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Publisher's Summary

A gripping BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Aldous Huxley's classic dystopian novel.

It's 2116, and Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson are token rebels in an irretrievably corrupted society where promiscuity is the norm, eugenics a respectable science, and morality turned upside down. There is no poverty, crime or sickness - but no creativity, art or culture either. Human beings are merely docile citizens: divided into castes, brainwashed and controlled by the state and dependent on the drug soma for superficial gratification.

Into this sterile society comes an outsider, John - a man born into squalor and suffering, but raised on The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, a book which has shaped his entire life. When he discovers that treasured ideals such as love mean nothing in this 'brave new world', where romance is ridiculous, marriage shocking and parenthood shameful, John's world is shattered - and his reaction will show Bernard and Helmholtz what rebellion really means....

Based on Aldous Huxley's 1932 masterpiece, widely considered one of the greatest novels of all time, this chilling dramatisation set in a futuristic totalitarian society stars Jonathan Coy, Justin Salinger, Milton Lopes and Anton Lesser. Running time: 2 hours

©2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd. (P)2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd.

What listeners say about Brave New World

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

good dramatization, mediocre substance

I enjoyed the performances, but would have preferred the unabridged story. not many choices available.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Lackluster Abridgement of a fantastic book.

I usually love a BBC dramatisation, but this one cut out too much in order to come in under time, and lost a lot of the internal struggle of the characters.

10 people found this helpful

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With grace and brutality you learned the truth.

I loved the format and skill that this piece was presented. Much like George Orwell, you find your self feeling hopelessly sucked into to how a dystopian future marginalizes your humanity.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing dramatisation

Never read the original book and was hesitant to listen to an audio version, which can be very hit or miss. But finding a properly acted version, I just had to try.

A very good way to introduce yourself to the book. Puts strong visuals in your head, just like a good book does. Recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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an eerily prescient work

BBC has taken some liberties with this piece. some of the exposition of the book has been lost but this is typical of any transition from one form of media to another; some things have been changed to make the book a bit more relevant to modern day listeners but these are minor (for instance, use of cell phones or mentioning walmart). i believe the changes are in the spirit of the original text and minor, thus, appropriate. the voices of the two young women were a bit hard to differeciate so made their conversations a bit confusing. overall one of my favorite books and because of a good performance this audiobook would be a great distraction during any roadtrip.

2 people found this helpful

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better read the book

Some texts do not benefit from an abridged dramatization (the film is not great either). This is better read or listened to as a novel.

1 person found this helpful

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Sad Look at Humanity's Future

I once would have found this all outlandish but interesting entertainment. However, in light of what has been happening - WAP being OK for our kids while discussing election issues is outlawed - it has become clear that this is exactly where we are headed. Very sad. No human connection. Masks anyone?

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Sad the story ended.

Great performance for a great story! The best way to get angry and sad when driving.

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Intriguing ideas and story that end haphazardly

TL;DR: This is a great book, and a fun listen. The dramatization is not over the top but is enough to easily distinguish the different cast members/roles. Which is a good thing, since the story moves rapidly through a lot of ideas. I wish the concepts presented in the book were explored more in depth and had a less hurried end. -- This book is an interesting exploration of a future society based in purely profit driven hedonistic societies. The book does an excellent job conveying the issues with a purely hedonistic society, but lacks substantially in the economic and political aspects of the world as presented in this book. If you were to make a comparison to a book like George Orwell's 1984, it would be like if the book suddenly sped up and then ended rather quickly once the protagonist is caught by the Ministry of Truth. The story arc of the protagonist being broken down and then eventually being entirely compliant is arguably one of the most powerful and terrifying parts about that story. I think it would have been extremely interesting if the parallels and direct counterpoints to 1984 were fleshed out in more depth. While both books explore totalitarian governance and emotional suppression and control, the methods and reasons are very different. For example, the primary motivation in 1984 is an idealistic, isolated "utopia" that got out of hand. In A Brave New World, the main goal is profit. Despite these differences, the end result is shockingly similar. The tool of choice is the primary difference after the central goals. In 1984, the weapon of choice is inconceivable pain, with manipulation of information as a supplemental tool. In A Brave New World it is primarily pleasure, with the absence of unpleasantry, controlled access to profitable ideas and items, and a sprinkling of total control scattered here and there as needed. While the book is definitely good, and a great complementary read with 1984, I can't help but feel like a lot of the meat of the ideas presented was left out. -- Story: 4/5 - very interesting ideas and a good complement to other books in the genre Presentation: 5/5 - an excellent performance that is easy to follow Pacing: 3/5 - The book speeds up as it approaches the end, and doesn't go into any great depth on one single idea

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1984 all over again

dramatically okay but the idea seems to be a rip off from the get go

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  • Nicholas F Budd
  • 08-17-17

A great book but I wanted more

The telling of Brave New World seemed to lose a little in the Radio 4 dramatisation. I cannot explain why I was thinking more about the houses in leafy Surrey where this would be heard rather than than the morality tale and commentary on a modern society.

Suffice to say the acting was good but for me too staged. I followed the story but was not swept up in it. Perhaps in hindsight a reading of the book would have been better.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 04-24-20

Excellent Listening.

Definitely pause for thought listening in today's society.

Brave New World is in my favourites.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Banjoman
  • 08-22-19

Oh brave new world.

Brave new world is an ambitious dramatized version of the book. I thought it funny in places, and chillingly realistic in others. The idea of a caste type system of people, is apt in my view, what with the inequality and poverty throughout the world. And sexual relationships with numerous partners the norm. In fact sex is a commodity to be bought and sold, and a recreational activity. The Internet has an abundance of sex/porn/escort websites. Oh how low humanity has sunk, we are animals.!
How long will we last as a species....
The dramatization is well worth listening to, however, I think it should have been called Tragedy of the World...

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Highlight
  • 10-14-17

DESTROYED BRILLIANCE

A Brilliant piece of scientific literature TOTALLY DESTROYED by
modern update. I have read the book and watched the old Hollywood movie and both put this piece of garbage to shame.
Once again modern update ruins the plot.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lauri Sim
  • 05-29-21

What if everyone doesn’t belong to everyone else?

When old world meets new with very different values is there truly one better way of living life? Of reproduction and love? An excellent adaptation of Huxley’s vision of a dystopian future.

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  • BClose
  • 05-17-21

A Fine Adaptation.

I heard this on R4 when it was first released.I longed to hear it again.It’s an abridged version, which may not please everyone, but it’s done in an exceptional way.First class acting and production values.The original novel goes into the description and values of Brave New World in more depth and the characters are more fully realised.Still,a fine adaptation of this novel.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-20-20

Amusing ourselves to death

Soma could be IPA, Prosecco or TV. Guiltless, empty, unproductive sex is the Pornography explosion. The Brave New World is today. Be vigilent. The adaptation is good but not as good as I hoped for, could be a bit more descriptive in parts but otherwise a good listen.

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  • Shaun W.
  • 06-02-20

Entertaining but...

left feeling that the BBC Adaptation left out much of the original story. The performance were fine,

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  • Lynda Murphy
  • 05-26-20

Fantastic story but buffering was annoying

Enjoyed the reading, and I will read the book to flesh it out . It kept buffering which was annoying as my internet connection is very good. But having time, I persevered over a couple of days and suddenly the issue stopped when I ceased to try and rewind or pause. Perhaps it was a coincidence? Will try a second book and see what happens.

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  • Ceri Jones
  • 02-11-20

Truth is stranger than fiction

Revisited this after reading it in the eighties. Like 1984 some of it is strangely prescient, but it also suffers from being pre - web, social media and AI /robotics. But the central message is still powerful.

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  • Chris
  • 02-20-18

A prediction of the future

A must read. It is my hope that everyone reads this book, so this future can be avoided.