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Brave New World


Aldous Huxley

Brave New World
average rating is 4 out of 5

Dystopia, Science Fiction

R. Alex Jenkins

Brave New World is a surprisingly enjoyable book with less technical and scientific complications than I expected. It's serious and profound yet also cynical and comical as it remembers to resurface into lighter territory and not get bogged down too much.

Do not believe misconceptions that Huxley wrote a turgid, heavy and unwieldy work of scientific pomposity to drag you down into miserable dystopia, but instead breathes as dark and humorous utopia where sexual orgies are commonplace and positively encouraged! People take a collective happy drug every day called soma to tune into the frivolous, sexy fun rather than worry about technicalities such as how close your partner's werewolf eyebrows grow together.

Why not live to the superficial max? Take soma all the time!

Brave New World is detailed, informative, perceptive, imaginative, fun and flippant. Technology plays a big part, but so does socialism in a world where everyone belongs to everyone else. It’s not all good news though: open promiscuity transgresses what we now consider to be sexual harassment, with men expected to pat women on the butt as a matter of course.

The book veers into unexpected waters, moving from a scientific landscape into a rural one, from modern acceptance of corporate brainwashing to basic questioning of everything we're expected to enjoy: the constant bombardment of sounds, media, attractions and entertainment, plus endless parties, gratification and orgy-porgies. A future world that tries so hard to be interesting it seems sterile and fake to the enlightened. No pain, no ageing, no heartache. No being alone.

This is H.G. Wells on steroids: well written and fun to read, but also way out there, overtly sentient and a bit bonkers in places. What I really took from the book is our right to turn off the TV, media and all that associated nonsense and be on our own if we like.

Can we escape being part of the organised collective? Yes, but only temporarily. This is why we read books - to escape - but also to get closer to each other. To silence the endless din and to live life at our own pace while still remaining part of the greater good.

We read about a concise, organised and regimented brave new world that seems so appealing on the surface - with its endless rubber-stamped, drug-induced holidays, flirting, bonking, bling-bling and hollow entertainment - where frivolity is the point of life in a future world where people never age but simply die at a fixed point, who constantly take recreational drugs and behave like twenty-somethings forever.

Any moral sense of right or wrong takes a back seat in a world where spirituality isn’t openly considered or discussed. People die totally unaware of God. Why are we even here? In this brave new world? Who cares! Let’s party, copulate and die forever young. We don't need pain and are encouraged not to suffer. If only life was that simple as an ultimate testament to youth.

A chicken and egg situation, BNW says it’s time to party, but also reminds us that in the real world we have the right to be independent, alternative and simply ourselves. We don’t have to follow the collective norm like brainless cluckers all the time.

What makes BNW so good is the essential message that it's okay to have fun and live in a perpetual party mode if you like, which we sometimes avoid in real life because we're so preoccupied with finances, personal image and behaving like moral human beings for numerous reasons. We worry so much about the opinions of others and how God might be judging us, we sometimes forget to have fun and live for today, while also having the right to age gracefully, stay at home whenever we don't feel like it and do whatever we want.

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