Book Review: Brave New World aka Please Pass the Soma

I listened to this book on CD over the course of last week and my two biggest takeaways were 1.) I wouldn’t mind taking Soma tablets once in awhile and 2.) I liked Nineteen Eighty-Four WAAY better, though it’s like comparing apples to pears. As I sometimes do with audiobooks, I spaced out occasionally during the narration, simply because the Narrator’s voice was so soothing and British.

I don’t believe in spoilers as I love picking up a book with little idea of it’s subject (which can also lead to confusion) but the general idea of this book is a utopian society where no one is ever sick, everyone has a very specific role in the world, and no one ever grows old. They also don’t fall in love, they simply fornicate as they wish with no strings attached. (Utopian for whom, I ask) The pivotal point in the story is when members of this society visit a Savage reservation and find one of their own stuck within it’s aged walls. The Savage comes back to their society with them, but he simply cannot understand how they choose to live like this, without real love, commitment, responsibility and pain.

I had to research Aldous Huxley after I finished the book and while I knew he was using the characters satirically I wasn’t sure of all the references. It was definitely controversial and this book has been banned many times, though for my generation the idea of that is fairly insane. (though if Britney Spears ever writes a book I hope that will be banned) I definitely recommend this book, but it’s certainly not a pleasure read. I do hope to read it in print so I can better absorb the story.

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