Monday 24 June 2013

Book Review-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Title: Brave New World
 Author: Aldous Huxley

Series:  N/A
Published:  December 2007 by Vintage. First published 1932
Length: 288 pages
Warnings: sex and violence
Source: gift from family
Summary : Far in the future, the World Controllers have finally created the ideal society. In laboratories worldwide, genetic science has brought the human race to perfection. From the Alpha-Plus mandarin class to the Epsilon-Minus Semi-Morons, designed to perform menial tasks, man is bred and educated to be blissfully content with his pre-destined role.

But, in the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, Bernard Marx is unhappy. Harbouring an unnatural desire for solitude, feeling only distaste for the endless pleasures of compulsory promiscuity, Bernard has an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…
Review: In this dystopian, the population are sorted into  classes, Alphas through to Elipson and are this class for life. The conditioning happens even before they’re born-only Alphas and Betas are individual, whereas Gammas, Deltas and Elisions are mass-cloned. They are then conditioned to think the things typical of their class, and to be useful to the society.  Through recreational sex and drugs in free time, everyone is happy and no-one wants to leave. Except Bernard Marx, an Alpha who wants to visit a Savage Reservation. There they meet John, the Savage, who changes his world view completely.
I was excited to read this one. I read 1984 a few years ago and really enjoyed it, and was looking forwards to the other big classic dystopian around. The idea of this, the cloning and the keeping everyone happy, is entirely different, and seeing it all keep everyone satisfied is interesting. You can see clearly how Huxley is parodying the consumer society of the time, taking it to ridiculous lengths. The world of worshipping Ford, the idea that making a new thing is better than mending it for the good of the consumer society, and such are obviously taking off boom-time America.  The first thirdish of Brave New World is the best.
The middle of the novel, the visiting the Reservation, is a complete contrast to the Britain in the way of thinking. John is a character who is a bit interesting, the rest of the Savages also. But I was kind of bored throughout this section. The ending, a confrontation between John and World Controller Mond, brings back the interest a bit, but not that much.
Characters, I didn’t really care for them. Maybe at a push Linda and John. But those from the Britain were just a bit samey, boring and they didn’t help you get into the  story at all.
The plot is mainly characters questioning world views. Others may enjoy this, I didn’t.

Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a book with a wonderful new world, but a story that wasn’t that interesting.

Links: Amazon |  Goodreads

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
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Nina xxx

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