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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall

read on the recommendation of another book.

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.

11 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Reading can kill writing

This CD could put you right off this fundamental book.
Personalized accents, hysterical shoutings, whinings, singings, supposedly used to bring life, don't bring anything, just make the book unbearable after a few minutes.
Advice : (1) if you want to avoid irritation and reach the end, you should plan short listening sequences ; (2) never buy an audiobook without prior listening and comparing.

40 of 63 people found this review helpful

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Michael York's narration couldn't save this book.

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

16 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Awful Performance, Great Story

I can't help but think that every single character was NOT meant to be an awful, unlikable, whiny baby. Yet even the scenes that were meant to be angry sounded like a bratty toddler. I would recommend reading and not listening for this one.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Neptune City, NJ, United States
  • 03-08-11

Classic for a reason

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.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Not for me

Would you try another book from Aldous Huxley and/or Michael York?

Yes- I like to try to listen/read classics. This just did not capture my attention.

Any additional comments?

I feel a bit unsophisticated because this is the 2nd classic in a row I could not finish. I did not care about the characters and the story was not interesting enough to keep me listening although I did like Michael York as the narrator.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Alison
  • Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada
  • 01-12-14

so much premise, so little plot

Ok, it's a classic so definitely a book with deep things to say. Generally I like the classics outside a classroom setting, but I'm just not sure this book was all I was hoping it was going to be. The first half of the book (give or take) is almost entirely consumed with setting the scene of a dystopian future (can you really call it dystopia if the people living in it are 'happy'?). I think the second half was supposed to be plot, but I couldn't really tell. There were a number of main characters, but none of them really seemed to be the 'hero' of the story, or even the focus of the story. There were tons of plot holes and loose ends, and some oddities in the society described (seriously this homogeneous society is ok with just sending the intellectuals off to a random island and hoping they never cause trouble? It just doesn't ring true to me) which betray this book for what it is: not so much a book but an extended discussion of a hypothetical future. It is an interesting concept, and one of those things that you can sort of see happening in a frightening future. Long story short: listen to it, contemplate the overall concept, don't expect a riveting plot.

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Don
  • Three Rivers, US, Canada
  • 12-11-08

A Great Listen

Michael York does an excellent job of reading. I highly recommend this audio. Better than a half-gram of soma :-)

13 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Are you kidding me?

This had to have been the stupidest story line of all times. Really, cloning up to 76 people at a time so to condition them to do a certain job? We already have issues with over-population. What is the purpose of scaring and electric shocking babies so they hate books and flowers. Really? It's such a ridiculously dumb story, not worthy of wasting my time.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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What the in the world kind of book is this?

Sorry but the writing was odd and weird, the story ended with no real point, the narrator made the people sound so dumb it was annoying and horrible. I got it for free and listened to the entire book while working. What a waste of brain space.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 09-11-17

A True Classic.

I really enjoyed my second reading of this classic novel. The first time I read this I was doing my O-levels at school and read it for my English literature O-level. Parts of the story of remained with me over the years, especially some of the ideas contained within it about the shape of the future. Frighteningly prescient. I was a little wary about whether I would enjoy the narration, as some of the reviews I'd read of this were scathing about Michael York's performance. However I found he did tremendous job. Some of the criticisms complained that he would adopt strange accents to personify the various characters, and that this was perhaps over the top and unnecessary. One reviewer went so far as to say that he sounded hysterical. I feel that this was a device deliberately employed by York to make a reading of the novel more easily understood. There is one place in particular which is near the beginning of the book, where the narrative jumps from one place to another as a literary effect. York's use of various accents at this point made it far easier to follow. I can understand how some people might have found his performance slightly hysterical at times but I found those sections humorous, and feel it actually helped the process of bringing the novel to life as some of the passages really are quite comical. Aldous Huxley's use of language is second to none and some sections are a real delight to behold. Overall I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this production of a really classic piece of literature.

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  • ian vaughan
  • 09-11-17

A bit annoying

What did you like best about Brave New World? What did you like least?

I really wanted to like this, and I did enjoy the very interesting dystopian feel of the book. Some of the writing style came across as annoying and difficult to listen to in audiobook format, and the narration did detract from the content at times.

Overall it is worth reading/listening to just to see what would have had the readership at time of release reeling in horror in this vision of the future. I couldn't help feeling that many folk today would be more than happy with the society depicted here - have a look and see.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

mm....

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

performance was quite off putting at times due to the accents and drawl of some characters

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  • Adam
  • 09-08-17

It's no 1984

A cheap copy. Couldn't get into the play in words, it felt like a cheap trick.

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  • Vaan
  • 09-08-17

Still valid

Brilliantly read by Michael York this fascinating tale is as fresh today as when it was written in 1932. Funny, thought provoking and heartbreaking.

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  • Flintafus
  • 07-24-17

A complete world

A complete world, realised in small and large detail, but a book which never languishes too long on any one aspect of it. The moral and philosophical aspects of this book, particularly when in conversation, were my favourite parts. I never felt like approach of the 'system' was illogical. It made a kind of sense at all times. Which made the conversations all the more interesting. The reading was mostly good, although I could've some without the Bristolian accents. The book feels larger than life, so the voices reflected that, but that particular accent began to grate, because it was so over the top.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-27-17

Interesting futuristic world but not th.characters

The general story concept is very interesting and makes you think of possible futures as well as the fact that some things might be just easier. however none of the characters have any strong personality and are all in some kind of way ignorant. If you liked '1984' it is also an book to add in the reading list.

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  • Jose_Loria
  • 06-05-17

Classic story ruined by terrible voice actor

This is one of my favourite books of all time but the narrator is one the worst I've ever heard.

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  • mr
  • 05-10-17

One of those books that you HAVE to read / listen

Would you consider the audio edition of Brave New World to be better than the print version?

Its amazing and has so much drama so yes

What other book might you compare Brave New World to, and why?

It is best in class for dystopian future novel and so ahead of its time

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh and cry and more importantly it made me think about what we are all doing and why we are here

Any additional comments?

One of the best book ever written / read

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  • Mr C Smith
  • 04-25-17

Interesting story

Michael York's narration is irritating to point of making this book almost too difficult to complete. There is no subtlety in his voicing of the savage and no sense of growing anger. The Mummerset accent he uses is poorly played and ill judged. Other characters also seem to be in a permanent state of near frenzy and come across as childish. Perhaps the point but there is now development of their feelings. All in all a good story spoilt by a poor narrator in my opinion.

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  • Alexander
  • 04-11-17

Prefer the style of 1984

Everyone recommends reading this book after 1984, but I was slightly disappointed. Even acknowledging the fact that it was intended as a kind of satire of its time, did not make up for the tone of the book. Perhaps it was the overacting of the narrator that made it seem so over-the-top.

The concept of course is amazingly well thought out, especially given the time it was written. However, the key difference between this book and 1984 is that with the latter I felt that it really could have been an alternate future if history had evolved differently. This book was a bit too exaggerated for me to truly take it seriously.