Reviews: Brave New World

A Book to Change Perspectives

Brave New World was a book I read in my freshman year in high school, only to revisit it my senior year as part of a class. Reading it as a 14-year-old, I enjoyed it purely for it's scientific elements and storytelling. Revisiting the book at 18 gave it a completely new look. Since reading this book I've read the re-visitation as well as the quasi-sequel Island. What's perhaps most jarring about Brave New World is the fact that it's a world where people are controlled by that which they love; they are controlled by their culture. In the world today, it is still obvious that culture is controlled freely and by the people. However, with more and more media consolidated in companies and record labels, the question has to be asked, are we heading towards a Brave New World? This is what is known as The Huxleyan Warning, the idea that we are approaching the dystopia described in the novel itself.

In many ways Brave New World is the opposite of 1984. In 1984, society is controlled by fear and hate, and books are banned. In Brave New World, pleasure and leisure control society instead, and nobody has any reason to read books as they're too busy with more socially interesting activities. And in our modern world of television, instant access to entertainment via the internet, and the growth of international consumerism, there are quite a few distractions away from literature. For this reason I believe the goal of Huxley in writing Brave New World was to have it serve as a warning to not let our culture control our society. I believe it's a powerful warning, and one that should be observed at all times.

As a teenager, this book changed the way I looked at the world, and it helped me identify and understand the growing influence of consumerism and pop culture. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to challenge their perspectives on society, culture, or religion. Even if you're not, it's a fine book to read if only for its story.

Simply Awful: EDIT

Okay, no one seemed to be happy with my original review of Brave New World, so I will elaborate my opinions.

It's not JUST the fact that the book feels like an anti-science rant (until about 14 chapters in) written by a man who had his schooling done in the 1700's. It's not JUST the fact that the writer was such an arrogant whiner, or even that he actually thought this book could happen. It's not JUST the fact that it's a rip off of 'We'.

It is, plain and simply, BORING. The narrative style is so stale, sterile and simply distant from the action, that it fails to at any point grab the reader's undivided attention until it's in it's last few chapters. Absolutely nothing is described in detail, to the point where I literally could not picture a single character. (I actually, and I am dead serious, imagined Bernard Marx as looking like Groucho Marx because of his last name, as there was no other description than saying he was short.) And if I could, there's so little description of background that I could only imagine the book's events taking place in an empty void.

Now, I mentioned in my original review that the characters were unlikeable. I meant that literally. I never said "Under developed" I never said that any of them were lacking in depth. In fact, I was surprised by the actually quite deep character of Mustapha Mond. But, I simply found everyone ANNOYING. I couldn't stand reading the character's rants about nothing in particular as they had some of the most stiff and boring conversations in the whole World State. Now, I might have over exaggerated about ALL of the characters. I actually sorta liked Mustapha Mond, John (Only at about chapter 13, however) and Helmholtz Watson. But, everyone else? Just plain irritating.

Another problem I have with the book is that the plot moves very slowly. Like, the 'plot' starts at chapter 8, out of a 16 chapter book. That's really all I can say.

Also, it contains one of the most annoying and cliched aspects of science fiction. It thinks it can create new things by just throwing words together and pretending it's a new invention or device. It's very annoying.

Finally, I shall speak of my main problem with the book. It is so self absorbed, takes itself so seriously, and simply ARROGANT that I couldn't like it all.