Point Counter Point
(a) Why do people bother with worrying about liberty, democracy and politics, when they should just get on with living their lives
(b) It is easier to live the life of the intellectual, to live in a world purely of ideas, than it is...more
The novel doesn't have a front-to-back storyline, a precise plot, or a main character. It starts off with Walter Bidlake's "trials and tribulations", only to extend to the entire social network of the London elite of the 1930s.
Huxley's versatility brings this writing to the status of "masterpiece", si...more
Along with with Brave New World (written a few years later), Point Counter Point is Huxley's most concentrated attack on the scientific attitude and its effect on modern culture.When it was published in 1928, Point Counter Point no doubt shocked its readers with frank depictions of infidelity, sexuality, and the highbrow high jinks of Aldous Huxley's arty characters. What's truly remarkable, however, is how his novel continues to shock today. True, we may hardly lift an eyebrow at poor Marjori
Well, I read it, but was frustrated in that I didn’t understand what the author was trying to do. I am a big Huxley fan, but this book won’t be included in my list of all-time favorites. First off, there is no plot – at least one that I could find. It reminded me very much of the film, “My Dinner With Andre,” except that this dinner date had about twenty characters in it. It starts out at a musical soiree at the mansion of a very rich couple in Lo...more
Point Counter Point is about contrasts (hence the title) as well as Huxley's perennial themes of dehumanisation and futility in the modern world. It is full of mismatched couples, people committed to psychological and political opposites. It is one of Huxley's longest novels, and is full of philosophical argument.
There is no single central character. Rather, it is about a dozen or so equally important people, vaguely connected through mutual...more
Huxley has a readable style and mixes into the plot events,
and mystery while working in his point and counter points.
Though in this tale he has too many characters. I call this the poor man's,
or maybe I should say the "Reader's Digest" version of
'Dance to the Music of Time' (which I recently just finished).
The plot keeps one's interest but many of the ideas and happenings
are severely dated. This novel doesn't quite stand the test of time.
Probably selected for the Modern Library 100 because of hi...more
There is, of course, class distinction, however, most of the affluent characters were rather self indulgent...more
Huxley pays attention to class. A person's position of power or disenfranchisement is shown as the foundation for the most intimate of thoughts (you can only believe certain things when you have a guaranteed weekly income). It is latent in any phy...more
As with many of the books I've been reading lately, this one was much too long. And the tiny font size didn't help matters either.
Huxley introduces a large number of characters and sub-plots (though not as many as you might find in a nineteenth-century Russian novel, for instance), and some of them he abandons long before the reader is expecting it, thus leaving the reader with the awkward sensation that some of the stories were unf...more
Filled with the intellectual, raging, pathetic, humorous musings of all its characters, it held up so many strings all at once and never dropped any of them.
It took me a while to get all the names of the characters right (I kept confusing Burlap and Bidlake, for example, and forgetting who Walter was), but their experiences and inner mo...more
'Thousands upon thousands of millions of minute and diverse individuals had come together and the product of their mutual dependence, their mutual hostility had been a human life. Their total colony, their living hive had been a man. The hive was dead but in the lingering warmth, many of the component individuals still faintly lived'.
'Dying, He was quickening their life'.
'Don't envelop me in love like this, don't force love on...more
The characters have just fought (or have been brought up during) the “Great War” and, now t...more
The themes in this novel are nicely presented - as relevant today as ten years before WWII: man on "A Highway to Hell" as Rampion (D H Lawrence) postulates to P. Quarles (Huxley). Political squabbling simply silly and headed in one and the same direction - the bottomless abyss. Politics, industrialization, scientific progress preoccupied so with the means the end is not seen nor considered relevant. (Reflect on polit...more
Passively psychoanalytical, Huxley lays bear the minds of dozens of characters, all complex and nuanced in their own ways. There were many moments where I felt the words resonating with me; lines of thought that I'd explored myself and not seen elsewhere before. And many interesting new concepts to mull over.
I found that the...more
What a completely different book this was from Brave New World! The writing style, the philosophies, the storytelling; all so drastically completely different. I’m wasn’t sure what I was in for with this book, but it certainly wasn’t that. Not that that’s a bad thing, just unexpected.
This book follows the style, and deals with issues that I classify as “stuffy English literature”. Typically there is very little plot, the character development...more
"People aren't moved by misfortunes they don't know about. Ignorance is insensitive bliss"
"I mistrust intellectualism, but intellectually, I disbelieve in the adequacy of any scientific or philosophical theory, any abstract moral principle, but on scientific, philosophical, and abstract-moral grounds."
"I perceive now that the real charm of the intellectual life-the life devoted to erudition, to scientific research, to philosophy, to intellectual schemata for the complexities of...more
It is more broadly a "novel of ideas" with a novelist of ideas, Philip Quarles, at its center. Quarles is a withdrawn, cerebral man, ill at ease with the everyday world and its emotions. He is surrounded by friends and family whose lives are like those of the monsters that Philip writes about in his journal. Just as Philip decides to structure his novel on t...more
The book consists of depictions of several characters in a fairly upper-crust social circle in London. There is no 'big event' or necessarily overarching plot in the book, but basically a series of vignettes portraying each character as...more