Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

Posted on Mon 28 January 2008 in Rooties Recent Reading

One of my rare moments of watching TV happened to be a segment that detailed the link between "1984" by George Orwell and "Brave New World". I loved reading 1984, or at least, I think I remember loving reading 1984. I read it while at school around the age of 15. One of those books that everyone has spoke of and for some reason I actually read - even though it wasn't part of my English homework. The impetus probably came from performing in "Animal Farm", a play I thoroughly enjoyed (yes, I was one of the squares that did the am-dram at school. I wasn't any good which is why I only ever had a a couple of lines.. like "and she's got ribbons in her hair" while dressed as a pigeon).

Anyway, the link if I remember it correctly was that George Orwell was a student in Aldous Huxley's class at whichever university it was. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is said to be another great Utopian Society type novel and a must read. Que my comment before Christmas to my brother "that's a book I must read" and his reply, "Julia lent it to me, you can have it". Wrapped and ready for Christmas day. I actually prefer that sort of present. It didn't cost him anything and it was high on my list of desires. Perfect.

As for the story, I can't be quite so enthusiastic. It's a story of a modern highly ordered society with a 'reserve' for those weirdo's who follow the old ways (that's our ways of course). It's interesting on how the story plays out but perhaps my expectations were raised too high from remembering my love of a story that others compared it too. It was undoubtedly well written and it's quite clear to see why it has survived from it's first publication in 1932 (according to the copy I have) to continuous reprints up until my 1984 vintage copy. Would I read it again? yes. Would I recommend it to others to read? yes. How do I rate it? Sorry to say I could only give it 3 out 5, just short of the 4 for me (perhaps Rootie Ratings should become a 10 point rating!)