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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

4.0 (7654 )
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4.2 (6434 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-10-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "The societal realization of true stability."

    When the line draws out along technology and stability what is the result? Interesting look into what society could look like when all individualism and exceptionalism are removed for the sake of stability.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taylor 01-06-17
    Taylor 01-06-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    "it was eh"

    It wasn't a poorly written story line but overall the plot felt contrived and the setting unrealistic. It focused too much on the characters I feel because focusing on the futuristic society would have been impossible without revealing that it was flawed. I liked 1984 much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Learned 01-05-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "All that is Old is Brave Again"

    It might not appeal to everyone because it is allegorical, but it is thought provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Finden Seattle, WA 01-04-17
    Sharon Finden Seattle, WA 01-04-17 Member Since 2013

    Sharon

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    16
    5
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    "Glad I finally read it"

    Super boring for the first half. I had to listen to it at double speed to get to a part that seemed half way interesting. I keep trying to remind myself that everyone else probably copied Huxley, but since I've read/seen other stuff first, it was a bit of a yawn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robbienz New Zealand 12-31-16
    Robbienz New Zealand 12-31-16 Listener Since 2005

    Scientist, engineer, father, husband, but most important, follower of Jesus of Nazareth.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pleasure versus fear"

    For Orwell, the state ruled by fear. For Huxley, the state ruled by pleasure. North Korea. The West. For us,, take away our Mobile devices for an hour and we become miserable, having lost the pleasure of instant gratification. God help us when this ends and the state demands more... This books was a fascinating and thought provoking read on my windows 10 phone. Thanks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gypsy 12-29-16
    Gypsy 12-29-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "why is this a "classic""

    First of all, the narration was simply not good. All the female characters, and most of the males for that matter, sounded whiny and obnoxious. The volume control of Mr. York was awful, from nearly inaudible whisper to shouting in the same sentence. I quite often found myself turning volume up, still straining to hear the words only to be yelled at moments later.

    Then there's the book itself. BNW could have been half as long if all the unnecessary repetition were removed. There didn't seem to be so much of a plot but rather a description of the dystopian world. There was no real climax, no character depth (tho maybe this part was intentional) and no meaningful conclusion. Definitely ended with a fizzle and not a bang.

    This book is talked about as if it had some philosophical thought put into it, rather I find it to be severely lacking any semblance of philosophy whatever. I'll give Huxley credit for his foresight and premonition of future society, and the scientific advances that had yet to be discovered when he wrote BNW, however I cannot compliment him as a novelist. overall I was highly disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    halelaus 12-22-16
    halelaus 12-22-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Hopelessly outdated"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book could have been so much better had it not been so outdated. This is not one of those books that make me think "I totally get why this is a classic!"


    Would you ever listen to anything by Aldous Huxley again?

    I am not sure I would read anything by Aldous Huxley again. Right now my guess would be "no", but never say never...


    Any additional comments?

    The book clearly mirrors that Aldous Huxley was a man of his time: being gay wasn't OK, women should want, and have, children (if she didn't want one, something must be wrong with her), women aren't as smart as men, if you're not married, but have several partners, that's horrible, etc. etc. I found the book hugely annoying and boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charles 12-07-16
    charles 12-07-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    14
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    "this book might trigger you"

    have a critical conversation with every sentence and idea Aldous presents in this epic story. Ask yourself: would you rather be safe or free?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Horner 12-07-16
    C. Horner 12-07-16 Member Since 2014

    PAmb

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    27
    5
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    4
    Overall
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    Story
    "Not Quite"

    I struggled to finish this one. It started off with amazing potential & went nowhere, slowly. The narrator was good though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leo Gomez 12-05-16
    Leo Gomez 12-05-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "THE READER READS TO SLOW!!! LOTS OF PAUSES"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Listening to this made me want to go to sleep, at times the reader would pause for several seconds making me feel bored and tired.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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!

    27 of 28 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.

    8 of 8 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
  • 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 12 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.

    4 of 4 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
  • 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 14 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
  • 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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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