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Aldous Huxley: A Biography

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  87 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
When Aldous Huxley died on November 22, 1963, on the same day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated, he was widely considered to be one of the most intelligent and wide-ranging English writers of the twentieth century. Associated in the public mind with his dystopian satire, Brave New World, and experimentation with drugs that preceded the psychedelic, a term he invented, ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published March 24th 2003 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2002)
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May 11, 2008 Tamara rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Every Huxley fan
Recommended to Tamara by: A good friend
I don't read biographies much. This book however, was quite good. Very smart. There was nothing deeply personal and internally moving about its recall of Huxley’s life, just the quick moving chronological clime of a great author and his spiritual remedies. I did not weep at the telling of Huxley’s death in this account, instead I put the book down having marveled at his life.
Oct 05, 2016 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really great biography of a fascinating author. I only bought it because I'm working on a project relating to his last novel, Island, but I really enjoyed reading the book. I'm curious to read Bedford's biography, which I believe is far more extensive than this.
Jul 16, 2014 Jake rated it it was amazing
Great biography, and one that does an amazing job weaving Huxley's ideas and his unique and often misunderstood character.

If one judges Huxley based on his novels alone, they will probably come away with the conception of a pessimistic, detached intellectual who cynically marvels at the stupidity of other human beings. There is a grain of truth here, particularly in his early writings, but it is far from the full story.

Those who knew Huxley often described him as "serene" and almost other-worldl
Aldous Huxley:A Biography by Nicholas Murray was an enjoyable read and a good introduction to Huxley's life.

There are moments where the biography is a strained. For example, when the author attempts to incorporate Maria's, Huxley's first wife, bisexuality into Aldous' life. This is never done smoothly and it reads almost as if Mr. Murray felt they needed to do this but did not really know how to go about it.

For the most part, however, Murray's biography of Huxley is a good introduction to the
Feb 01, 2011 Sull rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Massive book, which I didn't quite finish. Interesting fellow I didn't know much about. I remember his novels scattered around my parents' house when I was growing up--"Eyeless in Gaza", "Antic Hay"--and of course I read "Brave New World" in high school. These icons of my childhood are a bit freaky--see John Cheever. Huxley was chock-full of ideas of all kinds, scientific, social, psychological, medical.... the man simply never stopped thinking. I found the thinking parts exasperatingly boring ( ...more
Apr 10, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Murray's biography is an excellent introduction to Huxley's intellectual life. The chronology is meticulous. For those well-read in Huxley's main interests, you'll forgive the pun that this biography offers superb insight into the mechanics of Huxley's genius life.

I'm hopeful that Sybille Bedford's (what is considered the definitive) biography of Huxley will shed light on Huxley's internal, emotional workings.
Lobke Minter
Aug 07, 2012 Lobke Minter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A biography that illuminates the man as well as his work.
A must read for anyone who has ever read "Brave New World" and wondered what mind could come up with something so unique.
Caitlin Marie
I bought it but haven't cracked it yet, I'm waiting for a good time to completely focus on this one.
Meredith Walker
contained some interesting information, providing insight into where his literary ideas may have originated.
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Nicholas Murray is an English biographer, poet and journalist.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
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“[Huxley's Perennial Philosophy is concerned with] the need to love the earth and respect nature instead of following the example of those who 'chopped down vast forests to provide the newsprint demanded by that universal literacy which was to make the world safe for intelligence and democracy, and got wholesale erosion, pulp magazines, and organs of Fascist, Communist, capitalist, and nationalist propaganda.' He attacked 'technological imperialism' and the mechanisation which was 'increasing the power of a minority to exercise a co-ersive control over the lives of their fellows' and 'the popular philosophy of life... now moulded by advertising copy whose one idea is to persuade everybody to be as extroverted and uninhibitedly greedy as possible, since of course it is only the possessive, the restless, the distracted, who spend money on the things that advertisers want to sell.” 2 likes
“ is creeping into middle age and is less easily distracted by one's appetites, which have grown feeble, and by one's passions, which seem such a bore - all but the consuming desire for knowledge and understanding. That grows. - Aldous Huxley” 1 likes
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