Sunday, June 15, 2008


Rating : 4.5/5
Number of Pages : 229
Reason for Reading : End of the World Challenge, one of those books I can't believe I hadn't read before!

Set in a future where families do not exist, there is no such thing as a mother and no one gives birth. Instead babies are made in test tubes in factories and are modelled into a class system before they are even "born". This is done by either with holding or administering a series of different chemicals. After birth the children are then conditioned during their sleep and encouraged to engage in sexual play when growing up. They are taught that "everyone belongs to everyone else" and there is no concept of monogomy. The different classes are also taught not to interact with those outside of their social group, apart ffrom the two highest groups (alphas and betas).

Here is also no concept of God and there is no such thing as unhappiness. As soon as anyone starts to feel uncomfortable, they take the drug Soma as a holiday from reality. It has no side effects and no come down (although you can overdose on it as it turns out later). Not everyone seems content though. Bernard marx is a psychologist and is dissatisfied with life. He questions the uptopia they appear to live in but is attracted to the "pneumatic" Lenina. He takes her to visit the Reservation where Savages live (like Native American's) who still have family units. There they meet Linda and her son John "Mr Savage" who originated in their world. He takes them back as an experiement which has very wide reaching consequences for all involved.

A fantastic novel. Definitely a product of it's time (1930's) and the factory line where Henry Ford has become a national figure (instead of oh God people exclaim oh Ford). George Orwell certainly must have taken inspiration from this novel when writing 1984. Brave New World is a much less brutal look at an alternative future with aspects seeming to be coming true (certainly the drug culture). Everyone should read this at some point.

Other reviews: Trish's Reading Nook

9 comments:

Andi said...

Another of my all-time favorites! I read this one as a high school student when I went through a whole obsession with dystopian literature. I've re-read it a couple of times, and I learn more with each reading.

Literary Feline said...

I tried and tried to read this when I was in college and just couldn't get in to it. I would like to try again someday.

Nymeth said...

I also think this is a must read! I think prefer Orwell, but I can definitely see how this one must have been an influence on him. And anyway, both are great.

Melody said...

Sounds interesting! I'll have to look out for this book.

mariel said...

Ah, another "How have i not read this??" moment! We all have them! I loved this book. I found it all very creepy, the way people are basicaly drugged to keep them happy, everyone seems very apathetic about the world around them. This is almost more believable than some of the more violent and political futuristic outlooks I've read in other books. I quite liked the science involved too. Excellent writing, nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be! Glad you liked it!

Debi said...

Geez, it's been nearly 30 years since I read this, and I still remember how much I loved it. Though after reading your review, I realize how little I actually remember about the actual story. Think that signals that it's time for a reread, huh?

jehara said...

i loved this one as well. glad you finally read it and loved it. :)

Kim L said...

I know I started this book but now I can't remember if I ever finished it! I bought a copy recently, so maybe I'll get around to rereading it again.

Trish said...

I just finished this one so I've linked your review...

Creepy book, huh? I had a difficult time believing and remembering that this was written in 1932.