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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huxley's Philosophy is Perennial
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...
Published on 15 Mar 2008 by A Kant

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a novel
The author tried to make a novel from something that was not suitable for it. The ideas expressed in the book are quite interesting, and I'd be delighted to live in a society such as the one from Pala described in the book.
The book can appear boring at some parts, as the plot and the characters are flat (I told you: it was better not to force it into a novel!)
Published 18 months ago by Giorgio Brocco


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Island changed my life, 2 Aug 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Island (Paperback)
Perhaps it sounds pathetic, but it's true. This book has every answer you might need. And once more, it shows how we intend to complicate, instead to simplify.
It shows the way to a happier world, but before going global - it has to be personal.
And I must insist - it is NOT utopia. The word "utopia" is used for an idealistic world. Island is not idealistic - it's possible.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely believable vision of what is possible., 28 Jan 2001
Huxley may have started life as a typically cynical english journalist, but this, his last book, shows how far his journey had taken him. His psychedelic and religious experiences left him not only one of the most open-minded academics of our age, but also one of the few with some really decent ideas for a better world. In a time when commercialdom and and apathy seem to have flooded away the last remnants of idealism, 'Island' stands out as a pragmatic, sympathetic and ultimately inspiring example of political philosophy. If you're looking for a good story, this may not be the answer, but if you're looking for some calm after the storm of 20th century cynicism, you'll find everything you want.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Last is not always least, 30 Aug 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Island (Paperback)
Being Huxley's last novel I was skeptical when I picked it up. Certainly I had no reason to be. Huxley was in top form writing Island. If you are looking for a blueprint for a harmonious life look no further. Huxley lays out a true Utopia and once again proves it could never be. Fortunately for us, he brings to light concepts for child raising and general peaceful living. One can certainly learn from this modern masterpiece. The plot is just as enjoyable as the underlying message. A secluded island, a shipwrecked spy, a changed man, and the inevitable corruption of Utopia. Huxley has spared nothing with this one. Island is a definate must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Huxley's best! Nothing short of absolutely amazing!, 26 Jun 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Island (Paperback)
If you liked A Brave New World, or, even if you didn't, this book is a must read. It's been analogized to the Bible by those I've lent it to, and I have yet to hear a bad word about it. If you are tired of reading sarcastic utopianistic literature, read Island. It is realistic, while being uplifiting and thought provoking. The only drwback is that its hard to find...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Full with both mystical and political insights. Delightful!, 14 Jun 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Island (Paperback)
Huxley's unique blend of utopia and appocolypse. This novel is a simultaneous blend of excitement, hope and dread. It is successful as a story because of it's compelling story line, but also important as a fresh approach to ancient wisdom. Huxley is a master of dazzling imagery, and startling conclusions. This book will make you think!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Island, 11 Nov 2009
By 
G. Hill "grahamthill" (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Island (Paperback)
I find it hard to review this book. It stimulated a lot of thought for me but I question whether it is a great novel. What starts as an interesting viewpoint on an alternative society ends with almost a lesson about the way the world should live. There really is not much of a story after the mid point. We know the central characters history and a little about the other characters. From then we read more about the Palanese way of life and the story does not develop.

On a positive note some points raised that have become more relevant over time, particularly regarding ecology and sustainability. And it is clear that the intention of the society is a peaceful and harmonious one.

One interesting debate would be as to whether the Palanese way of life represents a utopian society. To me there were some disturbing elements - the use of a drug to induce an open mind (this is their view of an open mind and isn't questioned). The children are categorized and almost institutionalised in to the Palanese society leaving little room for development of supposed missing skills. Also we have a society where children are not disciplined by their parents, if they have an argument they go to another set of parents. Some of the ideals contradict each other.

But does it make for a great book? For my tastes the main character, Farnaby is on the periphery throughout and in the middle third he might as well not be there at all. When we revisit his past I thought some elements were a bit clichéd. The looming threat of big oil companies is the thread that keeps the story moving along and it serves as the vehicle for the conclusion. Characters on the `evil' side are not developed and I was left to make assumptions. In the end I didn't really care that Pala was finished, it was inevitable from page one. As was Faranby's final transformation (again finally realised by drug taking).

So I can't say that I enjoyed it as a great novel, but it gave me much to think about. On that basis I give it 3/5.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book widely circulated in the 1960's which ..., 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Island (Kindle Edition)
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. It then provided a utopia, albeit a fragile one, for a generation's future hopes for the human race amid the geo-political nuclear threats of the time and the dead-end signs posted up by the failings of the Vietnam War. The nightmares of his Brave New World are put to one side (to resurface during the 1980's) as Huxley paints a positive and near-achievable way of being on an island far away from the realities of the modernising world across the surrounding ocean. Although his utopian vision fitted in well with the youthful aspirations that were beginning to blossom at the time, there are concerned glances at the peripheral corporate greed eager to take over (take out 'oil' and insert 'fracking' for instance for a contemporary take). However, the contribution this book makes fifty years on is debatable but I suspect it will be read well into the next fifty years and may well be 'rediscovered' as a new 'Treasure Island' for a new generation seeking an alternative answer to the multi-national corporate world that is taking over much more of our lives than is philosophically healthy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift, 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Island (Paperback)
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Huxley's utopian vision, 1 Jun 2013
This review is from: Island (Paperback)
After reading Brave New World and the Doors of Perception I thought I'd give this book a go after reading positive reviews. It is a beautifully written book and Huxley comes across as being typically eloquent, writing in an exceptionally lucid and almost scientific way, without the book losing its sense of poetry (the bit at the end in which the main character takes the enigmatic Moshka medicine is highly poetic.) In the book Huxley sets out to give a description of his idealistic utopian society in which the rationalism of the West and the mystic spiritualism of the east are able to co-exist in ideological harmony. He also plots out a culture in which the nuclear family of the west is no longer in existence and a child has the freedom to switch between families since any woman is considered her mother and the same for her father, which is very similar I believe to the Musou tribe in which sexual promiscuity occurs to such an extent that everybody is considered their mother and father. It is a rational and optimistic view of a society without the bleak nihilism of industrialization and urbanization but rather the quest for love, understanding, acceptance and spiritual stability. My only criticism is that the book at times due to its essay-like nature can at times become slightly tedious and monotonous and does no longer resemble a novel but an expose of Huxley's personal beliefs and ideologies. I know Huxley made the criticism himself when he said that in striving to blend novel and essay he indulged far too much in the latter. Saying that however, despite seldom parts of tedium, I thought it was fantastic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Huxley's island, 14 Aug 2010
By 
S. A. Eeles - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Island (Paperback)
Huxley wrote this book towards the end of his life. Having written extensively on many subjects , he turned his life experience to writing one of the best utopian novels ever. He imagined a futuristic island where people lived fullfilling lives, describing a more integrated and sustainable mode of living. This book was not only ahead of its time, it is one of a small group of books imagining how we could move from our current social and ecological mess to a more harmonious society. I believe we need a lot more writing from minds of this calibre to illuminate credible paths ahead.
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Island
Island by Aldous Huxley (Paperback - 7 April 2005)
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