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Island [Kindle Edition]

Aldous Huxley , David Bradshaw
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description


'One of the truly great philosophical novels' -- The Times

The Times

'One of the truly great philosophical novels'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 572 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060085495
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; Re-issue edition (15 July 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RS72C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,861 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huxley's Philosophy is Perennial 15 Mar 2008
By A Kant
This is the antithesis to Brave New World and a deeper exploration of the naturalistic vision that Huxley left us with, at the climax of his stunning novel 30 years earlier. It is a thing of beauty. I doubt anyone could read this book wihtout feeling a little loathing at technological and industrial marvels we are privileged with. You will feel compelled to set aside some time for the simple things in life and forget about the ones that involve money, without feeling guilty.

It seems incredible that Brave new world is nearly 80 years old and Island, born with the Hippy era, almost 50. To me, these works ring truer today than any other utopian works. It is Huxley's grasp of the human psyche that makes us believe such societies could endure. He shows us not how we could be forced to exist within them them, but whatever your political stance, why you might be happier if you did so. Despite his failing eyesight, Huxley saw a lot of things coming and wrote his books HD-ready!
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I read 1984 and brave new world, and as I am sure was the case for most people, my perspectives on society, science, and progress were altered, irreversably, or so I thought. These great dystopian novels coloured and darkened my perception of our modern landscape of cctv, GM foods and shrink wrapped pre-proccessed art. Then I read Island and had my optimism reaffirmed. Island shows us that a society based on anarchist principles could conceivably be a better one than our own, without reading like psuedo philosophical new age toss. Huxley is beautifully persuesive in his writing, and manages seamlessly, to provide coherrent, intellegent arguments without ever fracturing the dramatic and engrossing narrative. I think everyone will connect with the main character's periodic visions of his fellow men as maggots, and even the seemingly pessimistic ending leaves you hopeful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh fresh fresh... 3 Jun 1999
By A Customer
For me, the most appealing feature of this work was the way Huxley combines great society-changes with personal development and joy. Too often people want to make the world better by being a pure and holy human being, which is off course impossible. In Huxleys Utopia society is completely adjusted to the best of human nature, but it's still human nature. This is what makes the whole so realistic and valuable. The obvious question now is off course: Why don't we put his ideas into action? In answering this I must agree with another reviewer, who poses that people in Pala are too earnest, too occupied with their happiness. Maybe Huxley forgot the part of human nature we call 'laziness'. Another possibility is that we're simply too stupid a race to put such obvious guidelines to happiness beside us. When i walk down a library or book shop i'm always having difficulties finding books that describe something positive. It seems we are animals that enjoy suffering as well as complaining about it. Untill we can put this drive for self-pity and misery aside, we're not ready for Pala. I can't help but wondering if we will ever be... .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Island - Do not hesitate, read it!! 15 Oct 2009
I was assigned this novel to read for University, as part of a module based on 1960s literature.
The book was amazing; although it's not Huxley's most famous novel, it doesn't mean that it's not wonderfully written! He is an awesome author!
The novel is about a man who works for an oil-company and has been sent from Britain to persuade the peoples of an isolated island that they should allow this corporation to use their oil. When the protagonist (I forget his name) arrives on the island he finds that they are living a 'strange' utopian existence; initially he mocks their way of life, but ultimately he realises that it is capitalism that is flawed and not the communism-based lifestyle the people of Pala favour.
By the time you have finished reading this novel, you will know a lot more about Buddhism and Communism! I REALLY enjoyed this text, which is why I have taken the trouble to write this review!
I don't want to spoil the ending but I will say that it isn't your conventional happy ending, but you won't want it any other way!! :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that everyone should read at least once 25 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I first read this book when I was 15, and it had a profound and lasting influence on my life. Rereading it now, more than twenty years later, I still find it moving.
The characters in this book are a bit too good to be true: nobody is that well-balanced, that reasonable, that much in touch with themselves. And yet, when you read this book, you can't help feeling that people could be that well-balanced, could be that reasonable, could be that much in touch with themselves and with others if only they were given the chance, if only they were given the right sort of upbringing.
I can never decide whether this book is optimistic or pessimistic in its view of life. A little of both, I think. Huxley's optimism about human nature and the human spirit shines through, but it's tinged with a feeling of disappointment and concern for the future.
Read it. It's not some New Age psycho-babble crap. It may not be your cup of tea, but it's definitely worth the time it takes to read it and to think about what it's saying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars News from Pala 10 July 2014
By Archy
There are plenty of dystopian novels around - Huxley's Brave New World for one - but utopian novels are thin on the ground. In this, Huxley's last novel, he tells of the utopian island of Pala, where extended families are the norm and adolescents are given a sort of magic mushrooms as an aid to becoming fully realised humans. It's all very idealistic. Unfortunately, there's a nearby dictator who's got his eye on Pala's oil, and the young leader-in-waiting is on his side. Also trying to get an oil deal is Will, who has been shipwrecked on the island and is being shown around by his rescuers.

So much for the plot. The bulk of the novel consists of the tour and explanation Will is given, and this is Huxley's great utopian fantasy. It was published in the 1960s, before LSD became illegal and was no doubt popular with the hippies. I really enjoyed the bulk of it, the utopia, though I found the concluding chapter, where Will is finally persuaded to try the 'moksha-medicine' well nigh incomprehensible. (Other people's acid trips in print usually are.) The opening pages are a little confusing, too, and it's only when Will arrives at the island that the novel gets going.

There's a touch of Krishnamurti about some of the teachings, and more than a little Buddhism in others. But the novel it most reminded me of was William Morris' News from Nowhere, a similar utopia. It's a novel I wish I'd read as a teenager; since I enjoyed it now I would have loved it then! Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed also came to mind. It does have a few contradictions. Much is made of the necessity of dealing with reality rather than words and symbols, yet the moshka ceremony is littered with symbols and the experience, as the rather churlish boy leader points out, is just in the head.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A cult novel
Beautifully written treatise on social experiments. Makes a lot of sense without being too idealistic. Plot is thin but takes the form of several dialogues. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Styubud
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Huxley's 2nd best book after Brave new world
Published 5 days ago by Spod
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
xmas present
Published 6 days ago by andy powell
4.0 out of 5 stars If only he had written more
Aldous Huxley is one of my favourite writers. I always feel, when I read his work, that he is as much a thinker as a writer, which I think is true of very few fiction writers. Read more
Published 1 month ago by hfffoman
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read before you die
A must-read, an amazing viewpoint on demise of society. I loved it. Huxley doesn't disappoint
Published 2 months ago by A. Tollan
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Really great read. Although be warned, if you're after something light, this probably isn't for you. Read more
Published 2 months ago by TheStudent (Alex)
5.0 out of 5 stars Island by Also is Huxley
Quite simply , all the current and future world leaders (And any aspirational leaders ) should read this. Read more
Published 3 months ago by simon wheeler
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Published 4 months ago by Yvonne & Phillip
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book widely circulated in the 1960's which ...
This is a book widely circulated in the 1960's which corresponded with the positive outlook of the times, leaving behind the grey pessimistic 1950's. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Christopher D Rudkin
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift
Read this book back in the dark ages when I was trawling through the recommended must read list. Bought as a gift for a good friend.
Published 11 months ago by treforjevans
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