the amount of women who would get breast implants, essentially leading to such a large commonality in looks, plus lip plumpness, etc...
In the seventies I liked Michael York as an actor and I believe he makes a great narrator.
I am a daily commuter, 1 hour each way. Audible rides shotgun with me every day. The time flies by when I am listening to a good book.
Women in the future seem to be little more than "STRUMPETS" according to John Savage. I really liked the first half of the book and was firmly on Bernard's side. In fact, I pictured one of my favorite actors, Martin Freeman, as Bernard. However, when Bernard and Lenina visited the reservation and found Linda and John Savage, it all began to unravel for me. I wanted to root for John Savage but found that I could not even like him. It was hard to believe that in all the progress of the brave, new world that Linda could not have found some way to be rescued from the reservation. The women in the book are portrayed as shallow and empty headed and I could not get any sense of character from them at all. I enjoyed Michael York's narration of the book. I'm glad I read this classic but won't revisit it again.
Mommy of twins
Although I seem to be in the minority here, I wasn’t a big fan of the highly acclaimed, dystopian cult classic BRAVE NEW WORLD. I just didn’t get it... well, I “got it” but I don’t get what all the hype is about.
In BRAVE NEW WORLD the people of the new “Civilized” world believe they are happy because they want for nothing. All needs are met and all pleasures are provided to them, including mood altering drugs and constant casual sex (everyone belongs to everyone), while marriage and religion are dirty words. They live in a class system that is programed (brainwashed) into them from conception, of which by the way, happens in a lab, no mommies and daddies. But are they honestly happy? Can they be? These people lack any true individualism, connection, passion or actual choice; so really they are a society of glorified meat robots. Then there are the Savages that live in small tribe like communities outside Civilization. These are a Native American-like people with a mesh of religions, cultures and a traditional moral standard. At about the halfway point in the book, the two societies cross paths… and the reader may now commence comparisons. So who’s better?...Really they’re both a mess.
All that, being what it is... a utopia with a definite philosophy (agenda) on how society would best be run, fine I’ll except all that, the concept itself holds some interest, but for me it was the execution of BRAVE NEW WORLD that bombed. The story felt…disheveled and scattered and most importantly I felt no connection at all to any of the characters. Really I couldn’t care less what happened to any of them. They were so flat and uninteresting that, in the end, I just felt the read as a whole was pretty boring
besides the slut-shaming and elitist Christian undertones, Huxley's classic novel still carries significant weight in the criticism of society's modern functions, even today.
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!
"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.
"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.
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
"Great ideas, pulpy plot, hammy performance"
The performance and the plot.
Fix the clunky dialogue and sketchy characters.
Hammy delivery. Wobbly regional accents randomly distributed. For example, Pueblo Indians that sound like they come from Bristol, my luvverr.
Yeah probably, just to see how they do it.
Seek out an alternative version.
"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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