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Brave New World Audiobook

Brave New World

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Publisher's Summary

When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

On the 75th anniversary of its publication, this outstanding work of literature is more crucial and relevant today than ever before. Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

©1932 Aldous Huxley; ©1998 BBC Audiobooks America; (P)2003 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

"British actor Michael York's refined and dramatic reading captures both the tone and the spirit of Huxley's masterpiece." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1336 )
5 star
 (566)
4 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (1083 )
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (1084 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (23)
Performance
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  •  
    George Harrogate, United Kingdom 06/08/2011
    George Harrogate, United Kingdom 06/08/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Marred by narration"

    Great book, no doubting that, but I'm half way through and had to break to come on here and say I can't STAND Michael York's narration. Really after 20 audiobooks or more from Audible this is the first time it's happened, and it's particularly surprising given he's such a well known actor, but absolutely every moment of his performance is over-egged. It's Jackonory story-telling, subtle as a brick and prone to spasms of indulgent and frankly frightening wailing and crying. And the accents, entirely his contribution from what I gather, are atrocious. I'm probably in the minority given other reviews here, but give the sample a go and try before you buy, that's my advice!

    27 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Outskirts of London 07/05/2016
    Robert Outskirts of London 07/05/2016 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    "Imaginative, But Flawed!"

    Set sometime in the distant future (A.F. 632 which may translate to around 2540 A.D. according to some calculations), in an advanced dystopian world; this was at times a fascinating but challenging listen. However, I could not help feeling somewhat disappointed by the end as I did not find it to be the classic that it was alleged to be.

    Often compared to Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four", but very different in terms of the worlds both authors so carefully constructed, I found Huxley’s style of writing at times to be overly verbose and difficult to follow. It also made me wonder at times how far he was trying to exhibit his own philosophical beliefs at the expense of the plot and overall story.

    I found nearly all the characters unlikeable. Naturally, the only ones I truly sympathised with were John and Linda. No doubt this was deliberate on Huxley's part, as to an outsider looking into this so called "civilised world" where people had been conditioned to show no real lasting unity to one another, you could only feel appalled at their self-centredness. John the Savage (as he was unfairly referred to), represented our world and programming, and his reaction to the likes of Lenina and some of the lower caste members and their behaviour was at times desperate, but understood.

    When you take a step back and take it all in, the world Huxley created here is truly frightening, but nonetheless captivating.

    Finally, I found Michael York's narration rather strange and somewhat irritating at times. Some of his choice of accents for the characters were quite bizarre and not well thought out (Bernard's and John's especially), and kind of took some of the gloss off of this work.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cross Stitcher NR. HALESWORTH,, United Kingdom 04/08/2009
    Cross Stitcher NR. HALESWORTH,, United Kingdom 04/08/2009 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sublime"

    I have never posted a review before, as I have never felt strongly enough, in either direction, to want to make a public comment on something - until now. It is more years than I care to remember since I last read Brave New World, and what a delight to listen to Michael York as the narrator. For anyone who thinks that they 'ought to' read this book, then this is the perfect way to do it; and anyone who wants to revisit this timeless classic, then you are in for a sublime 8 hours. If only all audio books were of this standard.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Antony Harris 26/04/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Great ideas, pulpy plot, hammy performance"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The performance and the plot.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Fix the clunky dialogue and sketchy characters.


    What didn’t you like about Michael York’s performance?

    Hammy delivery. Wobbly regional accents randomly distributed. For example, Pueblo Indians that sound like they come from Bristol, my luvverr.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    Yeah probably, just to see how they do it.


    Any additional comments?

    Seek out an alternative version.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Beulah, United Kingdom 11/03/2009
    Peter Beulah, United Kingdom 11/03/2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    Bleak and excellent. An interesting thought experiment. As opposed to Orwell's "1984", in which a totalitarian government rules by fear and brutality, the Brave New World leaders remain in power by enslaving their population to unbounded, self-indulgent pleasures. All humanity is lost when grief, pain and suffering are eradicated, and the book cleverly introduces a 'savage' from an 'old world' reserve who understands the loss that the new world has undergone. Despite it's cautionary tone (that seems to be more relevant in this day and age than when it was written) I couldn't help feeling I could do with just a little bit of unbounded, self-indulgent pleasure. Huxley would turn in his grave!! Clear sound and excellently narrated.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny BlackpoolUnited Kingdom 19/07/2010
    Penny BlackpoolUnited Kingdom 19/07/2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Memories"

    I first read this book 25 years ago at school. Time (or my age) has made this book even better! Well read by Michael York. If you like George Orwell's 1984, you'll love this.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean southampton, hampshire, United Kingdom 06/07/2010
    Sean southampton, hampshire, United Kingdom 06/07/2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesing characters and ideas of the future."

    Michael York makes listening to this book very easy.

    The story portays a world where human engineering has advanced so far that children are grown in test tubes rather than born naturally. Distinct classes of people are manufactured in the test tube. Love and partnerships no longer exist as everyone belongs to everyone else. Subliminal teachings repeat the mantras of the new world order, ensuring stability and conformity. Drugs are freely available to wash away any hardship or stress. Gone are the writings of Shakespeare and all references to God.

    But there are a few that are not content with the way of the world and look for answers to their feelings of emptiness.

    The story follows these characters through their journey of self realisation and weakness, exploring the state's reaction to their outspoken views.

    I really enjoyed the story and considering its age was impressed by the forward thinking.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick kings lynn, norfolk, United Kingdom 23/04/2008
    Nick kings lynn, norfolk, United Kingdom 23/04/2008 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "Better than a gram of soma...."

    Superb. An absolute classic! This thought provoking tale of social engineering is made even more accessible by the masterly narration of Micheal York. Sheer auditory pleasure!

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Hayes Ireland 02/09/2015
    William Hayes Ireland 02/09/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "what an amazing book!"

    I simply could not believe that a book as prescient as this was written in 1931 / 1932. This gets to the heart of so much that is wrong in our own era and reads like a creepy but amazing prophecy speaking into all the problems of our age.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M Wakefield, United Kingdom 15/10/2012
    M Wakefield, United Kingdom 15/10/2012 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
    Overall
    "Parody not prophecy."

    This novel has to be read with the writer's historical context kept firmly in mind to appreciate its absolute genius. It's a parody - and a very funny one - of all the utopias being prescribed and promised by the political theories that are sweeping the world in that very strange period that was the 1930s. Capitalism was being battered - due to the Great Depression - and Socialism, Communism and Fascism were vying for dominance of people's hearts and minds; each declaring they had the keys to human happiness. And, alongside this, the science of eugenics seemed to be justifying the European dominance of its empires as well as the right of the upper-classes to rule the lower. So throw into this already very heady mix the hedonism of the Roaring Twenties, and the still very fresh memories of the Great War, and Alduous Huxley is writing in an extremely volatile time. So what does he do? He takes the piss out of everybody.

    We follow the petty proto-revolutionary bureaucrat Bernard Marx (what a great name: George Bernard Shaw/Karl Marx) in his pathetic and ultimately futile quest for respect and importance in the genetically 'stable' utopia that has been manufactured. It's a very uncomfortable read at times - the erotic play of the toddlers comes to mind - and brutal too - the death clinics, and the descriptions of the Savages' reservations - but Huxley's point is to show that no matter what the grand Social Theories promise, they won't be able to take into account each individual's little weaknesses and lusts and ambitions; humans can't be put into little boxes and expected to be happy. The Shakespeare quoting savage John isn't happy in the reservation nor in the Brave New World; the stunted Bernard won't ever find acceptance from his peers, and Lenina ("Wonderful girl; splendidly pneumatic.") will never be able to understand her taste for something 'different'. Huxley isn't being prophetic, he's being parodic in Brave New World and he's having a lot of fun too. 5 stars

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
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  • Joseph
    10/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mindf**k Extraordinaire"

    An entertaining, but jarring expose of an extreme futuristic social experience. This approached unsettling to read, but stayed on the side of compellingly fantastic, so I kept listening. Worthwhile for fans of classical science fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • starduster
    31/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very rich book."

    I believe everyone can pull something out of this book. I truly enjoyed it and this was my 3rd time listening. But maybe you shouldn't listen to me because I'm a huge fan of Huxley but I do love this book. And the narrator does a fine job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Patrick McHugh
    28/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Have not read since the 70's"

    The book was read very well. I hated the ending,. I think it was easier to grasp when reading the book years ago versus listening to the ending. Dystopia is scary, and this book is a constant reminder of that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dennis D. Deering
    USA
    17/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I tried"

    I guess the time has gone to far from its writing to engage the mind of a boomer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Q. Farnsworth
    10/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Should be required reading for 17-25 year olds."
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John, because of his deep rooted personal values. He shows why those values should be the basis for any sustainable culture.


    What about Michael York’s performance did you like?

    Everything. Makes me wonder if it was a coincidence that he stared in the movie: Logan's Run. The plots aren't identical, but the message is similar and strong: If you give power to the puppet-masters, your needs, desires, and ideas will quickly become irrelevant.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When I realized why we must be very suspicious of all who would promise they could create a perfect and totally fair society.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    08/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Please stop with the weird sounds"

    He made it sound weird because he kept like sighing and stuff whenever there was one of those sex scenes and I really didn't like it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Radu Fertonea
    08/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "did not like it"

    not a bad idea but i think he could have done more with it. i had issues with the storytelling approach as i lost track of the developments in the book and got bored.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dazed
    04/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Glad I finally listened to it..."

    but I wasn't crazy about the story. There were an awfully lot of terrible similarities to today's society that he either imagined or was predicting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amourfou14
    03/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange narration"

    The narrator sounds like he's making fun of the characters as he voices them. He makes them unnecessarily whiny and it was difficult to really imagine them as anything but pathetic, especially the stronger characters. Such a shame...this is one that's really best read on paper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ourwebshops
    Mount Dora, FL USA
    03/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not so brave new world"

    I enjoyed the journey, but the ending lacked a bit.
    I felt it could have reinforced the concept of individualism, rather than resistance is futile.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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