Saturday, January 11, 2014

Brave New World

Title: Brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006 (first published in 1932)
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Source: Library Used Book Sale
From Goodreads:
 "Aldous Huxley's tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric version of a "utopian" future - where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment."

I picked this book up solely based on the cover.  I knew absolutely nothing about this book.  It has been wallowing on my bookshelf for the last year or so.  I finally decided to pick it up because I have a whole bunch of books that I promised myself I would read last year.  I wish I would have read this sooner.

I was very surprised to find out that this book was first published in 1932.  It is way ahead of it's time.  If I hadn't looked at the original publish year, I would have thought it was written in the last twenty years.  In this society, people are genetically manipulated to be a member of a caste system (Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Epsilons).  They're created in a lab and gestate in bottles, where things are added to physically create the differences that caste members have.  That's just the beginning of lifelong conditioning for each person.

The story focuses on Bernard, an Alpha who is not as tall as the other Alphas.  He understands why society runs the way it does but questions certain things.  A lot is explained about how society runs.  Bernard is attracted to Lenina, another Alpha.  He takes her on a trip to see the Savages, Native Americans in New Mexico, who live rather "primitively".  There reactions to the people there are worth reading about.

Buy this book.  Seriously.  Brave New World should be a must-read for everyone.  I would even have this as required reading if I was a high school English teacher.  That is how much I recommend this book.  Just read it.

No comments:

Post a Comment