Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brave New World

Author: Aldous Huxley

Quote: "And that," put in the Director sententiously, "that is the secret of happiness and virtue--liking what you've got to do."

Why you should read this book: The architects of the new reality have created a brightly-colored, pleasant-smelling playground in which nobody is ever unhappy, alone, or sexually unsatisfied, and all they had to sacrifice were art, religion, science, love, family, emotion, and meaning. When Bernard Marx, alienated by virtue of his physical anomaly, and the object of his affection, the perfectly pneumatic and wholesome Lenina Crowne, stumble upon a man whose savage upbringing astounds even as his parentage can be exploited, they bring him back to civilization, initiating an intense dialog on the meaning of freedom and responsibility. Huxley's world, where sex and drugs are not merely encouraged, but actually mandatory, remains a reminder to modern readers of the luxury of pain, discontent, and loneliness in a novel that embraces the mind with candy-coated dystopia.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You believe people ought to be made to conform.

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