Brave New World

Brave New World

Audiobook CD - 2003
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Huxley's bleak future prophesized in Brave New World was a capitalist civilization which had been reconstituted through scientific and psychological engineering, a world in which people are genetically designed to be passive and useful to the ruling class. Reproduction is controlled through genetic engineering, and people are bred into a rigid class system. As they mature, they are conditioned to be happy with the roles that society has created for them. The rest of their lives are devoted to the pursuit of pleasure through sex, recreational sports, the getting and having of material possessions, and taking a drug called Soma. Concepts such as family, freedom, love, and culture are considered grotesque. Against this backdrop, a young man known as John the Savage is brought to London from the remote desert of New Mexico. What he sees in the new civilization a "brave new world" (quoting Shakespeare's The Tempest). However, ultimately, John challenges the basic premise of this society in an act that threatens and fascinates its citizens.
Publisher: Auburn, CA : Audio Partners; North Kingstown, RI : BBC Audiobooks America, p2003
Edition: 75th Anniversary ed
ISBN: 9781572703025
Characteristics: 7 sound discs (8 hrs., 20 mins.) : digital, Dolby processed ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: York, Michael


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JCLIanH Jul 03, 2018

Michael York's reading of Huxley's classic is outstanding. It's a great example of how a great narrator can elevate a novel and, in a sense, offer a new perspective on the material. York's English accent (and his willingness to go totally over the top on occasion) really brings out the dark humor in this incredibly bleak vision of the future (which feels more and more prescient by the day). It's deliciously dystopian.

Dec 02, 2016

I listened to the audiobook version, celebrating the 75th anniversary of Aldous Huxley's book, which was read by Michael York. It was well done and and enjoyable.

So much of what Mr. Huxley predicted in this book about society and the ills of people is with us today, but I suppose has always been a part of society and will always be a part of it. As man always esteems for a better society, there will always be conflict between that betterment and personal liberty. This eternal conflict is what is reflected upon in this story.

A society has emerged in which people are formulated for certain status and functions. From the elite to the morons. From the thinkers to those who can only perform minimal labor tasks. A society in which every aspect and purpose of is orchestrated and designed for the purpose of society. By the simple manipulation of genes, a persons status is sealed, then controlled.

Yet, as hard as society tries, there are flaws, there are those, who have little quirks, which cause them not fit into the cast they were destined for. They may have too much aspiration to achieve, may think higher than those within their cast, and other anomalies.

This society then in contrasted in the story, with a segment of society, in which everything is left to nature, where mother and father produce children naturally, where a society develops, protects, grows, by its own design, without the manipulations and design of only a few.

These two societies are then pitted against one another and the results of such conflict are contrasted within the premise of this story and well done.

This book is simply that, a contrast between a society that every aspect is designed and manipulated; how many morons are to be made, how many elites are to be produced, how to maintain and keep this order, and the continual massaging of this structure according to insights of the designated (and self appointed designers). In opposite to a society in which we would be more familiar with. A society composed of a family structure, driven by its moral values and perspectives, struggling to with and yet cooperating with one another for the pursuit of its values and morales and purpose. All in which self actuation and awareness are theirs, and where liberties are cherished.

You will find yourself reflecting quite a bit as these two societal norms are starkly contrasted and compared and the internal and external conflicts are revealed and contrasted. The enviable question meant to be asked by the reader, where are we destined? What is our future? What elements of each societal structure will we abandon or keep. How much of our liberties are we willing to ceed to obtain what is a self perceived pursuit of a utopian type society.

A thought provoking, reflective, and insightful read (listen).


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