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Brave New World cover art

Brave New World

By: Aldous Huxley
Narrated by: Michael York
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Summary

Originally published in 1932, this outstanding work of literature is more crucial and relevant today than ever before.

“One of the most prophetic dystopian works of the 20th century”—Wall Street Journal

Cloning, feel-good drugs, antiaging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media—has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller’s genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 AF (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, Brave New World is both a warning to be heeded and thought-provoking yet satisfying entertainment.

©1932 Aldous Huxley; 1998 BBC Audiobooks America (P)2003 BBC Audiobooks America

Critic reviews

"British actor Michael York's refined and dramatic reading captures both the tone and the spirit of Huxley's masterpiece." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Brave New World

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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting book ruined by narration

Narrator does each character in extreme English regional accents which makes no sense and distracts from the story.

For such a famous book it should be re-recorded with new narration

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Makes you think

I don't agree with the reviewers who put down the narrator for his exaggerated voices. The story itself is quite OTT, so a larger-than-life narration isn't completely inappropriate.

The story isn't a million miles from the production currently being shown on TV. In the book, the ending becomes somewhat reflective with long discussions between John and the World Controller involving values and philosophy.

Anybody with an interest in classic books should include this in their collection I suppose. Something to make you think what could happen in the future.

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Brilliant book. Read it after 1984 for the....

...coin flipside. Huxley was Orwell's tutor at Eton. They had mutual admiration for each other.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Dated, racist and insightful to the past

Having loved the newest adaptation currently on tv, I wondered if it was as good as the book. I hadn’t realised how long ago it was originally written - published in 1932. During that time whites ruled supreme, blacks were their lowest tier and native Americans were the savages. And of course all the women are happily dumb pieces of meat. Yes it is a book of it’s time and if you can overlook that, it’s interesting to see a long past vision of a dystopian future. It may be the first time I ever say that the adaptation is superior to the book. However it is eye opening and adds a depth to the adaptation with the background of how the new world is created. It’s frightening in a different way. Definitely not a listen for comfortable relaxing but still eye opening on many levels.

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Engrossing

The reading by Michael York brings to life this vision of what the future looked like in 1932. It is uncanny in some of its predictions.

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Great book destroyed by a bad performance

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I recommend reading it! This version is painful to listen to..

What didn’t you like about Michael York’s performance?

Dreadful - the poor regional accents detract from the story.

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Not thrilled

The performance is commendable, but I really didn't get much inspiring insight from this story. Nothing that I can apply to my life to become a better person. I did not feel connected to the problems of that distopian society, it seemed far fetched.

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A still-relevant classic

It is remarkable how prophetic this book is, viewed in the context if our modern world dominated by the pursuit of pleasure and the cult of celebrity, all the more so when you consider that it was written in the 1930's. Unfortunately, some of the gravitas is stolen from the story by Michael York's use of comical accents. Especially distracting is that of the main protagonist, John, who - despite being born and raised among "Indians" in Central America - seems to have developed an accent that varies between Cornish and Lancastrian. Otherwise, though, a stunning and disturbing book.

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An outdated classic

Eloquently written and very well narrated, but I'm afraid that the story is simply too dated to inspire as it probably did when it was first published. Glad I've crossed it off my list, but I certainly won't be recommending it to others.

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Wonderful

Wonderful.The fact that it was written in 1932 is even more inspiring. I remember the 1980 movie; the title was only realised when I read the book. I have always had in mind how great it would be to always look no older than 35 and end it all in bliss on Soma. Still an aspiration.

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