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06 June 2009 @ 12:35 pm
#20  
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

The weirdest thing about this book was that I had an inspiration for a story just like it once - years ago, before I'd even heard of it. I like my version better.

Also, on Look at this Fucking Hipster, there's a photo of a tattoo featuring all these ~books, like Catcher in the Rye and On the Road (ugh, pah, yuck) and Brave New World. The funny part, aside from the person's mainly terrible taste in books, is that the proportions are all wrong. This is quite a small book - all of them are. Question whether said person ever read them?



It's depressing in the way only first-half twentieth century scifi CAN be. It shares some of the essential components with all the others I've read from this era - a dystopian future posing as a utopia, and rooted masochistic male supremacist bullshit that even imagining a far-off future can't erase.

I can see why some people may think this book is 'OMG AMAZING' a la On the Road. (I imagine they are, on the whole, male.) See why:

The records survive. Speeches about the liberty of the subject. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole.

"All right, then," said the Savage defiantly. "I'm claiming the right to be unhappy."
"Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little too eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind."
There was a long silence. "I claim them all," said the Savage at last.
Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. "You're welcome," he said.


Yet the Savages were ... savage. I'm not sure why Christianity and Native American culture were the ones to survive above, say, Islam and Romanian Gypsies. Nor was any explanation of this given. Ugh, it was just so depressing. There was no happy alternative, except to be a World Controller. Plus, it ignores the basic tenet of humanity that says: We Will Never Pull Together When There Is Any Alternative. Thank heaven for that.



Previously, on Book Glomp 2009:
He Knew He Was Right, Anthony Trollope
The Bostonians, Henry James
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
For Esme - with Love and Squalor, JD Salinger
The Outsider, Albert Camus
The Princess Diaries: Ten out of Ten, Meg Cabot
The Vicar of Bullhampton, Anthony Trollope
Molesworth, Geoffrey Willans
Villette, Charlotte Bronte
The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler
Cecilia, Fanny Burney
The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark
Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut
Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
Siddhartha, Herman Hesse
The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga
The Duke and I, Julia Quinn
 
 
 
oceaxeoceaxe on June 6th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
Brave New World was written in 1923, not the seventies.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: PoT: Marui: kissscoradh on June 6th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
Oh god. Can we spell SMRT?
Sereniaserenia on June 7th, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
I read that one right before 1984, and it was interesting to compare them, because they were quite similar and yet very different.
I can't remember much more than that, because my brain was since scrambled by pregnancy and motherhood, and now sits there most of the time going 'duuhhhh'.

I want my brain back. :(
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: halowrites: pink flotation devicescoradh on June 7th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
Man, I have seriously got to get off my ass about 1984. It's not even like it's a long book or anything. D: It's there! In ... hibernation?