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Island Paperback – 7 Apr 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; Re-issue edition (7 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099477777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099477778
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"In the whole history of world literature, no writer has been better equipped to create images of false and true utopias than Aldous Huxley. Even when he has been satirising the false, the true has always been implicit in his work. We cannot deny Island's brilliance, its learning and its honest attempt to answer the big human questions" (Anthony Burgess)

"In the current climate, the novel's warnings about religious fanaticism, the exercise of massive military power, the geopolitical importance of oil and the development of artificial insemination seem extraordinarily prophetic" (Guardian)

"One of the truly great philosophical novels" (The Times)

Book Description

Read and loved Brave New World? Now experience Aldous Huxley's utopia. Special 3D cover edition - every copy comes with 3D glasses.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Island can be read in four ways; as a poor novel, a thread-bare utopian manifesto, a (borderline)pseudo-intellectual essay on humanity or (as I did) a thought provoking philosophical novel. Much like HG wells - 'A Modern Utopia', Island takes you on a journey through a utopia and allows you to contemplate on its merits.

I do not know if Huxley was trying to convince me of this Utopia's ideals or not. I naturally read it as a invitation to question everything. If you approach reading the book in this manner, you will finish Island much more enlightened than you started.

It does have a plot and several characters, that said I don't believe Huxley is a great story teller and so, I would warn you away if you are looking for a fully formed, fleshed out novel. However, in my opinon this does not take away from the book. If you are looking for escapsim, stick to a thriller. This book won't make you look out the window, it will make you look in the mirror.

Island is the philosophical sister to the sociological Brave New world, despite sharing some qualities, Island is not about 'Them', it is about 'You'.

As thought provoking as anything I've read from Plato all the way to Orwell.

One of the most important books I've ever read.
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Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on 3 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
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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