Darran Mclaughlin's Reviews > Point Counter Point

Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley
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's review
Jul 27, 2011

bookshelves: british, modernist

Neither brilliant nor awful. It has some good elements but it has no central theme or idea, and no plot to speak of. It reminds me of a cross between Vile Bodies and The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir. It is a book about the racy nihilism and the upper classes in the jazz age and a 'roman a clef' about the ideas and personalities of the twenties. I recognized the character of DH Lawrence, and it was interesting to see how highly he was thought of at the time. I think I got who James Middleton Murray was supposed to be, and I think I might have understood who Huxley himself was, but I have no idea who Katherine Mansfield was supposed to be as none of the female characters are writers or New Zealanders. It wasn't a bad book but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The most interesting bit of it for me was the character of Philip Quarles, who resembles me so much he could have been based on me.

I should add that as a novel of ideas it is nowhere near the quality of the great, usually Germanic novels of ideas. It isn't in the same league as books like The Magic Mountain, The Man Without Qualities, Atomized or anything by Dostoyevsky.
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