So the plan was to read and post about this book last week, seeing as how it was Banned Books Week and this is a banned book. But, as I explained the other day, this happened.
I did finish the book during the week, but the post just didn’t happen. So in belated celebration of Banned Books Week, I present:
Brave New World
First published in 1932
My copy published by Harper Perennail Modern Classics
Where I ever got the idea that I had read this I don’t know. Maybe I was lumping it in with 1984? Because they are somewhat similar. But after reading this, I’m pretty sure I would’ve remembered reading it before, even if it was 20 years ago. Because I can so see why people would challenge this book (not that I ever would…I’m just saying I can understand why people find it disturbing enough that they might object to their children reading it (although, hello…a conversation would be better than a banning).
Anyhoosie. If you can get past the first 20 or so pages of tedium, this actually turns out to be a quick read. Pretty heavy on the philosophizing, but then, that’s the kind of guy Aldous was.
(And inappropriate aside, he was kinda cute, too, in an academic coke bottle glasses kind of way).
He also had a heck of an imagination, and didn’t pull any punches when it came to satire. But it got to be a bit much, even for me. Like he was going for the shock value more than the literary merit. As Aths said, “I nearly puked my way through the pages.” And I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, she wrote a kick-ass review that pretty much summarizes all of my thoughts, so go check it out.
So. In the end, I’m not really sure how I feel about this one. On the one hand, I think Huxley wrote a creepy book that 70 years later doesn’t seem out of date at all. I think he had a brilliant mind and a keen grasp of satire and morality and what humans are capable of in a very bad way. On the other hand…there’s that puking business.
I have no regrets about reading it, but I much prefer 1984 for a chilling dystopian novel.