Dale Pearl's Reviews > Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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Feb 11, 15

bookshelves: terrible, bbc-top-100-all-time-read, dystopian
Read in January, 2008

This book is on many a top 100 reading list. Aldous Huxley has the reputation of being an intellectual giant. His heritage places him in the land of England, the place where all of the great literary giants come. A Brave New World unfortunately does not live up to the credits,pedigree or even the cult following that chases after it.

Summary: In a nutshell this book is a mess. I am assuming that the majority of individuals that rate this book high on a novel list or 5 star it on here on amazon do so simply because A Brave New World is filled with satire in a dystopian society. Unfortunately for me that is not enough to warrant a five star rating.
Inconsistent plot line runs through this book. The main character "Savage" does not show up until half way through the book. All of the character names are a play on words. The book takes as many shots as it can at the American Capitalist engine.

The big negative for me is that it is just unbelievable. Savage, essentially an uneducated or "home schooled" Indian has a high level intellectual conversation with the main antaganist Mustaph Mond.
Breakdown Review:
Storyline: I give 1 out of 5 stars due to unbelievability.

Writing style: 3 out of 5 stars. The satire somewhat works and the writing style itself doesn't fit into the genious category.

Depth/Inspiration: 4 out of 5 stars. Despite the flaws this book is bound to inspire the creative gene in others. Unfortunately the humanistic undertones will lead many an individual down slippery slopes

Entertainment/Education value: 1 out of 5 stars. Not as entertaining as the hype behind the book and the writer. I do not see any education value in this book aside from how to write satire or how to write a novel to inspire a nation of conspiracy theorists.
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Comments (showing 1-29 of 29) (29 new)

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message 1: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate You rate books based on believability?!


Anthony Your rating is valid. But then you expect every "data transmission" from one human to another expounded in the form of ink-on-paper (ie a book) to fit the Big Mac model of literature being "meaty story, engaging characters hard bound and sandwiched between buns of 100lb hardboard covers" (sesame seeds optional).

Some stories require active reading. Of course, most are passive, the author is "Big Brother" and the reader must hear and obey.


message 3: by Nat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nat McLennan I haven't even finished this book but it seems to me that the reason he is called the "Savage" is because the others see him as inferior to their own society. The way that they view the lifestyle we live would make every single one of us seem to be unintelligent and this is not true. I'd say that the Savage is uneducated in terms of hypnopaedia and the like, not that he is incapable of true intelligence.


message 4: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Do your grammar makes me doubt your rating. your reason of "unbelievability" gives me reason to not care about your rating.


Wendy Terry Bernard is the main character.


Arsalan ale it's not easy to specify the main character wendy. nice review dale. absolutely realistic


Carlos Freitas There are 3 protagonists on this book: Bernard, Lenina and John

5 important characters : Protagonists + Mond + Helmholtz.

And John is a philosofer , he was taught by his mom , the indians ( you are understimating the indians here prejudice? ) and Shakespeare.

he's natural to it (deus ex machina)

and he in his solitude made his own little religion.

he can arge basic concepts with Mond, but in the book show he was lost on specifics.

So now is believable, and your low rating becomes, high and your critic turns on yourself,


message 8: by K (new) - rated it 3 stars

K Poole I think you summed it up best, the book is a mess. Seems so contrived, reminds me of CS Lewis who I also just don't get.


Lauren Ever heard of willing suspense of disbelief? Shakespeare's audiences knew it, and so should those who read this book. It is a thought experiment at its core, and it is an artistic expression of ideas that may or may not have been original. This book is not for everyone, I will say that much, as abstract art and existentialism are not for everyone. I hate to get into petty trolling, but I have to: I'm going to guess that you prefer photography over painting, movies over the stage. I find a particular artistry in not just attempting to replicate life in fiction, or to predict, but to play with reality in a way that makes you stop and say, "What the..."


message 10: by Dale (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dale Pearl Amy wrote: "your grammar makes me doubt your rating. your reason of "unbelievability" gives me reason to not care about your rating."

Not bad for someone who never went to high school or college huh? I retired at 38 too. So screw you and your snobbishness on my grammar.

Shakespeare invented words, grammar and chances are he didn't even write half of the things that have been associated to his name.

For the record I prefer to paint as I am quite good at it. I do prefer movies over stage but only because of the crazy expensive prices to seeing a stage play. I"m guessing you are the type of person that would drown if they were ever caught outside during a rain? (in case you don't get it... stuck up is what I am going for)

I gave an honest review and screw you for attacking me on my grammar. Not sure who you are but I'm guessing even if you are an English major your grammar isn't perfect either.

I'll write you off as just another over educated underpaid failure in life.


message 11: by Dale (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dale Pearl Kate wrote: "You rate books based on believability?!"

I have to be able to visualize the book in a reality setting yes. I was able to do so with the Hobbit, Foundation, The Martian Chronicles. The writers style and lack of world building and character development makes it hard for me to grasp this book in any sort of alternate reality.


message 12: by Friedrich (new) - added it

Friedrich Don't get too offended by the comment section! This site is full of pseudo-intellectual snobs so you shouldn't care about their comments on your review either. Thanks for the review!


message 13: by Dale (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dale Pearl Friedrich wrote: "Don't get too offended by the comment section! This site is full of pseudo-intellectual snobs so you shouldn't care about their comments on your review either. Thanks for the review!"

You are right Friedrich. I need to grow a thicker skin and just enjoy reading and reviewing. I will on putting down my thoughts regardless of the snobs.


message 14: by Rojin (new) - added it

Rojin Sh I agree with you in a sense that john's education was so exaggerated and it is not possible for someone with that level of education to be so sophisticated.
But I don't agree with you on him being the main character. Main character in Bernard and throughout the book, Huxley wants the reader to disgust the main character to emphasis the corruptions of society.


Braulio I don't think that Huxley was predicting the future at all so I completely disagree with your point of "unbelievability". For me he tried to show metaphorically the contradictions of societies by converging two totally different ones in one character who is the Savage.


Susana Pereira Hi, I liked your review although I do not agree with everything... ;) But I also felt those inconsistencies regarding the story of the Savage. I just wanted to add that the edition I read includes a foreword written by Huxley in 1946, 15 years after the book was first published, where he recognizes some flaws, including that one.
He says: "For the sake, however, of dramatic effect, the Savage is often permitted to speak more rationally than his upbringing among the practitioners of a religion that is half fertility cult and half Penitente ferocity would actually warrant. Even his acquaintance with Shakespeare would not in reality justify such utterances."
If you are interested in reading the complete foreword, I found it here http://www.wealthandwant.com/auth/Hux...


message 17: by Dale (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dale Pearl Susana wrote: "Hi, I liked your review although I do not agree with everything... ;) But I also felt those inconsistencies regarding the story of the Savage. I just wanted to add that the edition I read includes ..."

Great thanks for the Link!


Linzi Wilson Your review is your opinion and everyone's entitled to one! Ignore everyone's comments below as they believe that by insulting and attacking you they are making themselves look clever (which they are not)

Thank you for your review I'm half way through now and you made some interesting points which I'll keep in mind.


message 19: by Dale (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dale Pearl Thanks Linzi! Well said and I appreciate your feedback. If you are interested in Dystopian literature and would like to read what I believe to be the "original" dystopian novel it is called We. Here is the Goodreads link : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

George Orwell for 1984 and Huxley with his Brave New World appear to have taken core concepts.


Linzi Wilson Thank you dale :-) I have in on my to read list and will bump it up a bit now!

Just started Brave New World so will give myself a few books to think about it (dying to get into gone with the wind - such a girl! Haha) and then try We :-)


message 21: by Dale (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dale Pearl I'm not a girl but that one is on my to read list as well. :)


Colleen Browne A mess? I disagree completely. But the reason for my comment is your assertion that England is "the place where all the great literary giants come." You need to get out more. As an American, I can think of a few- Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Faulker, I could go on. Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky also come to mind. Yates, Beckett, and Shaw. Yes Dale you really need to read more.


message 23: by Dale (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dale Pearl Colleen wrote: "A mess? I disagree completely. But the reason for my comment is your assertion that England is "the place where all the great literary giants come." You need to get out more. As an American, I ..."

I should say "literary giants" as i am finding that not all books that are labeled as classic or as an " all time great" would even sell 100 copies if published today.

For me a true classic is a novel that stands the test of time. Would Heminway be abest seller in todays market ( he is my personal favorite, both him and Steinbeck) ? I tend to think so. The same with the others that you mentioned as well. Now would A Brave New World? I tend to think not. I doubt a publishing company today would even make an offer to Huxley and if they did I can only surmise that sales would be dismal.

As far as reading more i have already read 30 books for the month of April and doubt that i could extend more than that as it is i am only sleeping 2 to 4 hours nightly. Sad to say that there are even worse books out today and even sadder are that there are worse books than Huxley's cannon fodder. For the truly terrible read " A Clockwork Orange" or " To The Lighthouse" At least Huxley left us with a novel that has inspired many a writer to pen their own dystopian novel. Many of the " literary giants " inspire nothing whereas Huxley puts the gears in motion for creative thought.


Colleen Browne I didn't mean to question your reading and I apologize if I offended you. My reaction was purely in response to the comment about England being the place where all the great literary giants come. I lived in Ireland for many years and found that Brits could be terribly condescending and arrogant in terms of literary achievement. And it went beyond literature. When they found an author they liked who wasn't English, they would simply classify them as such and some Americans have the same habit. Being Irish American, I tended to take offense to it.

I also agree with your comment that this book would have a more difficult time finding an audience were it published today.


Linzi Wilson Just finished it. Found it a conflicting book in that I enjoyed the reading and loved the premise of the story. It just felt weak... I feel it could have been a lot stronger although it did explain how society functioned and go into process of Brain washing in great detail without being boring. Maybe it was the relationship between the characters I don't quite know. But that's how I feel anyway! I hear bbc did a series on it a while ago, might look that up and see if they improved on it any. See where you are coming from dale :-)


message 26: by Dale (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dale Pearl Linzi wrote: "Just finished it. Found it a conflicting book in that I enjoyed the reading and loved the premise of the story. It just felt weak... I feel it could have been a lot stronger although it did explain..."

100% agree with your insights. The premise and the core of the plot are great concepts but the delivery fails particularly with the character development and relationships.
The BBC series is it a set of audio tapes or a type of TV shows expounding upon the book with an overlay with present time?


message 27: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber It was written in 1932, does that mean n


message 28: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber *nothing to you?


Piarve I must say your review sums up the negatives I found in this book. I didn't feel that the book should have ended with Savage when he was introduced so late, and I felt that the ending was weak. I loved the book up until the last fiftyish (hehe made up word) pages. Other than that I enjoyed the satire elements, the reflection on society. It is open to so much interpretation though, which is probably what makes it a classic.


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