Read: Brave new world by Aldous Huxley

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Continuing on with my sic-fi kick, I finished Brave new world this lovely afternoon on the sunny porch–a paradoxical setting indeed for such a book.

Wow. I’m still stunned by not only the ideas, plot, and characters but even more so by the execution. This is an instant favorite of mine now. Huxley meant for this novel to be a work of art, something that the society he writes about would ban and despise.The language is an artistic object of beauty, describing people and a civilization that detest that very notion. Brilliant.

In that sense, it reminds me very much of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov; the difficult topic and content are embellished and showcased with such a mastery of language that you can get caught up in the stunning language while it jars your perceptions of what you are reading. For some, both books might be too tough to get through, yet they are well-worth any squeamishness that may cause. Oddly enough, I started both books previously and put them down early on, being appalled at first. However, since they are classics, I returned to each in turn and am very glad I gave them a second chance and stuck them out. These will definitely make my “re-read” list–perhaps when this current challenge is over, I’ll post about that.

This book is fairly recent to my bookshelf. The copy I tried to read before was a library book. I found this one on sale, due to minor spine damage, at a bookstore in Wooster, Ohio. It called out to me,what can I say? Really, it taunted, as in “Sure, the English major librarian still hasn’t read me” tone. And of course, 1984 and Ana Karenina jumped onto the counter that day as well–they’re coming up soon, promise. The mistake was walking into the bookstore in the first place but I’m very glad I did! Haven’t been back since, though, and don’t plan to until I’m done reading what I have now.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled onto a cool website that posts unique letters sent to, from, or about famous people. The letter Aldous Huxley sent George Orwell prompted me to pick up this book next and sets me up for my next one already, you guessed it, 1984. Clearly, Huxley thinks his future is more likely than Orwell’s, so I had to see what all this is about, hence back-to-back readings. I’m sure getting my sci-fi fix now!

Recommended: Definitely! No matter what your tastes, this is an amazing, thought-provoking book that everyone should read, especially in this consumerist era.

Infinite update: same place. Alright, by next post I’ll move that bookmark forward a ways! This is ridiculous.

Note: :/ Sorry about the sideways pic again–any suggestions on how to post it vertical? I’ll have to look into this now and try to fix it for next post.

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2 responses »

  1. This back-to-back with 1984? A pretty ideal way to read two awesome novels. Huxley’s did turn out to be the more prophetic book, I’d say, if we’re talking about the western world. But Christopher Hitchens once remarked that 1984 was practically a blueprint for North Korea’s society, which seems sadly accurate.

    Oh, and I must say, any Lolita-Brave New World comparison is a rare one, indeed.

  2. It has been years since I read either one. It would be interesting to reread again, especially Brave New World. Talking about rereading: I finished Bainbridge’s Master Georgie and turned back to chapter one immediately. I love the style. The story is a killer in more ways than one. Her style is informative.

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