Crome Yellow (Library of Essential Reading)
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Crome Yellow (Library of Essential Reading)

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  3,079 ratings  ·  223 reviews
Since its initial publication in 1921, Aldous Huxley's Crome Yellow has delighted readers with its ironic wit aimed at a diverse carnival of pretentious British upper-class characters. Huxley's satiric novel exposes the social hypocrisy of a rigidly class-conscious British establishment that was trying to forget World War I had ever happened. His characters hide their inse...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Barnes & Noble (first published 1921)
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Sara G
Nov 26, 2012 Sara G rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of British manor lit, British satire
I had never read any of Huxley's novels other than Brave New World, and was surprised to find that his first novel, Crome Yellow, is quite far from a sci-fi novel, being instead of the species of British manor satires that seem to make up about half of the novels in the English language. Not only this, but the back of the book says that even less happens than is normal in these novels. That didn't exactly sound like what I wanted to read on a weekend night, but it was already in my hand so I cra...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
This was the author's first novel, published in 1921 when he was just twenty-seven years old. The setting is in a country-house called Crome and there's very little that goes on here by way of plot, just a series of mini escapades and mildly thought-provoking and sometimes witty dialogues among its guests, one of whom intones:

"That's the test for the literary mind, the feeling of magic, the sense that words have power. The technical, verbal part of literature is simply a development of magic. Wo...more
Marius van Blerck
This is Huxley's first published work, written in his mid-twenties, just after the First World War. He had spent some time living at Garsington Manor (the model for Crome), home of Lady Ottoline Morrell. Huxley had been disqualified from active duty in the war due to a period of near-blindness, but as his eyesight recovered, he studied English Literature at Oxford, and had a stint at teaching at Eton.

On the surface, the book is a light comedy, in the Country House genre. In this role alone it is...more
Dec 07, 2008 Rosianna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every fan of Fitzgerald and Waugh.
Recommended to Rosianna by: Celia J
Shelves: favourite-books
My friend Celia is a huge Huxley fan, so some time ago I bought a copy of Crome Yellow but never really had an awful lot of time to read it. Last week, I dove in, and absolutely adore it. It's the Great Gatsby of the United Kingdom, a novel entrenched in 1920s high society lifestyles, of dinner parties and estates. Huxley focuses most directly on Denis, a struggling poet who cannot quite grasp the art of writing something up to par, nor can he win the heart of the young lady he has fallen for.

“Of course,” Mr. scogan groaned, “I’ll describe the plot for you. Little Percy, the hero, was never good at games, but he was always clever. He passes through the usual public school and the usual university and comes to London, where he lives among the artists. He is bowed down with melancholy thought; he carries the whole weight of the universe upon his shoulders. He writes a ‘novel of dazzling brilliance"; he dabbles delicately in Amour and disappears, at the end of the book, into the luminou...more
An author's first novel is often semi-autobiographical, and Huxley's "Crome Yellow" is no exception. Drawing from his experiences at Garsington Manor and his time with the Bloomsbury set, Huxley satirizes and caricatures the British world fresh from The Great War and heady with a world of possibilities, including another potential global conflagration that could destroy humanity.

Huxley's range of male characters read like spokes on a wheel of his own personality. Early in the novel Huxley's main...more
Several of my friends read Crome Yellow when I was in high school. Since I had been less than thrilled with Huxley's more famous Brave New World, I passed on the novel. Recently seeing the book on our local library shelf, I opted to check it out. Maybe I simply hadn't been ready for Huxley in high school (though Albert Camus and Franz Kafka seemed accessible enough).

Crome Yellow reminds me of an English country house mystery without the mystery. The cast of characters is bizarre, including: the...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Huxley's first novel written in 1921 tells the story of a 'house party', so to say, at the house of Henry Wimbush called 'Crome'. With a brilliant array of characters, Huxley gives an in-depth history into certain aspects of the story, his characters include apart from the protagonist Denis, the owner who also calls himself a historian, Mr. Barbacue-Smith, Mr. Scogen, the owner's niece Anne, and others.
This is a solid piece of work but maybe for unseen reasons. I was expecting a completely different story through the title. It's completely lacking in the Sci-Fi, Drug Induced sort of feel of later Huxley works. This happens to be only the fourth piece I've read by him(second in his fiction)and compared to maybe a more mature Huxley in others eyes, the writing here feels much more elegant and marked by grander words. I must say and not so gravely that this is a pretty dry book. It does kind of d...more
Judyta Szaciłło
It is a book about nothing and nothing really happens there. Some people get together in a country house and pretend to have fun. That's it.

It is amazing how rich such nothing can be! It can be a philosophical treatise, a sermon, a funny short story, a tragedy and romance. And it is - it is all of these things.

The book is not particularly good overall - it is a hodgepodge of a little bit of everything. But, oh my, you really can see the beginnings of a literary genius! It was Huxley's first publ...more
Written when he was twenty-seven, Huxley's first novel is a cursory exploration into many of the thematic elements that would later mark his literary ouevre (existentialism, mysticism, modernism, etc). Set in early twentieth century England, on the manorial Crome estate, this scathing satire of wealth, aristocracy, and effete intellectualism is both a vivid character study and a commentary on excessive morality. Never at a loss for wit, Huxley crafts the remarkable tale of three wordsmiths brou...more
Stephanie "Jedigal"
I downloaded this ages ago to my Kindle, along with many other titles from the "1001" list, and by the time I happened to select it, I had entirely forgotten what it was about. Given that my impression of Huxley is formed primarily by Brave New World, this was an interesting surprise. One note - the writing is smoooooth. Jane Austen feel, but without a plot. More like a series of consecutive anecdotes. The light way in which Huxley makes fun of the early 1900's English gentry is outstanding. It...more
Pete daPixie
Aldous Huxley's first novel, published in 1921. 'Crome Yellow' is short and sweet. A pacey fiction that the author bases around Garsington Manor and Lady Ottoline Morrell. The characterisation of the post Great War English generation, such as Russell,Lawrence,Yeats,Eliot and Sassoon, who partied at Garsington, are given comic portrayals at Crome.
Huxley presents us with the upper-class country house of the 20's. The central character, Denis Stone joins the party with host Henry Wimbush and his wi...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
In the beginning of the book I thought that I've read this story before. It just reminded me of various other books and films about a group of people that get together for a few days and talk about nothing and everything.

But then I realized how unfair I was to Huxley, he wrote this book in 1921, earlier than most the other adaptions I've consumed of this format and that made me appreciate this much more.

Storywise nothing much happens, you get to know the characters and their personalities their...more
A country house weekend, but like Island, the plot, such as it is, just seems an excuse to contrive situations for various cardboard characters to pontificate about life, philosophy, culture etc, rather than the driving force.

Quote of the book: "if all these people were dead... This festivity would be would be extremely agreeable."
Linda I
"Crome Yellow" is a satirical short story about the events which happen when a curious group of people spend a few days at Garsington Manor or referred to as "Crome". The story's focus is on Denis, a handsome and idealistic young man, who must endure the ridicule of his fellow housemates after admitting he planned to write a book about love, art and coming-of-age, a topic thoroughly in vogue and well overdone at the time. Denis also finds disappointment in love but meets a famous writer who insi...more
I have long known of "Brave New World" but I had never read any other Aldous Huxley works. I have noticed that he is often quoted in those chapter-heading-quotes that some authors like to do. After listening to Crome Yellow, I can see why his writings might be a tremendous resource for pithy quotes.

I had not read other reviews of this work prior to starting it myself, except for noticing that people seemed to like it a lot, but I have since read a review by Maggie Tulliver on Amazon that was ver...more
Crome Yellow (1921) - Aldous Huxley
Setting: A month long party at a country castle, Crome, by an odd group of leisure-class 'creative' artists. This is comic satire, the dialog and situations are very humorous. I really enjoyed the shifting romantic attachments and much of the 'learned' discussions.
This is a young work, Huxley was 26, but i was struck by how much of this is a precursor to Brave New World (1932). In specific see the end of chapter 5 for the part about human's born in bottles, and...more
Novels like Brave New World, 1984, The Handmaid's Tale and Fahrenheit 451 always seemed to me to be a double-edged knife blade. Their importance in opening many people to the door of science-fiction cannot be questioned. Any discussion of dystopian literature would be empty without their totalitarian omnipresence whilst any mention of the authors, regardless of context, will invariably bring the conversation back onto their one dystopian novel - again and again. It seems to many people these nov...more
Perry Whitford
At the time I first started to study as well as read literature in earnest, like many before me I had an early fascination with the classic Dystopian/Utopian texts, such as Huxley's Brave New World. After being much taken with that test-tube, soma-lulled vision of the future, I set about reading the rest of Huxley's novels, the earliest of which I found to be very different.
In Crome Yellow, a fey, self-conscious young poet, Denis Stone, is invited for the holidays to Crome, the country house of...more
"Prose?" Mr. Scogan pounced alarmingly on the word. "You've been writing prose?"


"Not a novel?"


"My poor Denis!" exclaimed Mr. Scogan. "What about?"

Denis felt rather uncomfortable. "Oh, about the usual things, you know."

"Of course," Mr. Scogan groaned. "I'll describe the plot for you. Little Percy, the hero, was never good at games, but he was always clever. He passes through the usual public school and the usual university and comes to London, where he lives among the artists. He is b...more
Along this particular stretch of line no express had ever passed. All the trains – the few that there were – stopped at all the stations. Denis knew the names of those stations by heart. Bole, Tritton, Spavin Delawarr, Knipswich for Timpany, West Bowlby, and, finally, Camlet-on-the-Water. Camlet was where he always got out, leaving the train to creep indolently onward, goodness only knew whither, into the green heart of England.
So begins Huxley’s Crome Yellow, the first novel he ever published....more
Steve Morrison
I finally found a book reminiscent of Thomas Love Peacock's conversational novels--lucky me! T. L. Peacock is entirely individual and lovable (I reread his Nightmare Abbey every Halloween), and early Huxley walks in the same woods. This book was hilarious and delightful. Antic Hay, Huxley's second novel, is also highly amusing.
Crome Yellow is a wonderful collection of characters (or maybe caricatures)from the Bloomsbury group era. Huxley's first novel, while a bit chunky here and there, is a fun read for anyone who loves the wit and eccentricity of the times.
Madame Sosostris, my heart stops, all goes limp. wish I knew a clairvoyante, a famous clairvoyante like you
Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley published in 1921 was Huxley's first novel. It is a witty, satirical book about the British literati. It is set in a country home of Henry Wimbush in the town of Crome. The time period is just after World War I. Denis Stone, who sees himself a poet, is hopelessly in love with Henry’s niece. Mr Scogan is the rational person who discourses constantly and prefers the things of man and rejects nature. Priscilla Wimbush is immersed in the occult. Gombauld is the painter...more
A country house party with various characters flitting on and off-stage.

Anne on men and women -- "Can't you see that you're simply externalizing your own emotions? That's what you men are always doing; it's so barbarously naive. You feel one of your loose desires for some woman, and because you desire her strongly you immediately accuse her of luring you on, of deliberately provoking and inviting the desire. You have the mentality of savages. You might just as well say that a plate of strawberr...more
Rachel Terry
I think if Jane Austen had lived a century later, her books may have felt like Crome Yellow. A group of landed English aristocrats spend time in one of their mansions, taking walks, talking about history and politics, and trying to pair up. This particular mansion is called Crome, and it has some fun history. I especially liked the story about the three sisters who wouldn't eat in front of other people; one of them was blackmailed into marrying the man who discovered them gorging themselves in a...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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