Saturday, May 26, 2012

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley



If you are looking for a very nice and detailed sort of review of the book, this is not it; but I could redirect you to a good one here.


The first dystopia I read was Orwell's1984, when I was in high school. I re-read it years later now, and I still can't seem to get over its charm and genius. I have re-read the Appendix, which explains the principles of Newspeak more times than I could count! Another dystopian novel (actually, novella) I remember reading was Ayn Rand's Anthem. It was a good book. Only last year, I read Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and was awed by the whole concept. Yet, when someone posed the question: "Do you like dystopian fiction?", I immediately thought to myself, "Not really". I was so wrong. I decided to take part in the Dystopia 2012 Challenge at Bookish Ardour. And I am so glad I did, because for whatever reason, I would never have picked this book up otherwise. It is the sort of book that everyone should read.

The book Brave New World is written by Aldous Huxley in 1932. "Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of the World Controllers. In what seems to be a utopia or an ideal society, happy, perfect people are  created using a combination of developed technology and sleep-learning and such. Like in 1984 there is, however, someone who doesn't quite fit in this society.
It is difficult, at times, to connect to the (sort of shallow) characters, but the story draws you in nevertheless. It is very intriguing that, what seems like a utopia, is actually a dystopia. And I wonder, what exactly would be a utopia?  The frightening vision of the future, made me really think about the nature of morality. The book is at times quite ridiculous, and at times hauntingly real.

It seems, Brave New World was inspired by a novel by H.G. Wells called The Sleeper Awakes, which I now can't wait to read. If you haven't read Brave New World, do yourself a favour and go read it! Now!

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