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Brave New World

Product no.: 0-06-092987-1
Huxley's terrifying vision of a controlled and emotionless future Utopian society is truly startling in its prediction of modern scientific and cultural phenomena.

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Publisher's Synopsis
Satirical and disturbing, Brave New World is set some 600 years ahead, in "this year of stability, A.F. 632" - the A.F. standing for After Ford, meaning the godlike Henry Ford. "Community, Identity, Stability," is the motto. Reproduction is controlled through genetic engineering, and people are bred into a rigid class system. As they mature, they are conditioned to be happy with the roles that society has created for them. The rest of their lives are devoted to the pursuit of pleasure through sex, recreational sports, the getting and having of material possessions, and taking a drug called Soma. Concepts such as family, freedom, love, and culture are considered grotesque.

Against this backdrop, a young man known as John the Savage is brought to London from the remote desert of New Mexico. What he sees in the new civilization is a "brave new world" (quoting Shakespeare’s The Tempest). However, ultimately, John challenges the basic premise of this society in an act that threatens and fascinates its citizens. Huxley uses his entire prowess to throw the idea of utopia into reverse, presenting us what is known as the "dystopian" novel.

When Brave New World was written (1931), neither Hitler nor Stalin had risen to power. Huxley saw the enduring threat to society from the dark side of scientific and social progress, and mankind's increasing appetite for simple amusement. Brave New World is a work that indicts the idea of progress for progress sake and is backed up with force and reason.

Reviews
"The way in which Brave New World is provocative to me is because so many things have crept up in our culture that I would hardly notice were it not for a presentation of such a dark mirror as Brave New World against which to see this. There are so many ways in which television, technology, transportation, ecological shifts, have blended into the terrain so much. Then I read Brave New World and I say, it couldn't happen now. Then I look and it has happened. Or it's happening."      ~Ram Dass

"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-spiced frankness, Brave New World is one of the most urgent appeals for a reconciliation of science with religion that our age has known"    ~Observer

Excerpt
ART, SCIENCE–you seem to have paid a fairly high price for your happiness," said the Savage, when they were alone. "Anything else?"

"Well, religion, of course," replied the Controller. "There used to be something called God–before the Nine Years' War. But I was forgetting; you know all about God, I suppose."

"Well …" The Savage hesitated. He would have liked to say something about solitude, about night, about the mesa lying pale under the moon, about the precipice, the plunge into shadowy darkness, about death. He would have liked to speak; but there were no words. Not even in Shakespeare.

The Controller, meanwhile, had crossed to the other side of the room and was unlocking a large safe set into the wall between the bookshelves. The heavy door swung open. Rummaging in the darkness within, "It's a subject," he said, "that has always had a great interest for me." He pulled out a thick black volume. "You've never read this, for example."

The Savage took it. The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, he read aloud from the title-page.

"Nor this." It was a small book and had lost its cover.

The Imitation of Christ.

"Nor this." He handed out another volume.

The Varieties of Religious Experience. By William James.

"And I've got plenty more," Mustapha Mond continued, resuming his seat. "A whole collection of pornographic old books. God in the safe and Ford on the shelves." He pointed with a laugh to his avowed library–to the shelves of books, the rack full of reading-machine bobbins and sound-track rolls.

"But if you know about God, why don't you tell them?" asked the Savage indignantly. "Why don't you give them these books about God?"

"For the same reason as we don't give them Othello: they're old; they're about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now."

"But God doesn't change."

"Men do, though."           ~Chapter Seventeen 

Author Huxley, Aldous
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 268 pp.
Publisher HarperCollins 1998
Browse these categories as well: Science Fiction Novels, Visionary Fiction

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