Saturday, June 15, 2013

Book Review: Brave New World

First edition cover
So it has been forever since I've written anything in the blog and it has been just about as long since I have finished this book.  I listened to it back in October and it was really good.  The science was certainly limited and dated, but still it made for good science fiction reading.  It is one of those classics you are supposed to read, but I never had.  After H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley is one of the founders of the English dystopian novel genera.  In general, I am pretty fed up with the dystopian novel, so few offer anything new to the scene and there are only two possible resolutions- everyone breaks free or everyone accepts their dreary fate.  Maybe I'm simplifying it too much or maybe I'm just cynical, but I think dystopian has been overdone.  And I might as well get it off my chest, I read the Hunger Games Trilogy last summer and did not like it, furthermore, I did not think that the movie added anything to the book and I was disappointed at the wardrobe of Katniss Everdeen.  Anyway, I digress.  Despite having lost patience with dystopian novels this one was different.  Partly because it was so foundational in the genera that it didn't have to outdo the others in how wretched society had become or what form that depravity took.  Like many dystopian societies this one was perfect by design, but imperfect in reality.  The main character, Bernard is a psychologist who teaches people in the society through sleep-teaching, and has become discontent with life because he is slightly different from others in his caste and he recognizes how life is essentially pre-programmed.  Without spoiling the plot he learns that some people, Native Americans (called savages in the book), have existed outside of their society successfully, and this causes him to withdrawal.  And the end was truly shocking in a way that I have only been shocked once before as far as I can recall- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I'll have to talk about that book another time, but the only thing I will say right now is that if you are only familiar with it through pop culture references, especially cartoon references, then unfortunately some of the book has been ruined for you, but the main twist in the novel is still waiting for you to pick it up and read it.  Anyway, I've been all over the place in this review, but I'll leave you with this- read the classics, they at not all great, but there are great ones out there and they are classics for a reason.

No comments:

Post a Comment