[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”B0012QED5Y” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51V2uq%2Bf5FL.jpg” width=”500″] [simpleazon-link asin=”B0012QED5Y” locale=”us”]Brave New World[/simpleazon-link](Unabridged) by Aldous Huxley
Review: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Is it better to be happy or free? Can you imagine being one without the other? In Brave New World, Huxley imagines a world overcome by consumer culture and the desire for stability over all else. A world in which an individual’s happiness is defined not by freedom but rather by the ability to satisfy basic needs of food and sex. As for success, it is measured not by character or true achievement but by economic growth and prosperity.
While overly sexualized and not at all subtle, the reader never forgets that this book is a satire and mocks a world in which people are concerned with little else but appetite. In fact, humanity itself, love, passion, family, intellectual and spiritual pursuits are lost in this Brave New World. Consumerism is bitterly attacked, and moral ambiguity where “everyone belongs to everyone else” is condemned.
York provides lively narration with distinct voices matching the characters. The book is often comical, and York delivers the humor quite well. The sexual references make this book inappropriate for younger listeners, but at least there is no course language. While the book is generally accessible to the average listener, I found that I missed several key points and was grateful to SparkNotes for granting me clarity after the fact. Because Brave New World was written in 1932, I didn’t always understand the cultural or political references. Nevertheless, the overall message about the dangers of consumerism were clear and resonate loudly today.
Brave New World may not make my list of favorite classics, but it definitely makes my list of most memorable ones. Brave New World is not about characters or even plot but the message. And it has a great deal of food for thought. In Brave New World, the god is Henry Ford, and production and consumerism are the only values. Not life or liberty. And happiness isn’t within, but without. If one accepts that happiness equals stability and gratification.
Without humanity, no one really connects. They are alive only in the strictest sense and are conditioned to believe that they are content. Parallels with today’s society are so pervasive that I will be referencing Brave New World often. I recommend this book not only for science-fiction fans but for anyone old enough to appreciate a book about politics, programming and the media. Brave New World features cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social-control. Written in 1932! Definitely a worthwhile read.
“Everyone works for everyone else.”
“When the individual feels, the community reels.”
“You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle.”
“Civilization is sterilization.”
Video Spark Notes Plot Summary of Brave New World
*Contains Spoilers! Watch AFTER reading book.
SparkNotes: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley