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Eyeless in Gaza

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,873 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Written at the height of his powers immediately after Brave New World, Aldous Huxley's highly acclaimed Eyeless in Gaza is his most personal novel. Huxley's bold, nontraditional narrative tells the loosely autobiographical story of Anthony Beavis, a cynical libertine Oxford graduate who comes of age in the vacuum left by World War I. Unfulfilled by his life, loves, and adv ...more
409 pages
Published January 10th 1994 by Flamingo (first published 1936)
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Denis Berman This book is brutal. More brutal than Orwell's Clergyman's Daughter! How can you be more severe than that? I think Huxley was trying to dissect life…moreThis book is brutal. More brutal than Orwell's Clergyman's Daughter! How can you be more severe than that? I think Huxley was trying to dissect life from the inside out and outside in. He was way too dark in this novel. I don't exactly understand what he was trying to prove. I haven't cried after car accidents but this book almost made me cry. Is life this dark? This book is like a terrible airplane crash. Yes, I am referencing the dog that splattered. What was Huxley thinking? And to answer your question, it is normal that it took you longer than usual to get through this drivel. (less)
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Jonfaith
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That was the chief difference between literature and life. In books, the proportion of exceptional to commonplace people is high; in reality, very low.

Practically bed ridden, incapacitated and unable to sleep I completed this chewy hulk of a novel in 24 hours. Overflowing with ideas, Eyeless asks about Action: what is one to do? Anthony, one of the novels chief characters remains preoccupied with freedom throughout his life. The narrative rotates between 5 or so timelines and flips back to each
...more
Pete daPixie
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was Samson who fought the Philistines, whose 'nazirite' locks were lost due to female duplicity and resulting in his enslavement and his condition of being 'eyeless in Gaza'.
Along with Hesse, Huxley was required reading back in my teenage years, after all, there he was on the cover of Sgt Pepper. Having read 'The Doors of Perception-Heaven and Hell', 'Brave New World' and 'Island' all those years ago, it has been a joy to return to this masters writing and still find it exquisite.
'Eyeless in
...more
Anita
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eyeless in Gaza was one of the most profound books I've ever read. After reading it I immediately wanted to read it again. I wanted to sleep with the book under my pillow...but it was a book I checked out of the library, so naturally I was concerned with it being a health risk so close to my face.
Ant
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing

It's a shame that Huxley is almost solely noted for his rather simplistic Brave New World, when the brilliance of half forgotten works like Point Counter Point & Eyeless in Gaza are covered by their years as though stone locked into the times they were written, away from todays readers. Both employ brilliant structures to tie in various storylines, albeit in entirely different ways, but Eyeless in Gaza was probably one of the most personal & introspective novels of his to date. So much s
...more
Lavinia
Feb 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, fiction
Roman de idei, foarte concentrat dpdv intelectual, nu foarte lejer pentru neuronii mei. Nu e greu, dar nu e totusi o lectura de vacanta, ca sa zic asa. Motiv pentru care am luat si retetele Babettei pe linga, ca suport :)
Ma bucur ca nu i-am dat pace si m-am tot caznit cu el, putin cite putin. Ceea ce a fost foarte bine, pentru ca finalul, sa zicem ultimele 150 de pagini, dupa ce m-am prins eu cum sta toata treaba, a fost excelent.

Pe linga faptul ca e asa mai intelectuala de felul ei, cartea e sc
...more
Mj
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Eyeless in Gaza when I was 18 and again in my 20's. In my opinion this is Huxley's best novel. Early on Huxley's main character, who is no doubt based on himself, states:

"Like all other human beings, I know what I ought to do, but continue to do what I know I oughtn't to do"

And that sums up his quest for transformation. The novel simultaneously weaves together 3 separate story timelines showing how his childhood shapes the mistakes of his adolescents and the cushion his sardonic personali
...more
حسين إسماعيل
[⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐]
في قراءتي الأولى لها قبل عام، كنتُ أقول أن على المقبل على روايات هكسلي أن يضع بعين الاعتبار أنه سيقرأ عملًا أدبيًا فكريًا فلسفيًا، وأنه لا مناص من معاودة قراءتها. سأحاول هنا تقديم قراءة أخرى. قد تحتوي المراجعة على “حرق”.

أنهيتُها اليوم مجددًا. أجزمُ أنها أكثر الأعمال الأدبية التي قرأتُها إرهاقًا حتى الآن، سواءً ما يتعلق منها بفلسفة هكسلي نفسه، أو خطها الزمني المبعثر، أو في البنية الصلبة لشخصياتها. كل فصلٍ من الرواية يحدث في يومٍ أو بضعة أيام، وكلها تحمل تواريخ أحداثها. تدورُ غالبيتها في ال
...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The past and the present are psychologically and physically bound…
“The snapshots had become almost as dim as memories. This young woman who had stood in a garden at the turn of the century was like a ghost at cock-crow. His mother, Anthony Beavis recognized. A year or two, perhaps only a month or two, before she died. But fashion, as he peered at the brown phantom, fashion is a topiary art.”
On the whole Eyeless in Gaza is about the power of memory… You wish to forget your past errors but your me
...more
Sara
Sep 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mi, summer
on speech-giving:
"It's easy enough, once you've made up your mind that it doesn't matter if you make a fool of yourself. But it's depressing. There's a sense in which 500 people in a hall aren't concrete. One's talking to a collective non, an abstraction, not to a set of individuals. Only those already partially or completely convinced of what you're saying even want to understand you."

on marriage:
only boring people stay married.

Empirical facts:
1. We are all capable of love.
2. We impose limitati
...more
Ben Weeks
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very surprised by Eyeless in Gaza. From the books that Huxley is well know for, I was expecting a dystopian commentary involving various chemical mind-states. What I got was a deep inquiry into the nature of man through the telling of various social circumstances of a fictional British bourgeois circle in the early 1900s. His criticisms of the idle rich are quite endearing, and seem to warn of the sort of dystopic future that he paints in his other novels. Huxley treads the line of being m ...more
David Stephens
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aldous-huxley
There is a Latin phrase used early in Aldous Huxley’s Eyeless in Gaza that reads, “Video meliora, proboque, deteriora sequor,” which, near as I can tell, means, “I see better things, and approve, but I follow worse.” This saying does a good job tying together the events in the novel. Many of the characters know how they should behave, and yet, they do just the opposite. They act foolishly or callously when it is more convenient, amusing, or less painful—both for themselves and the others in thei ...more
Jonathan
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-fiction
I almost didn't read this, looking through unread books that I thought I might never start. It had been on my shelf for a few years, a nice old copy from 1938, thick paper making it look even longer than it was. Then I read the first page and was thankful that I had just finished my last book. The plot revolved around the life of Anthony Beavis, moving back and forth between 1904, when he was a child, attending the funeral of his mother, to the mid-1930s, watching the world on the brink of anoth ...more
James
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A difficult read which attempts to examine the whole of human behavior with an ever-present underlying theme: The only outcome of violence is more violence and even though love often causes confusion, disorientation, heart-break, and endless guilt, it is the only possible way to move forward.

For those thinking they might want to dive in to this, I'd highly recommend noting the dates of each chapter. The non-linear presentation was very confusing before I started actively paying attention to wha
...more
Mira
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: part-read
Ok book. Good description of what I like to call the hot wanker. A woman who has previously been or is married and who all of a sudden discovers her capability to stuff other people over, but has an indignant and ironic set of morals at the same time (probably instilled by some authoritarian father). Horrible character that rage doesnt even suffer. That's why the word wanker is suitable!
And his character likes the pain and defeat of it all that he keeps associating with her...so weird I really d
...more
Andreea
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...although the last chapter seems somehow from another book (something like "I do not truly believe this, but this is where the writing brought me")... It is about how people change, how they turn to be totally and unexpectedly different from what they considered their true nature... It is very intelligently built, bringing past events in the present, there are no corny characters, archetypes are absent (I wouldn't think of the doctor as archetype, as long as one may trace down his evolution), ...more
Jens Personius
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book delves into and dissects both social issues and conflicts of the human psyche through engaging dialogue and monologues. Reading Eyeless in Gaza feels like peering into the genius mind of Huxley himself. This book is not one which you can easily pick up, read a few pages, then set down and come back to a couple of days later. Certainly this book is not for everyone, but if you are an active and involved reader who can enjoy a book more for its intellectual content rather than just its s ...more
Simon Mcleish
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in August 2000.

The title of this novel refers to the Biblical story of Samson. Having told Delilah the secret of his strength - that it depended on his hair remaining uncut - Samson was betrayed to his enemies the Philistines, and taken with a shorn head to be a slave in their city of Gaza. Blinded to make him harmless, he was forgotten until brought before the crowd on a feast day. By then his hair had regrown, and even blind he was able to pull down the tem
...more
Ashley
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eyeless in Gaza is in my top 10 favorite works. This designation could stem from the time in my life when I read it, or my love for the characters- but more definitely it has grown- from the way the characters have traveled with me through my journey to realization as an adult.

I found this book on clearance at a closing Borders shop when I was 19, and for the first time, seeking some type of truth in the world. I had just given up oil-painting and become an English major, and my reading history
...more
Craig
Ovid's quote brings it somewhat into focus, just in time for Huxley to smudge a blurry line across the vista. Vista which may have allowed for better interpretation, but only followed worse. Not worse for those experiencing this work, but maybe for that genius which gives.

During a performance at the Lincoln Center, Jason Isbell related his early songwriting influences and the familial origins of most of those songs. Such origins which brought upon him some degree of rancor stemming from the int
...more
Zainab
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I've had a queer feeling that I'm not really there..."

Huxley has some things to communicate to us about pacifism and human nature and some other stuff. But by the end he does so with such vehemence it's as if you're reading a different book altogether. Or more likely I only woke up to the message closer to the end. Anyways, his embarrassing descriptive precision makes for a sumptuous read. It's terribly interesting how Brian, Anthony, and Helen all change dramatically as they grow older and yet
...more
Sam White
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Huxley's first real foray into the mysticism that would become the underlying theme in his later works. A real turning point in his career in which he went from popular author to cultural curator, providing piercing insight into a variety of topics. Many of predictions including "the problem of happiness" have been realized. As scary as that is, Huxely always held out hope for the individual despite the hopelessness of society.
Janice
May 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading and re-reading Huxley, a writer whom I admire. This book is a look at the first third of the twentieth century through the eyes of one of its leading intellectuals. The title is, of course, from Milton.
Readosaurus
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story jumps around a lot chronologically so it is quite hard to establish the characters definitively, especially the peripheral ones. However, it’s also quite powerful in highlighting how huge swathes of our lives pass without much of note remaining in our memories, while other passages are remembered in pellucid, excruciating detail. In this respect it is effective. The chronological gaps between the two can be huge or very short and what is remembered ranges from the obviously significant ...more
Phrodrick
Eyeless in Gaza has me frustrated. This is very high quality writing and some high level plotting. Evan so I am not a fan. Our central character, Anthony Beavis, is a scholar attuned to fining meaning in obscure scholarship. He is sufficiently well off that he can peruse a comfortable and self-centered life style. He and most of the people around him are more or less self-centered and un happy. There are several discontinuous time periods ranging from before WWI and some vague point past the Eur ...more
Josh Marcus
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Aldous Huxley novel I've read that felt like a novel and not a treatise. The story follows Anthony Beavis, an intelligent cynic whose perceived failings in life lead him on what seems like a hopeless quest to be "good".

Throughout, we see him grapple with what has led him to his bad decisions. When a dog falls out of an airplane and covers him and his lover in blood, for example, he jokes about it instead of commiserating with her, and drives her away. But the basis of their rel
...more
Alethea Hammer

This book has some very important stuff to say and I wanted to like it better than I did. Philosophically, Huxley was a very admirable individual. But, even though he lived well past the midpoint of the 20th century. And even though he lived much of his life outside England. His writing never did seem to transcend the early 20th century upper middle class British intellectual niche that he was born into. The reader is advised to pay very close attention to the dates at the head of each chapter.
...more
Gailė Ne
Aldous Huxley – Neregys Gazoje. Mėgstantiems filosofuoti

Su A. Huxley lietuviai galėjo susipažinti dar 1983 m., kada buvo išverstas ir išleistas pirmasis rašytojo romanas "Geltonasis Kroumas". Vėliau, jau tik 2005 m., Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla išleido garsiausią jo romaną, antiutopinį pasakojimą "Puikus naujas pasaulis", o 2007 m. – utopiją "Sala". Po to A. Huxley kūrinių leidybos ėmėsi "Kitos knygos": 2008 m. pasirodė autoriaus garsiosios esė apie haliucinogenų vartojimą "Suvokimo dury
...more
Gregg Bell
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while you have to read a book like Eyeless in Gaza. Your mind just craves the depth of luxuriating in such a book, written by such a man as Aldous Huxley.

Huxley is a genius but also kind and optimistic.

The story doesn't matter (although there is one). Anthony Beavis is learning about life. That's it. But it's what he learns that is so astounding. And he's learned what Huxley has learned and what Huxley has learned is amazing.

Was it possible to be one's own liberator? There were
...more
Christopher Rex
Aldous Huxley was way ahead of his time. Either that or his messages are simply enduring and applicable to almost any period in history - at least in much of the 20th (and early 21st) Century. It's impressive to see such a talented artist at the height of his literary powers, much of which is evident in "Gaza."

The story surrounds several characters across an approximately 25 year time-frame in the early-to-mid 20thC. Most are libertine intellectuals trying to find purpose in their lives, their s
...more
Von Klavier
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Huxley was not a modernist; he was sceptical and even disdainful toward such artists. Their “intransigent indivdualism” was “sterile and unproductive,” he proclaimed. Nevertheless, this novel takes influence from modernistic form and expression. The writing is sentimental in tone and is notable for its constant interweaving of past and present; the leaps in time emphasising coherence and connexions that are beyond our everyday consciousness; beyond the consciousness our linear time-conception re ...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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“Chastity—the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions, he added parenthetically, out of Remy de Gourmont.” 330 likes
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