Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (30 July — 1 August)

Oh, Brave New World. I was all prepared to come here and write about how weird this book is and how I didn’t like it all that much, but then I got to this quote near the end of Chapter 17: “You can’t play Electro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of Centrifugal Bumble-puppy.”

And then I realized that, while this book is preachy and antiquated and kind of boring, well, so was The Handmaid’s Tale, in its own way. And so was The Stepford Wives. And definitely so was 1984, and I count that among my favorite books. So. One set of postulates it is.

Brave New World is a dystopian novel about a far-ish future wherein people are decanted rather than born and it is decided in the test tube whether each person will be an Alpha-plus intellectual or an Epsilon-minus one-of-ninety-six drone worker. Everyone is conditioned to like being at their own level and like being part of the greater society. This is all well and good, but some improperly decanted types, like Bernard Marx, feel that they could do something more with their lives than be happy.

Yeah, that’s kind of the whole novel. Huxley brings in a “savage” in the middle, a man actually born outside of this happy society, and he remarks on how ridiculous it all is for a while, and everyone else remarks on how ridiculous he is for a while.

There’s not really any sort of conflict in the novel, which I guess makes sense when everyone is happy, but it makes the going rather slow. And this future isn’t really terribly dystopian; even the people who don’t like the society get to have their own place to live in the end. I’m really lukewarm on this. If you’ve got more fiery comments to make about the book, please do so!

Rating: 6/10
(My Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge)

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2 thoughts on “Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (30 July — 1 August)

  1. Amy says:

    Mary – really?

    Alison – Yeah, I didn't really like it when I borrowed it from you all those years ago. I don't really see what the big deal is about.

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