Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
Brave New World Cover

Brave New World


I have to admit, I was disappointed by this. I almost felt I should have given it a lower score than Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, which shares some themes, but I was quite harsh on We for different reasons, and ended up scoring Brave New World a bit higher.

It begins with a big clunky infodump, where we are talked through the whole setting, then proceeds through unlikely coincidence to an embodied argument between the two conflicting viewpoints. That kind of clumsiness just doesn't work for me. I already knew some key things about the story and the setting - I have a feeling I've seen at least part of the 1980 movie version - which means a lot of the shock impact was lost, and without it the story seems heavy-handed.

I was also unimpressed by the shoddy treatment Lenina Crowe got, through no fault of her own.

Essentially, we have a utopia/dystopia, where sex and drugs and conditioning keep the masses happy, and where children are grown in bottles rather than born, avoiding all that messy complicated family stuff. In this world we have Bernard, the discontented insider, and later John, the Savage outsider, with his unlikely knowledge of Shakespeare, and token love interest Lenina.

Honestly, I just thought there might be more subtlety and grace. At least I can cross it off my list. I've given it 3/5.