Brave New World

Brave New World

4.2 711
by Aldous Huxley

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Aldous Huxley's tour de force Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a 'utopian' future - where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthesized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to…  See more details below


Aldous Huxley's tour de force Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a 'utopian' future - where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthesized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment.

Editorial Reviews

Forum Staff
A fantastic racy narrative, full of much excellent satire and literary horseplay.
Saturday Review of Literature
Mr. Huxley is eloquent in his declaration of an artist's faith in man, and it is his eloquence, bitter in attack, noble in defense, that, when one has closed the book, one remembers.
New York Times Book Review
Huxley uses his erudite knowledge of human relations to compare our actual world with his prophetic fantasy of 1931. It is a frightening experience, indeed, to discover how much of his satirical prediction of a distant future became reality in so short a time.
Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a classic science fiction work that continues to be a significant warning to our society today. Tony Britton, the reader, does an excellent job of portraying clinical detachment as the true nature of the human incubators is revealed. The tone lightens during the vacation to the wilderness and the contrast is even more striking. Each character is given a separate personality by Britton's voices. As the story moves from clinical detachment to the human interest of Bernard, the nonconformist, and John, the "Savage," listeners are drawn more deeply into the plot. Finally, the reasoned tones of the Controller explain away all of John's arguments against the civilization, leading to John's death as he cannot reconcile his beliefs to theirs.The abridgement is very well done, and the overall message of the novel is clearly presented. The advanced vocabulary and complex themes lend themselves to class discussion and further research. There is sure to be demand for this classic in schools and public libraries.-Pat Griffith, Schlow Memorial Library, State College, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Staff Forum
A fantastic racy narrative, full of much excellent satire and literary horseplay.
From the Publisher
“A brilliant tour de force . . . Full of barbed wit and malice-spiked frankness . . . Provoking, stimulating, shocking and dazzling.” —THE OBSERVER
“Ingenious wit, derisive logic and swiftness of expression . . . Huxley’s resources of sardonic invention have never been more brilliantly displayed.” —THE TIMES (LONDON)
“The Utopia to end Utopias.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES
“An exuberant playground for ideas . . . Brave New World (like Nineteen Eighty-Four) is a novel part of whose instinctive horror is generated by the fact that it foresees a world where novels are no longer possible . . . Brave New World presents itself as a measure of what would be lost in the brave new world of AF 632. No more novels, no more Huxleys. A darker than dark age is coming . . . In the meanwhile Brave New World remains the most readable of grumpy dystopias.”
—from the Introduction by John Sutherland
Pat Griffith
Grade 8 Up-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a classic science fiction work that continues to be a significant warning to our society today. Tony Britton, the reader, does an excellent job of portraying clinical detachment as the true nature of the human incubators is revealed. The tone lightens during the vacation to the wilderness and the contrast is even more striking. Each character is given a separate personality by Britton's voices. As the story moves from clinical detachment to the huma
Unknown Commentator
"Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confi

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Harper Perennial
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.83(d)

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Chapter One

A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State's motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY.

The enormous room on the ground floor faced towards the north. Cold for all the summer beyond the panes, for all the tropical heat of the room itself, a harsh thin fight glared through the windows, hungrily seeking some draped lay figure, some pallid shape of academic goose-flesh, but finding only the glass and nickel and bleakly shining porcelain of a laboratory. Wintriness responded to wintriness. The overalls of the workers were white, their hands gloved with a pale corpse-coloured rubber. The fight was frozen, dead, a ghost. Only from the yellow barrels of the microscopes did it borrow a certain rich and living substance, lying along the polished tubes like butter, streak after luscious streak in long recession down the work tables.

"And this," said the Director opening the door, "is the Fertilizing Room."

Bent over their instruments, three hundred Fertilizers were plunged, as the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning entered the room, in the scarcely breathing silence, the absentminded, soliloquizing hum or whistle, of absorbed concentration. A troop of newly arrived students, very young, pink and callow, followed nervously, rather abjectly, at the Director's heels. Each of them carried a notebook, in which, whenever the great man spoke, he desperately scribbled. Straight from the horse's mouth. It was a rare privilege. The D.H.C. for Central London always made a point of personally conducting his new students roundthe various departments.

"Just to give you a general idea," he would explain to them. For of course some sort of general idea they must have, if they were to do their work intelligently — though as little of one, if they were to be good and happy members of society, as possible. For particulars, as every one knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers but fretsawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society.

"To-morrow," he would add, smiling at them with a slightly menacing geniality, "you'll be settling down to serious work. You won't have time for generalities. Meanwhile . . ."

Meanwhile, it was a privilege. Straight from the horse's mouth into the notebook. The boys scribbled like mad.

Tall and rather thin but upright, the Director advanced into the room. He had a long chin and big rather prominent teeth, just covered, when he was not talking, by his full, floridly curved lips. Old, young? Thirty? Fifty? Fifty-five? It was hard to say. And anyhow the question didn't arise; in this year of stability, A.F. 632, it didn't occur to you to ask it.

"I shall begin at the beginning," said the D.H.C. and the more zealous students recorded his intention in their notebooks: Begin at the beginning. "These," he waved his hand, "are the incubators." And opening an insulated door he showed them racks upon racks of numbered test-tubes. "The week's supply of ova. Kept," he explained, "at blood heat; whereas the male gametes," and here he opened another door, "they have to be kept at thirty-five instead of thirty-seven. Full blood heat sterilizes." Rams wrapped in theremogene beget no lambs.

Still leaning against the incubators he gave them, while the pencils scurried illegibly across the pages, a brief description of the modern fertilizing process; spoke first, of course, of its surgical introduction- -"the operation undergone voluntarily for the good of Society, not to mention the fact that it carries a bonus amounting to six months' salary"; continued with some account of the technique for preserving the excised ovary alive and actively developing; passed on to a consideration of optimum temperature, salinity, viscosity; referred to the liquor in which the detached and ripened eggs were kept; and, leading his charges to the work tables, actually showed them how this liquor was drawn off from the test-tubes; how it was let out drop by drop onto the specially warmed slides of the microscopes; how the eggs which it contained were inspected for abnormalities, counted and transferred to a porous receptacle; how (and he now took them to watch the operation) this receptacle was immersed in a warm bouillon containing free-swimming spermatozoa — at a minimum concentration of one hundred thousand per cubic centimetre, he insisted; and how, after ten minutes, the container was lifted out of the liquor and its contents reexamined; how, if any of the eggs remained unfertilized, it was again immersed, and, if necessary, yet again; how the fertilized ova went back to the incubators; where the Alphas and Betas remained until definitely bottled; while the Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons were brought out again, after only thirty-six hours, to undergo Bokanovsky's Process.

"Bokanovsky's Process," repeated the Director, and the students underlined the words in their little notebooks.

One egg, one embryo, one adult-normality. But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a fall-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress.

"Essentially," the D.H.C. concluded, "bokanovskification consists of a series of arrests of development. We check the normal growth and, paradoxically enough, the egg responds by budding."

Responds by budding. The pencils were busy.

He pointed. On a very slowly moving band a rack-full of test-tubes was entering a large metal box, another rack-fall was emerging. Machinery faintly purred. It took eight minutes for the tubes to go through, he told them. Eight minutes of hard X-rays being about as much as an egg can stand. A few died; of the rest, the least susceptible divided into two; most put out four buds; some eight; all were returned to the incubators, where the buds began to develop; then, after two days, were suddenly chilled, chilled and checked. Two, four, eight, the buds in their turn budded; and having budded were dosed...

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Martin Green
"As sparkling, as provocative, as the day it was published."

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Brave New World 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 711 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A ton of errors in this nook book. I dropped this and picked up a copy from my local library. Would not recommend purchase... ever.
TomTB More than 1 year ago
Bought a copy of this to have on my nook. Started reading it and found a few typographical errors in the book. It only gets worse throughout. It's not unreadable but, it is pretty annoying. I have a paper copy of the book so I didn't really need a nook copy. Save your money for a copy that isn't full of errors.
Thaddaeus More than 1 year ago
Huxley's story is stronger than ever, unfortunately the conversion process left much to be desired. Many run-on words and formatting errors negatively affect the flow of reading this timeless novel. Buyer beware!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can find reviews of the story itself elsewhere. I want to elaborate on the bad electronic tranfer from print. Examples include no paragraph indents, incorrect spelling, incomprehendible sentences, and other annoyances. 5 stars for the story, but the lack of proper formatting/editing was truly frustrating to me- although I could see some readers not minding at all, the problems occur throughout the entire book. I will be suspicous of Rosettabooks publishing in the future.
The-Wanderer More than 1 year ago
It's a shame how many reviews (mostly from high schoolers, it seems) are bashing Brave New World because it defies social normalcy, morality, etc., for the book is by no means endorsing or preaching any of it. I too was required to read the book as a student a few years back (at a Catholic high school), but never did it seem to me that sex, drugs, and artificial, induced happiness were meant to seem desirable. Rather, this book is a prophetic warning of what the modern world could become; in my opinion, the parallels between aspects of our world and this are not so far apart. I would argue that this book, if anything, promotes humanity-- what it is to really be human, the necessity of emotions (even sadness and pain), the importance of art and literature, the value of religion and the great freedom to philosophize, and so on. These are a few lessons that I took from this Brave New World, and I would say that this book has been more influential to me than any other that I've read. Also, it's too bad that so many of the poor reviews are because of editing on nooks; the paperback edition doesn't have those problem.
George Gibbs More than 1 year ago
I'm sure there are plenty of other reviews about the book itself... this copy is full of ocr issues though from when it was scanned to ebook. Poor proofreading... page 78 has a random "BraveNewWorld78" midsentence. Makes me wonder if people even read the ebook releases before publishing them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great read if you love something that makes you think, and makes you reflect on the ideals of society. I feel this book was written ahead of it's time, and a lot of the messages in it are timeless...A great read for the intellectual.
jenmaynard More than 1 year ago
If multinational corporations ruled the world...people would be bred in bottles for certain jobs to make society more efficient. They would be psychologically conditioned to always want to buy new things, to find the idea of close personal ties to be undesirable, and to be happy with their lives no matter what (and take some "soma" whenever they began to feel unhappy). And any social dissenters would be sent to Greenland -- or simply crushed. Huxley saw it coming 80 years ago with his dystopian classic that depicts what happens seven centuries from now when someone whose psychological conditioning didn't work perfectly runs into a "savage" in New Mexico and brings him back to "civilization." The characters aren't very deep, but one would expect that with psychologically conditioned people. Meanwhile, the science behind his "Brave New World" seems inevitable. Whether or not the people let themselves become happy slaves to a corporate military state is yet unknown. Of course, there are lobbyists in place to encourage it with unfettered cash. But don't worry too much -- just enjoy Huxley's short-but-sweet vision of a possible future and realize that, if it ever comes to pass, at least you know that you'll be perpetually happy... :)
dicken--15--dog More than 1 year ago
Brave New World is frightening because it could very well come to pass. So many of the situations depicted in the book are close at hand. The fact that the inhabitants of this New World can escape through a drug called Soma is true today. This book used to be required reading in schools.
alioth More than 1 year ago
The chapter and title markers are way off. And there are lots of typos and strange word breaks. It's a good book, but all these quirks make it hard to really get into the book. You're better off finding another version of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was simply marvelous. Alous Huxley certainly manages to create a world of his own and embellishes it with deep thought and distopian possibilities of any society. This book is highly recommended in my eyes and is a top-notch read! Wonderful, you will not regret reading this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am totally surpriced by the Author, eventhough he wrote this book long long time ago , all the things that is in the book is very likely will happen in our life right now! .. look at all the people want to control this world : for example, people try to control the edcation . By doing that, people get less brain excises so that they don't think that much as before. Those who want to control the world can have more chance to accomplish their evel dream. Anyways.. This is a very good book.. you sure you want to read it.... COOL!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A MUST READ! Brave New World is a classic that many people recommended me over the years and about which  I read several positive reviews. When finally I decided to buy it I regretted to have not done it before: I can say it totally lived up my expectations. Written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley, this novel – listed in the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century – is definitely more contemporary than ever. The pioneering side of this book resides in its main themes, which refer to reproductive technology, mass-consuption, psychological manipulation and conditioning.  Set in London in 2540, Brave New World depicts a future global society organised on the basis of strict rules and regulations, which guarantee stability, peaceful and happiness: it's the “World State”, under which the world population is unified and controlled. As a matter of fact, its citizens are divided into five castes, forged through chemical interferences during the fetuses' development (natural reproduction has been replaced by a sort of industrial process, while sex has only a recreational purpose), an accurate government control using slogans and promoting recreative projects, sleep-learning and operant-conditioning methods. The lower castes, which represent the majority of human society, are heavily limited in their cognitive abilities: their anbitions and desires are restricted and thus easier to manipulate. However, everyone in the World State seems to be fully happy: Huxley portrays an utopian community where people are satisfied with their predetermined jobs,  relationships, lives and need nothing else, where the notions of family, religion and love have no reasons to exists. Nonetheless, this happyness is illusory, since it is soon threatened by some characters who see the non-sense of being happy without a real awareness of their life and personal identity. The author himself represents the “new world” with a hint of irony, and so it can be said that the society he depicts is actually a dystopian one.   In a nutshell, this book deals with many of our current concerns about globalisation and technology: the fear to be controlled and the consequent mind-torpor and uniformity of the society, the loss of moral values and the weakening of feelings, the utopia of permanent happiness, based on what we consume insted of what we are. On the other hand, we are a mixture of bad and positive feelings, and can't be simply happy, we have also “the right to be unhappy”. As my favorite quote of all time says: "Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand." (Brave New World – chapter 16) Despite its complex writing style – which sometimes seems to mirror the scientific and technological language – I found Brave New World unpudownable.
JSauer21 More than 1 year ago
This book, although confusing at first, is an interesting read that is vastly different from most books you will read. It takes place around 600 years in the future, “After Ford” era, in London. Humans in the book are made in a lab that produces test tubes that give birth to nearly identical humans. The babies that are made are then put into classes to social condition them. An example of this is that the babies are violently made to think flowers and books are bad. They are than put into a strict caste system. The highest caste being the Alpha-Plus. One of the members is Bernard Marx, a psychologist, who is unlike everyone both physically and mentally. He is short, due to an error in his embryo stage, and acts unorthodox compared to the conformity of the nearly identical humans. Bernard meets a girl named Lenina, whom he has feelings, although she has dated a man named Henry. Later Bernard goes on a trip with Lenina to a place called the “Savage Reservation”, in New Mexico. This is a Native American reservation, where they meet John, also called “The Savage”¸and his mom Linda. They go back to London, to find out that the D.H.C., one of the leaders, wants to banish him to Iceland. Also, while they were there they found out that the D.H.C was named Tomakin, and is John’s father. During this time Linda is taking a lot of a popular drug in this book called soma. She begins to die, and when she does John becomes angry. To make him even madder Lenina tries to seduce him, because in this book the humans are socially conditioned to crave sex a lot. A riot breaks out with the Delta caste, and John ends up whipping her. This arouses the crowd and it turns into a sexual convention. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I will say that it is well written and a little shocking. The major theme is the author’s prediction of the future, but sex and Shakespearean allusions show up constantly. It also conveys that people shouldn’t conform to others, but be themselves no matter the consequences. This is very apparent in the character of Bernard. What I liked about this book is that it is a very creative idea, unlike any other, making it very interesting. It is also very well written, especially for an older book. I also liked how it plenty of action, some twists and turns, and a little romance. What I didn’t like was that at first the concept of creating humans in a lab, and making them think a certain way was very hard for me to wrap my head around. People should read this if they like unique, or science fiction books. You may also like if you like a good action book. I want to read another work similar to this, which is 1984 by George Orwell. Overall it gets a 4.8 out of 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book itself is great, but this version of it sucks; the end is missing! The story stops abruptly, with no warning, and when I reported it to B&N, they told me it was just my tough luck. NOT cool!!!
MFeda More than 1 year ago
Similar to 1984, yet a bit of an easier read. We read the first two chapters in a class, and I loved it so I bought the book. It truly is a classic.
audrey23 More than 1 year ago
I am glad that I read this book because it makes you think. It is not a page turner though but at the end it will make you think.I am totally surpriced by the Author, even though he wrote this book like a long long time ago this things are probley gonna happen ... look at all the people that want control and they get no education. The novel is set in the A.F. 632, almost seven centuries after the twentieth century. A.F. stands for the year of Ford and World Controllers rule the world and ensure the stability of society through the creation of a five-tiered caste system. Alphas and Betas are at the top of the system and act as the scientists, politicians, and other top minds, while Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons are at the bottom and represent the world's industrial working class. A drug called soma ensures that no one ever feels pain or remains unhappy, and members of every caste receive rations of the drug. Pre- and post-natal conditioning further ensures social stability. its a good book read it !!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in high school, but decided I should read it again. It is well written and shows what you will lose if community comes before self. There are times I where I was not sure what was going on, but in all I understood a lot more then I did when I first read this book. I liked the ending message, but became frustrated through the initial read in its vocabulary and in the begining switching characters on random without stateing who is speaking.
JakeNJ More than 1 year ago
When reading this book, one tends to have a conflicting feeling, so one has to realize that it is a book, a vision, a theory vs reality and reality, which could be worse than in theory, even though everyone is happy. Bottom line is, that every so often people are not always naive enough to realize that even if you have complete equilibrium, "equality" and completely "civilized" society, the human spirit prevails. If it doesn't, than you have someone controlling the outcome, as they see fit. Someone who "I make the laws, so I can break them" decides for the rest what it is that they need, but the human spirit cannot always be contained. Human emotions, will for individual thinking and power to make own choices, will always strive to excel and grow. Unless brainwashed, zombied via happy meds and conditioned, but even then, some will always want to be individual and stand for their principles, not society's "normal" and that is the only FREEDOM. This book is a perfect example of how in "Utopian" society, while everything seems, easy, pleasant, happy, it is not by the will of those who move through society as society demands of them, but by the societal social conditioning. Social conditioning!! How simple it sounds, "for the better good" and yet how awful the outcome. The decision of who is higher, lower or useless caste. Since in the all perfect society, there is no useless, the useless are the ones who are not "useful idiots". The zombied and completely conditioned public creates a perfect "O brave new world", but if it is a perfection and the people are happy, why does it have to be programmed and isolated from any outside individual thinking? I like this book, which is completely amazing concept that has actually be tried in some way or another. Maybe, not to that extend and maybe not on that level, YET, but to have a vision, in 1932, to foresee some of the technological, social and societal experiments, was a pure genius by Aldous Huxley. Even though, it takes a few pages to get accustomed with the style, characters, jargon and naming conventions of all that is going on, the book reads fast and easy. There are some amazing rationing in the book, but scary at the same time, since it is almost like a road map for some of the items that are being "tried" as I am writing this review. In chapter 3, it got a little bit confusing, due to each paragraph, being a different part of separate event/conversation. Absolutely unexpected at first, a very interesting style of writing and unique approach, almost like a playwright. What's not to like, but takes a few minutes getting used to and catch on that it is 3 different conversations in numerous places that are taking place and completely unrelated events, at that moment. There is a quote from Lenin in this book. Phrased differently of course, but still, never the less, a quote from a "social justice and conditioning" masters of his time. Social stability, is a very interesting way to phrase something that is being repeated about "Brave New World" and social conditioning. Society where the belief is, that conditioning is always the aspect of ones actions and has nothing to do with instinct. Is what the dictators in current White House administration preach these days. Example of society that every communist wants to create and destroy individual thinking? This book, was always and still, should be a warning!! We recently have seen and heard one thing from our "leadership" and yet their actions did not support their language. Just like I mention before, the words of controller Mustapha Mond: "But as I make the laws here, I can also break them." Didn't we see the "law of the land", Obamacare, recently get broken, for pushing employer mandate by a year, by those who made the law? "Do as I say and not as I do"? Are we living in this perfect "Utopian", zombied through social conditioning and "soma" society or are we living in the United States of FREE America? This is one great book. Every time I picked it up, I was through 10 pages within minutes and I am not a fast reader, but this book reads well and fast. It is very interesting and unique. I know it is a college level, required reading material, but I highly recommend that everyone pick up a copy and read it. I highly recommend reading it a few times over the years and especially now. It is a MUST read for everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the most beautiful book I've ever read. The only reason why this book isn't rated 5 stars is because those who are rating it lowly couldn't comprehend the beauty of the social commentary Huxley presented throughout the novel. Those who believe it supports immorality are wrong. It does the opposite. By showcasing the emphasis on sex and drugs, Huxley actually shows how horrible this behavior is and what it could lead to. Definitely a must-read. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, well written, and it makes you think about how much what we enjoy contols us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites!
aengel More than 1 year ago
I would reccomend this book because in a way it warns us about being brain washed. There are many things that I learned from this book and it has a very interesting story line!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in 7th grade for the first time amd I loved it. I've read it quite a few times since then and I like it even more each time. If you don't have a pretty high reading level it might be a little difficult to read. This book is one of the first dystopian society books ad it still influences writers in that genre to this very day!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is gripping and will cause real emotions if given the chance.