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Brave New World
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Previous BRs - Authors; E - H > Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World - Relaxed Buddy Read - Start February 7, 2014

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message 1: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (last edited Jan 03, 2014 11:54PM) (new) - added it

Moderators of NBRC | 31140 comments Mod
This topic is open for discussion of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

BE PREPARED FOR SPOILERS

What is a buddy read?


About this Buddy Read
A “Relaxed Buddy Read” is similar to our usual “buddy reads” except there are less questions and break points. For example, a book may be split into three sections and those reading the book should pause at the end of the section to answer some discussion questions, make comments, or ask their own questions to other readers

Synopsis

ar in the future, the World Controllers have finally created the ideal society. In laboratories worldwide, genetic science has brought the human race to perfection. From the Alpha-Plus mandarin class to the Epsilon-Minus Semi-Morons, designed to perform menial tasks, man is bred and educated to be blissfully content with his pre-destined role.

But, in the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, Bernard Marx is unhappy. Harbouring an unnatural desire for solitude, feeling only distaste for the endless pleasures of compulsory promiscuity, Bernard has an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…

A fantasy of the future that sheds a blazing critical light on the present--considered to be Aldous Huxley' s most enduring masterpiece


Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World  by Aldous Huxley


message 2: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2014 12:41AM) (new) - added it

Moderators of NBRC | 31140 comments Mod


Suggested reading schedule

February 7 - Start reading!

February 9 - Pause to discuss Chapters 1-6 (The Introduction)

February 11 - Pause to discuss Chapters 7-9 (The Reservation and the Savage)

February 13 - Pause to discuss Chapters 10-18 (The Savage visits the World State)

Feel free to read at your own pace, but if you want to read faster than the above then please use spoiler tags


Leslie | 149 comments I'm excited to read this.


message 4: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
I am so curious about this concept written so long ago!


Anima Miejska | 757 comments I'm in for the discussion, I read this book a long time ago and gladly refresh my memory and share thoughts!


Michelle (shelld79) | 288 comments I'm definitely going to try and join in on this one. I've had it for a while now but haven't gotten the chance to read it yet.


message 7: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
Great :)


Mirliz | 373 comments I'm joining this one!


message 9: by Logan (new)

Logan (loganturner) | 1499 comments I'm a tentative yes on this one. I've always wanted to read it, but we'll see if the timing works out.


message 10: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2047 comments I'm hoping to join in on this one, depending on how things work out in February!


message 11: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
I've just discovered I can get this from my library on audio which is awesome! It means I will probably start it a little earlier, but I'll keep my comments to myself until Feb :)


message 12: by Jex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments I've put this on my calendar.


message 13: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new) - added it

Moderators of NBRC | 31140 comments Mod
From Wikipedia:

Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. – "After Ford" – in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and operant conditioning that combine to profoundly change society. Huxley answered this book with a reassessment in an essay, Brave New World Revisited (1958), and with Island (1962), his final novel.
In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Brave New World fifth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.[1] In 2003, Robert McCrum writing for The Observer listed Brave New World number 53 in "the top 100 greatest novels of all time",[2] and the novel was listed at number 87 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.[3]


message 14: by Christine (new) - added it

Christine (inhalesbookslikepopcorn) | 1052 comments I've wanted to read this forever, I am going to join.


message 15: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
Great Christine! It feels like a while since we have done a read together :)


Jessica | 24 comments I'm in for this one!


message 17: by Brianna Andreda (new)

Brianna Andreda | 4 comments I'm definitely in for this one. This book has been on my TBR pile for too long. Look forward to this group read and discussion!


message 18: by Yanny (new) - added it

Yanny (yannyramz) | 3 comments joining in on this, if still able.


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

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments I just got my book and will be starting shortly.


message 20: by Jex (last edited Feb 04, 2014 12:32PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments PS: I just noticed that the start date is listed as the 7th but the reading schedule starts on the 17th. Did I miss something?

I'm happy to update one or the other, I just don't want to mess it up :-P


message 21: by Lisa Kay (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments Good question, Jex. Because our Home Page shows it as the 7th, and if it is the 17th, we'll have to change it.


Leslie | 149 comments I just picks my copy up today. Can't wait!


message 23: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
My mistake Jex - it is meant to be the 7th! I'll update :)


message 24: by Jex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments I thought that was the issue but wanted to make sure. Thanks for updating Karen!


message 25: by Jex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments Foreward:

I read the foreward in my book today. Thought I'd get a head start.

(view spoiler)


message 26: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
Ah interesting Jex. I had the audio and there was no foreword.
I did struggle when I started the book, particlularly with the "Ford" references, and I ended up having to google the book to get some background on the writer's motivations and society at the time and then I found it "clicked" for me. Perhaps if I had the foreword that would have done the same thing!! :)
Anyway, I'll leave my thoughts on the Introduction until later....


message 27: by Jex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments My book has a Foreward and a Preface. I read the Foreward, but the Preface was hard to get into. I didn't get anything he was talking about it. It seemed like something you need to read after reading the book to understand why he wanted to make the changes to the book.


Kaitlin (kait-k) | 451 comments I'd like to join you guys. I'm starting today :-)


message 29: by Jex (last edited Feb 09, 2014 12:25PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments Ch 1-6 (The Introduction)

(view spoiler)


message 30: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
Ch 1-6 (The Introduction)
(view spoiler)


message 31: by Jex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments @Karen: It's interesting to me that he wrote this book back in 1931. If it still shocks us today, think of what they thought of it way back when!

I agree with the book styling being strange. I'm having a really hard time getting super interested even though this is really my type of book (genre wise). I hope it gets more character focused. I like all the Bernard stuff so far.


Leslie | 149 comments I don't think I can sum up my thoughts better than you two did. I'm super enjoying it so far though.


message 33: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
Great Leslie

So true Jex - it must've been extremely controversial


message 34: by Kaitlin (last edited Feb 10, 2014 07:11AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kaitlin (kait-k) | 451 comments Yeah I think the trouble with making this too character focused is that people aren't supposed to have personalities. They're bred and trained to be uniform. But I agree; I feel like I'm being lectured, rather than that I'm reading a story.

I think the use of Ford as a God-like figure is interesting. I just finished The Plot Against America. Though I didn't really enjoy it, it taught me a lot about American "heroes." Ford was a big-time anti-Semite, so knowing that, using him as a deity makes even more sense, given that the society is segregated, and people are taught to believe that other "races" are undesirable.

Karen, that's really interesting that he was making fun of Wells and accidentally wrote a classic novel lol.


Mirliz | 373 comments Chapter 1-6

(view spoiler)


message 36: by Jex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments @Kaitlin: I didn't really think about the lack of character in that way. Good point. Really interesting facts about Ford too. I was wondering why he was chosen and am hoping there will be something more about it in the book.

@Mirliz: Very true. Some of the things in the book already exist, even if only in theory or only in experimental states. We very well could produce a factory line of people if we wanted with all the gene therapy and test tube babies. I doubt we are quite as far along as this novel, but weird to think that with this book written in the 30's some of it has come true.


message 37: by Jex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments Chapter 7-9 The Reservation and the Savage

(view spoiler)


Mirliz | 373 comments Chapter 7-9

(view spoiler)


Kaitlin (kait-k) | 451 comments @ Mirliz - I found the Linda thing especially sad. She was programmed to behave in a certain way, making adapting impossible. It does seem like she was an OK mother at least, in that she and her son seemed to have a good connection.

I think Huxley was a little heavy-handed with the no mothers, no dirt, no monogamy thing. It got pretty preachy, like Christian propaganda, by the end IMO (view spoiler). This book was probably really cool in its time, and I know it was controversial, but for me it didn't hold up.


Mirliz | 373 comments @Kaitlin - I agree that it got very preachy in the end. Even though I was raised in a Christian family I'm not a Christian myself, so that part was a bit too much for me.

Apart from that, I enjoyed the book as a whole, and these kind of books always make me a bit frightened about the future - how far will society go in reality, what inventions will we see, what limitations on society will we see, and so on. I guess I'm too much of a thinker. :)


Leslie | 149 comments I agree that it did get really preachy at the end but I did really enjoy this book. I can't wait to teach it to the class I'm covering in June, I think it will open up some really killer dscussions.


message 42: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
@Jex and Mirliz re: chapters 7-9

I agree with your comments, and Jex your favourite quote! It was so sad about the drugs, but I guess growing up in such a different world that was her coping mechanism.

This was the section of the book I enjoyed the most as it generally went away from that "lecture" style and the comparisons to savages are thought provoking (who is the actual savage?!...)


message 43: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
Chapters 10-18 (The Savage visits the World State)

I would struggle to say that I enjoyed this book.
I found it became a dragging narrative again in this section and got bogged down in discussion on religion and then ended in an unsatisfying way. I always find it hard to rate a classic, and this would only get 2 stars if it wasn't for my appreciation of the logeviity of the story and the relevance of the book for the time it was written


Michelle (shelld79) | 288 comments I don't think I could say that I am enjoying this book much either. I'm just over 60% through and am struggling to get the motivation to finish it.
I too feel like I'm reading a lecture rather than a book and if it wasn't for the fact that this book has become such a talked about classic I probably wouldn't bother finishing it.
I'm to stubborn to have come this far to stop now though!


Brittney (britsbooknook) | 813 comments I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't enjoy this book. I had to read for my English class.


message 46: by Jex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments I fell behind on this book. Only at chapter 10 so far. Hopefully finish by Friday.


message 47: by Jex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments Ugh this is tough. I like the ideas in the book, but it's so hard to get through! I find myself reading a chapter than getting distracted by other things. It just can't really keep my attention. I'm determined to finish it. Chapter 14 so far. Although in looking at my book I thought I had a ton to go and ended up being a bunch of additions at the end. So that's a relief.


message 48: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
Lol I understand. I was glad to have this on audio. I don't know that I would've finished it otherwise


message 49: by Jex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jex (jexball) | 2227 comments Turns out my copy was the revisited version so the end has a bunch of information on what he would have changed in the book. I didn't actually read it, but it sounded interesting. Maybe I'll go back and read that sometime after I've gotten over the boredom of the story.


message 50: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14466 comments Mod
*giggles*


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