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Dopo molte estati

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,407 ratings  ·  111 reviews
A Hollywood millionaire with a terror of death, whose personal physician happens to be working on a theory of longevity--these are the elements of Huxley's caustic & entertaining satire on the human desire to live indefinitely. A highly sensational plot that will keep astonishing you to practically the final sentence.--The New Yorker
Paperback, Medusa 224, 304 pages
Published 1949 by Mondadori (first published 1939)
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
I've noticed through the few reviews that I have scanned, and in the comments made by friends who have read this less-known Huxley novel, that it is widely considered to be a lesser work, a novel too bombastic to maintain proper momentum and sustain the reader's attention. To be candid, my roommate told me it took him nine months of toilet-reading to get through it, and he spent the two weeks that I was reading it (actually only a week when you factor in the days and days I spent out of town and...more
Amy Do
Huxley's "Brave New World" was, to me, a controversial and provoking novel that had just the right amount of thrill and philosophy. "After Many a Summer Dies the Swan" shares the same characteristics, with perhaps a bigger portion of discussion essays. I understand why it took some readers months to finish; the amount of philosophical discussion is large and the topics Huxley raised in this book are abstract and complex. Ideas of eternality, the withdrawal of one's personality, time and evil, go...more
carl  theaker


The first pair of chapters give a great description of Los Angeles;
the quirkiness and the contrasts, giant billboards, architecture,
landscape, the transients and the well-to-do, all an insight into
what makes LA, LA, and perhaps could only be written by someone such
as Huxley coming from a different country getting a fresh view to
this new American city.

As always, Huxley is heavy on the philosophies and satire as he
mocks the continual California search for youth with science and fad
diets, yep th...more
Bill H
Sep 11, 2010 Bill H rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of Isherwood's A Single Man
Having read no Huxley other than "Brave New World", I took this one up solely on the assumption that Isherwood had included it in his "Single Man" for some good reason. And, of course, he did: themes of mortality and meaning are central here, too.

"After Many a Summer" is a mix of equal parts philosophical musing and straightforward comic novel. The latter -- the main thrust of the storyline, even specific settings, as well as Huxley's style here -- reminded me of nothing so much as Waugh's "The...more
Paulimeepa
Huxley is brilliant and an amazing writer, but non too subtle about the social points he wants to make. And his fantastical allegories are a bit much sometimes, but nonetheless, he always leaves you thinking and his books make a permanent mark. This one is no exception. It was weird, grounded, poignant, deep, funny, shallow, sarcastic and earnest all at once. I read it after reading some fun but overly solemn and artlessly written fluff (Sue Collins' The Hunger Games, I think), and it really cle...more
Kelly
This was one great short story and one great treatise on God and Man unfortunately compressed into one mediocre book. Huxley's reflections on the role of religion are certainly valid and worthy of their own cover; why squeeze them between the chapters of a pulp fiction short? The combination ruins the flow of both story lines and leaves the reader wondering why they didn't just skip to the end. A suggestion for the reader: if you want a smutty pulp short, skip any chapter involving Mr. Propter a...more
Philip
As novels go, After Many A Summer by Aldous Huxley presents something of the unexpected. It’s a strange, rather perplexing experience. By the end, most readers will feel that what started as a novel somehow morphed into something different. What that something might be is probably a subject of debate. And exactly how of where the transformation took place will remain hard to define.

At the outset, any review of the book should state that this text is rather verbose, uses long sentences that tend...more
Kim
"After Many A Summer Dies The Swan" is a novel by Aldous Huxley originally published in 1939. The title originally was" After Many a Summer" but it was changed when published in the USA. The novel's title is taken from Tennyson's poem" Tithonus", about a figure in Greek mythology to whom Aurora gave eternal life but not eternal youth. The title is taken from the fourth line of the poem:

"The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,

The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,

Man comes and tills t
...more
Synful
All told, I believe it took me nearly 3 months to get through this book. While I am in agreement with Huxley's general way of thinking, I guess I should've known better than to pick up this book. I have trouble getting through books written before, definitely, WWII. I find the style of writing tedious and boring, overly descriptive of everything unimportant to the main plot.

This book, once I cut through all the excessively ponderous prose, boiled down to an observation piece about decadence, ina...more
Halik
It was alright. the plot had great potential. and had nice build up, but Huxley diverted into some deeply philosophical mumbo-jumbo about 1/3rd of the way in and continued almost until the end. What could have been an exciting read goes wanting for plot treatment and a proper climax. potentially a great work of speculative fiction made mediocre by too much philosophizing. It would have been better of Huxley had designed the story itself to convey some of the ideas that he propounds (by means of...more
DJ Dycus
There are certainly some interesting ideas in this book, and it takes an unexpected twist, but overall I'd have to say that it's not worth wading through. The book certainly shows its age. There is a great deal of pontificating (the interesting ideas already mentioned), and it frequently feels like you're attending a lecture rather than a novel with interactions among genuine characters.

Huxley uses this book to critique the excesses of American culture, so that was interesting--materialism, obse...more
Ursula
Jeremy Pordage is an English archivist who takes a job working for Jo Stoyte, a millionaire Californian who collects valuable objects without much knowledge about or interest in them. Stoyte's latest acquisition is something called the Hauberk papers, and Pordage is thrilled to get to go through them, cataloging and delving into the papers of some family of English earls. He's thrilled at the job, but the surroundings and people prove to be a bit beyond what he might have expected to deal with....more
Alex Rubenstein
Typical Huxley... who uses his characters more as a vehicle for his broader philosophical and moral ideas than as a means of advancing his plot. And while the storyline is interesting--a man who wishes to live forever seeking out an extremist doctor willing to go as ethically far as it takes to understand the "secret" to everlasting life--one has to read this more with an eye toward the implications of what "living a good life" means: is it simply quantity of years, or is the value of life also...more
Crystal
I found this book by chance, in print, at my local library while checking out the inventory of the stacks. I don't quite understand the low rated reviews. Yes, the material is "heavy" but, "bombastic"; hardly! I devoured this book in a week. I've been struggling with Fromm's Art of Listening for 4 months now so I can relate to the mention of "heavy" topics! I suspect it just boils down to tastes and topic interest. That said, Huxley's personality, intelligence and creativity came through in this...more
Shiloh
One of my favorite books, very disturbing take on American manias and Hollywood. Haven't read it in awhile but recommend it to anyone interested in the roots of literary science fiction or dark satire.
Kay
Wonderful spoof on youth-obsessed culture, not in the least hampered (and probably aided) by a fairly far-fetched scientific plot device. Let's just say I've never looked at carp the same way since.
Mike Torres
Very good. Much better than Point Counter Point. This is a book that is ultimately funny but only in retrospect. Much love for it and perfectly willing to take the title, hence forth, of Dr. Obispo.
Brianna
I didn't finish this book. The material was too heavy to enjoy, though I do like the way Huxley writes his books. This book wasn't nearly as witty as his other satire.
Brandi
One of my favorite books pretty much ever, it is also one of Huxley's most overlooked. While it is rather wordy and pretentious, I think that was kinda the point.
Brian Smith
This book is a prime example of dogma dictating narrative. I cannot remember at which point I started skimming through Mr. Propter's pedantic discourses.
Steve Cooper
A lot of the reviews here make valid points: the philosophical asides are brilliant but tedious for people who don't like philosophy. The characters (the entire plot in fact) do sometimes seem like an afterthought, employed to support the 'big' ideas, but that's not to say they're two-dimensional.

However, when reading a book like this it's important not to get too focused on only one of the many interesting ideas that fly like sparks from Huxley's mind. Explorations of mortality, eroticism, clas...more
Ant
I didn't see this one coming. Here I was following the trajectory of Huxley's career as a writer from the start, watching as he becomes drier, less cynical, more personal; and then this completely derails my assumptions. If there is one thing in this book that remains true to the course of his career, it is that this is where Huxley's mysticism is hung out for all to examine. Firstly, after the last two structurally complex books, this one flows like a B grade movie. And while his other books we...more
Nancy
Joseph Panton Stoyte is a wealthy man and a builder of empires in California. He is also old and terrified of dying. Stoyte keeps the grim reaper at bay with his own personal physician and by keeping a young woman as his mistress.
He also continues to be suspicious of the young woman and on one disastrous day makes a monumental mistake.
Huxley mixes his story with his own unique style and brand of philosophy.
I may have saved this book from the dumpster as it was ordered into my library for me...more
Katherine
"Gothic with a Gothicity raised, so to speak, to a higher poer, more medieval than nay building of the thirteenth century" (18).
"Not having been brought up in a free country, Jeremy had automatically begun to smile as this person, whom he guessed to be his host and employer, came hurrying towards him" (28).
"...in spite of God's being love, there was a note in his voice of renascent exasperation" (38).
"...then, with the elaborate by-play of Guy Fawkes talking to Catesby on the stage of a provinci...more
Tony
AFTER MANY A SUMMER. (1939). Aldous Huxley. ****.
This is a difficult book to read, but well worth the effort. It’s not really a novel, but a platform for Huxley to speak out – through his characters – his thoughts on the state of civilization at the time. You have to remember that 1939 was the year that the Nazis invaded Poland, and the war was about to begin. The Spanish Civil War was on everyone’s mind. We, in America, had decided that the business of America was business. In the midst of all...more
Martin
I loved this novel for the first six chapters, approximate the first fourth of the novel. After that I struggled to finish it. Luckily I read a few reviews on goodreads that gave me permission to skip the chapters containing Mr. Propter and the socratic questioning on his views. Some kind of metaphysical stuff that I found a bit condescending towards Dust Bowl refugees and the crises in Europe. What I loved initially was our entrance into Los Angeles of the 1930s, driving from the airport to Jo...more
Isabel
Mrs. Pordage, The Araucarias, Woking, England," he wrote, smiling a little as he did so. The exquisite absurdity of that address was a standing source of amusement. 'The Araucarias, Woking'. His mother, when she bought the house, had wanted to change the name, as being too ingenuously middle-class, too much like a joke by Hilaire Belloc. 'But that's the beauty of it,' he had protested. 'That's the charm.' And he had tried to make her see how utterly right it would be for them to live at such an...more
Rachel
I loved the first part of this book, until Mr. Propter came along. While I can sympathize with some of his views, Mr. Propter is an insufferable, know-it-all bore who sucks all the air out of the story.

I normally love Aldous Huxley's writing--he can sum up human quirks so neatly in hilarious little observations that are both succinct and ingeniously inventive. All that screeches to a halt when Mr. Propter starts in, and the reader is left plodding along through a mass of mediocre philosophizing...more
Brett
I actually would give this book 3.5 stars, if half stars were allowed. Huxley, as always, is a talented writer making canny observations about human behavior.

As in his other novels concerned with social behavior and status, the various characters in After Many a Summer seem to represent various types or schools of thought that are made to argue with each other. Some characters Huxley likes better than others, and one is almost certainly a stand-in for his own blooming mysticism. It's a shame th...more
Dylan
A satirical and philosophical exploration of futility, mortality, and enlightenment set in Huxley's very modern stereotype of the Southern California of the 1930s. Made me want to read both his The Perennial Philosophy and Mike Davis's City of Quartz. Some reviewers seem to think it is too dated to get 5 stars now, but I would argue (although I'm not going to get into it here) that considering when a work was written is critical in evaluating it, even if that means overlooking many elements that...more
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Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death in 1963. Best known for his novels and wide-ranging output of essays, he also published short stories, poetry, travel writing, and film stories and scripts. Through his novels and es...more
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Brave New World Brave New World/Brave New World Revisited The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell Island Brave New World Revisited

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“But then every man is ludicrous if you look at him from outside, without taking into account what’s going on in his heart and mind.” 51 likes
“Pleasure cannot be shared; like Pain, it can only be experienced or inflicted, and when we give Pleasure to our Lovers or bestow Charity upon the Needy, we do so, not to gratify the object of our Benevolence, but only ourselves. For the Truth is that we are kind for the same reason as we are cruel, in order that we may enhance the sense of our own Power....” 34 likes
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