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on 9 April 2017
It's quite extraordinary to think this book was first published in the early 1930s. Parts of it feel just around the corner even now.
A beautifully crafted work of dark humour and foreboding, Huxley takes us to a future ( we don't know how far ahead as the year is given as AF631.) where humans are factory farmed. Their future caste established from conception, by selective nourishment or poisoning of the foetus throughout its growth (in a bottle).

Family doesn't exist, the very thought is repugnant. Children are conditioned to behave as befits the caste. Alpha pluses run the world with Epsilon semi-morons at the bottom of the ladder. All are kept in line with a dose of "soma" a happy pill that keeps the population under control.

No one really cares for anyone, everyone sleeps with everyone and the world is full of pretty,plastic music and calming aromas.

The question is what would happen if a normal person (a savage) dropped into this perfect world?
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on 18 August 2017
I had never thought to read this book and was actually searching for a film (The Shape of Things to Come) which I thought was from a story by Aldous Huxley. Instead I bought Brave New World and am glad to have do so. Written at a time (1932) when science fiction was very much still in its infancy the predictions of medical and technical advances are remarkable for their accuracy and the changes to social mores coupled with eugenics is frighteningly familiar. This book should be compulsory reading for everyone, in particular those world leaders (both secular and religious), scientists, the armed forces, industrialists and overzealous do-gooders who wish to impose upon in so many ways.
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on 29 November 2017
A flawed gem. Not the best written book, but it's a very interesting read, and bizarrely for such an old and famous book it is feels extremely original. Why the themes and ideas explored here haven't been ripped off a thousand times I don't know, but this book was like a breath of fresh air.

Like 1984, this book shows you into a world where society works very differently. But this book mostly avoids pushing a moral judgement on the reader, leaving you to make up your own mind. And that can be tricky, as some of the aspects of the brave new world are appealing and others are revolting. Which is which will depend on the reader, so it's a great book for discussions!
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on 9 January 2016
Brave New World depicts a simple, light-hearted and perfectly content society, where, through conditioning from the moment you burst into life in the test tube to your irrelevent death, no-one suffers, no-one complains, and no-one is ever alone. A world where you are constantly stimulated by synthetic machinery, and require nothing but one or two pills to escape a stray emotion here or there, or induce a mental holiday to avoid the possiblity of facing them. No worries.

And also no art, no literature or true creation of any kind. No gods or spirituality, no adventure or surprises or passion of any kind, ever. No parents or families or friends or intimacy. No scientific advancement. No private thoughts. Everyone is for everyone else. Your time must be shared. You can never experience solitude and reflection. You can never have autonomy. Your words are not your own. Your body is not inviolate. If you are not like this you are shipped off to an island with the few other defective members of society who are like you. Whether that is lucky or unlucky is a matter of perspective.

Effing frightening stuff if ever I heard it. I loved this book more after I finished than when I was reading, because the challenge wasn't in accepting the world the characters inhabited, as it was really easy to digest because of its intentional tone (extraordinarily light, as if you're on a drug inducing you to be that way the entire time, hint hint), but accepting the world around me as being frighteningly familiar to it in some unsettling ways. It deosn't wholly reflect the world right now, but when it does it is in big ways. Though short it feeds enough into the psyche about our society as a whole, how we need suffering for heroism, mutual passion for love, pain and rejection for inspiration, and loss to understand the value of life - without these things creativity and progression are impossible. In Brave New World they are unwanted. Even sitting here now I'm remembering things that have so much more meaning after digesting than they did at the time. I suppose that's a good sign, being able to think...

Having been released in the 40s (and so forgiveness must be given for some more outdated things in it), I'm sure it was a frightening vision of the future like its fellow 1984. Nowadays, maybe it doesn't always get the same reception because we're slipping into a distracted world and are conditioned to not see it coming...even like it... There are so any things I could write now the layers are springing up, but I would probably write an essay. Or a book. It'd probably be something very much like this one.

As an added bonus, there was was also that moment I realised the film Demolition Man was clearly inspired by this book. That was a revelation.
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on 7 August 2017
Brave New World presents a much more different view of the future than George Orwell's 1984. The way I see things, the Western world is moving into a combination of both novels, through the coming internet censorship, and the advent of virtual reality pornography. The New World Order is real.
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on 20 November 2016
I've been meaning to read this for years and wasn't disappointed when I finally got round to it.

It's still relevant today and it's an easy read, though it does lack characterisation and action. However, isn't that part of the Brave New World? If you want personality and action then Lee Childs is your man, not Huxley.

Some of the predictions, such as personal transport and unlimited sex, read like an adolescent wish list, but others, such as cloning a workforce with pre-ordained attainment levels may yet turn out to be close to the truth.

I enjoyed it and would have liked it to be longer, with more development of some of the ideas. I'd also like to know how their air traffic control system worked.

Really it's 4.5 stars but as that's not an option it gets 5.
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on 4 May 2015
Loved 1984, but couldn't stomach B.N.W. Why? I can't really put my finger on it. Some of the concepts are good and to an extent realistic, but because we are looking into the future, the old fashioned language (yes I get it, that can't be helped, Huxley died about fifteen years before my own birth) almost ruins it. Whereas 1984 can be read today as if it were written yesterday. I must confess, I got bored and put it into the archive of my Kindle, where the free and 0.99p rubbish remains and will probably stay until I upgrade my device or it malfunctions. That is the pure danger of Kindle; I love the device and feel it is good for the environment, plus you can read your desired book once you have procrastinated for hours like I did with B.N.W, but the books can be overpriced, like B.N.W. So if like me you are procrastinating over buying the book, but feel my review may not do justice, go to a public library, or get a sample before buying.
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on 26 September 2015
Not my normal genre of book, but had to read it as it was selected by my book club. I found the vision Huxley had for the future interesting with the thought of a sterile environment of a world, no disease, no pain, no dirt, no worries, everyone content and happy. Which is very much the aim nowadays with everything wiped down with antibacterial wipes, acquired immunity not being given a chance to kick off. " A ton of muck maketh man" not Shakespeare but still holds true.
I found the style of writing to start with a bit confusing, the way conversations would flip from one couple to another couple in an entirely different setting in the same paragraph, unless that's just the way it's laid out in kindle.
Also the repetitive nature of the slogans being chanted over and over, I know it's brainwashing idea, but a bit too much on paper.
But written in the 1930s this guy had real insight for the future and got a lot right apart from the large television boxes! No mention of flat screens!
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on 17 April 2014
We cannot say we weren't warned of the world in which we now exist.

I saw an advertisement in the newspaper (gosh they're losing relevance, aren't they?) recently for a stage production of 1984 (Orwell), I thought to myself 'What kind of non-observant person would spend time watching a mellow version of the metropolis world of today?'

Brave New World falls under this category too… it is any wonder that Huxley was Eric Blair's (see Orwell) tutor? What their combined literary effort does contribute today however, is (for some) a recalibration of senses, to appreciate that our desensitisation and the intrusions into our daily lives were far from inevitabilities, and come about (/made possible) by an (significant) element of predictive programming (i.e. these types of publications and media representations of the future), and due to general consent via apathy (these past generations have little to be proud of is the a cold truth) - after all who wouldn't enjoy their servitude if the alternative was not even knowing that they were born.

As Huxley wrote, 'those who are different, are lonely.' Or is it that they are made to feel different and lonely by the dynamic of an illusory threat which stops them from speaking out and seeking others who are 'different' too? Is to be different, to be true to yourself? Will we only know what passion is when we stand for what we truly believe in, rather than (in the instability of insecurity) lean on the projected belief institutions would have us buy into?

The infiltration of the mind conditioning is intertwined so co-dependently now that only a higher enlightenment from whence this began (post-second world war in particular) will liberate us, and give us the courage to preserve through the trauma and pain, whilst retaining our spiritual connection to body and so avoid existing in a state of purgatory.

If you buy this book, I implore you to read it consciously and critically, in awe of the scale of the subsequent deceit and not of some fanciful ideas that Aldous Huxley was a visionary or (even less so) a humanitarian.
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on 22 October 2017
Probably tens of thousands of theses have been written about this book. An absolute classic of its time, best read with a search engine available to check all the Shakespear and other references contained within it. A book everyone should read but only when they have the maturity to get past the fact that it is so embedded in modern culture now that it is very dated.
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