One of the most important novels of the twentieth century is also witty, thrilling and uncannily prophetic - read it today
Aldous Huxley was born on 26 July 1894 near Godalming, Surrey. He began writing poetry and short stories in his early 20s, but it was his first novel, Crome Yellow (1921), which established his literary reputation. This was swiftly followed by Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925) and Point Counter Point (1928) - bright, brilliant satires in which Huxley wittily but ruthlessly passed judgement on the shortcomings of contemporary society. For most of the 1920s Huxley lived in Italy and an account of his experiences there can be found in Along the Road (1925). The great novels of ideas, including his most famous work Brave New World (published in 1932 this warned against the dehumanising aspects of scientific and material 'progress') and the pacifist novel Eyeless in Gaza (1936) were accompanied by a series of wise and brilliant essays, collected in volume form under titles such as Music at Night (1931) and Ends and Means (1937). In 1937, at the height of his fame, Huxley left Europe to live in California, working for a time as a screenwriter in Hollywood. As the West braced itself for war, Huxley came increasingly to believe that the key to solving the world's problems lay in changing the individual through mystical enlightenment. The exploration of the inner life through mysticism and hallucinogenic drugs was to dominate his work for the rest of his life. His beliefs found expression in both fiction (Time Must Have a Stop,1944, and Island, 1962) and non-fiction (The Perennial Philosophy, 1945; Grey Eminence, 1941; and the account of his first mescalin experience, The Doors of Perception, 1954. Huxley died in California on 22 November 1963.
Gr 8 Up-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a classic science fiction work that continues to be a significant warning to our society today. Tony Britton, the reader, does an excellent job of portraying clinical detachment as the true nature of the human incubators is revealed. The tone lightens during the vacation to the wilderness and the contrast is even more striking. Each character is given a separate personality by Britton's voices. As the story moves from clinical detachment to the human interest of Bernard, the nonconformist, and John, the "Savage," listeners are drawn more deeply into the plot. Finally, the reasoned tones of the Controller explain away all of John's arguments against the civilization, leading to John's death as he cannot reconcile his beliefs to theirs.The abridgement is very well done, and the overall message of the novel is clearly presented. The advanced vocabulary and complex themes lend themselves to class discussion and further research. There is sure to be demand for this classic in schools and public libraries.-Pat Griffith, Schlow Memorial Library, State College, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
"It is impossible to read Brave New World without being impressed
by Huxley's eerie glimpses into the present" * New Statesman *
"The 20th century could be seen as a race between two versions of man-made hell - the jackbooted state totalitarianism of Orwell's Nineteen Eight-Four, and the hedonistic ersatz paradise of Brave New World, where absolutely everything is a consumer good and human beings are engineered to be happy" -- Margaret Atwood * Guardian *
"Aldous Huxley was uncannily prophetic, a more astute guide to the future than any other 20th century novelist ... Nineteen Eighty-Four has never really arrived, but Brave New World is around us everywhere" -- JG Ballard
"A brilliant tour de force, Brave New World may be read as a grave warning of the pitfalls that await uncontrolled scientific advance. Full of barbed wit and malice-spiked frankness. Provoking, stimulating, shocking and dazzling" * Observer *
"The most prophetic book of the 20th century... If you have time for just one book, this would be my top choice." -- Yuval Noah Harari