Brave New World

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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – 3 out of 5.

The edition I read starts after a rather bleak self assessment intro from Huxley himself, suggesting the events described in the book could well happen far sooner than he initially postulated. The basic premise is that in the future the “Human Product” has become standardised through an extensive eugenics programme. People are churned out in massive groups of identical siblings with there futures planned out for them, through pre & post birth conditioning. I wonder if this was the first instance of the test-tube baby idea.

For a book published in 1932 this is a surprisingly readable novel, often the language used in books of this age can be a little hard going, but if you didn't know better you could easily forget about the age of this story. Finding a truly original story now days is almost impossible, but it must have been brilliant being an SF author back then, so many new ideas still to be explored. Many things in this book reminded me of so many other stories; from Arthur C Clarke's – The City & the Stars, to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, to Ben Elton's Blind Faith.

The book is in three main sections; the Intro to the world, the “Savage society” bit & the Savage comes to the “civilised world”. I enjoyed the first bit the most, where all the ideas were set out. My least favourite was the second section, as this seemed to go on a little to long, without much relation to the rest of the story. The third part was interesting, but some of the speeches & discussions (especially between the Savage & Mustapha Mond) on the pros & cons of this society (despite having some sensible points) did start to drag on a little.

I loved the idea of the Feelies (movies which stimulate all the senses, including the “scent organ” for your nasal pleasure).
Brentford gets 3 mentions in the book.
Oddly the book is copyrighted “Laura Huxley”, very liberal of him Eye-wink