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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)

Featured Article: 20 Best Sci-Fi Audiobooks for Exploring New Worlds

There is no genre that lends itself better to audio narrative than Science Fiction does. There is a magic that transports listeners to new worlds of wonder and mystery that is heightened by expert voice actors and narrators. A great writer can create an imaginative new world or dystopian civilisation, but it is up to the narrator to bring this world to life around you. We’ve gathered together 20 of the top science fiction audiobooks ranked not only for their stories but for the emotive and compelling narrative performances. Let these award winning tales and voices carry you away to worlds unknown.

What listeners say about Brave New World

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great book narrator not

book and story are amazing, the narrator is terrible goes from whispering to yelling constantly

6 people found this helpful

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My eyes are open

It was just an amazing eye opening experience listening to this excellent book! I think it should be mandatory reading (listening) for anyone looking to challenge there worldview!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 2019-05-15

Ahead of it's time, but somewhat lacking

There are a lot of thought provoking concepts here. Brave New World would make a great book club choice. But there is very little story and the characters are all very static and flat. Not much happens, there is just a comparison of two different worlds and an examination of happiness, purpose, etc.

Michael York is a fine voice actor but there were a number of odd choices in this book and a lot of times where his tone/excitement level seemed to really clash with what the character was actually feeling.

Might be worth your time and Aldous Huxley was far ahead of his time, but in the 75+ years since publication there are now other books that explore these themes with much more depth and story to them.

4 people found this helpful

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More relevant for today than 1984

I often hear people making references to 1984 and today, but if you're going to use a piece of literature to accurately describe the short comings of society and the human condition in general, Brave New World is exactly what that is.

3 people found this helpful

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Not as revolutionary as remembered

Read this in school and was blown away with it's more accurate prophesy (imho) of the future of society than was 1984. But this next pass, over 15 years later, doesn't give me the same sense. I just didn't enjoy the story very much and surprisingly I really disliked John the Savage. Wonder what that says about me and my growth?

2 people found this helpful

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A classic

This is a classic. Relavent to the concepts of liberty and happiness.

Probably considered dry by some, this book uses momentum to build a strong message.

1 person found this helpful

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Essential story

A classic that needs to be heard no matter where in life you find yourself. Especially needed as society seems to flounder in directionality.

1 person found this helpful

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Not what I was expecting

Everyone told me that since I love 1984 I should read Brave New World, but it doesn't really fit the same vein. It starts off promising with buchanofski principle and all the science, but the story pretty does not have to have had that as a part of it at all. This is not as epix as people made it out to be. I likely would have enjoyed it more if it was not held up with 1984. #Audible1

3 people found this helpful

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One if the classic SciFi's

This is a classic sci fi that challenges us to think about how the future may be. This version is narrated exceptionally well. Listening I couldn't help but get lost in the voices and characters. #Audible1

2 people found this helpful

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Good Performance, but story is uneventful.

Good Performance, but story is uneventful. I found the story line less than fulfilling and thought provoking.

3 people found this helpful

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  • SD
  • 2019-08-21

Michael York should stick to the stage and leave narration to the pros.

Do you like having one of your favourite books of all time ruined by a pompous Brit who thinks he’s performing Shakespeare? Do you love having to constantly turn up the volume so you can hear unnecessarily exaggerated whispering, only to have your eardrums blown when the narrator unexpectedly
switches to shouting at the top of his lungs like a lunatic? Well then, this beautiful story being ruined by the over the top performance of Michael “Head So Far Up His My Ass” York is for you.

330 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-21

Great Story, Distracting Narration

The narrator's large shifts in volume and multiple British accents detracted from the overall experience.

102 people found this helpful

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  • Jorge Rodriguez
  • 2019-11-01

the narrator sucked

it was a hard listen just because the narrator wasn't my favorite person to listen to. the shot was annoying, but maybe that's what they were shooting for.

67 people found this helpful

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  • Bridget C.
  • 2017-09-22

I am I, and I wish I weren't.

I read the first page of this book easily 15 times in high school but never got past the buttery light on the microscopes.

I decided to listen to this now after reading an article quoting Neil Postman about how this book was the more apt to happen in our society than 1984. I agree- we' be anesthetized at an orgyporgy choking back Soma long before we give up the free press.

I enjoyed this book especially listening to Michael York read it but docked a star for the interminable polemic sections and how tedious the reservation section became.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Jefferson
  • 2011-10-03

“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”

Brave New World is a bitterly funny and humorously tragic dystopian novel in which Aldous Huxley satirizes modern civilization’s obsession with consumerism, sensual pleasure, popular culture entertainment, mass production, and eugenics. His far future world limits individual freedom in exchange for communal happiness via mass culture arts like “feelies” (movies with sensual immersion), the state-produced feel-good drug soma, sex-hormone gum, popular sports like “obstacle golf,” and the assembly line chemical manipulation of ova and fetuses so as to decant from their bottles babies perfectly suited for their destined castes and jobs, babies who are then mentally conditioned to become satisfied workers and consumers who believe that everyone belongs to everyone. In a way it’s more horrible than the more obviously brutal and violent repression of individuals by totalitarian systems in dystopias like George Orwell’s 1984, because Huxley’s novel implies that people are happy being mindless cogs in the wheels of economic production as long as they get their entertainments and new goods.

Michael York does a great job reading the novel, his voice oozing satire for the long opening tour of the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, and then modifying in timbre and dialect for the various characters, among them the self-centered brooder Bernard Marx, the budding intellectual poet Helmholtz Howard, the sexy, sensitive, and increasingly confused Lenina Crowne, the spookily understanding Resident World Controller of Western Europe Mustapha Mond, and especially the good-natured, sad, and conflicted Shakespearean quoting “savage” John.

I had never read this classic of dystopian science fiction, so I’m glad to have listened to this excellent audiobook, because it is entertaining and devastating in its depiction of human nature and modern civilization, especially timely in our own brave new Facebook world.

332 people found this helpful

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  • Caleb Sedgwick
  • 2019-09-11

Terrible reading

Don't listen to this with headphones. The reader goes from reading to yelling countless times. Besides that he gives some characters a Scottish type accent and other ones one that makes them sound mentally disabled. The book it's self is alright but at certain times jumps around randomly.

17 people found this helpful

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  • W Perry Hall
  • 2017-03-06

Hedonist Nihilism and the Centrifugal Bumblepuppy


"O brave new world, that has such people in it!"
Shakespeare's The Tempest

I was enraptured while reading this remarkable futuristic fable of a society somberly envisioned as one of hedonist nihilism in which humans are all hatched from incubators, graded, sorted, brainwashed and drugged to accept their position in the social order.

In doing a bit of research about the novel after reading it, I found this candescent passage from the late Neil Postman, a social critic and distinguished professor, comparing 1984 with Brave New World:

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. ... Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.

N. Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.


I found this novel quite frightening in the longer view (compared to 1984) considering, as Christopher Hitchens so rightly pointed out, that 1984's "house of horrors" showed its weakness with the downfall of the Soviet Union, whereas Huxley's type of Brave New World "still beckons toward a painless, amusement-sodden, and stress-free consensus," a "true blissed-out and vacant servitude" for which "you need an otherwise sophisticated society where no serious history is taught." C. Hitchens, "Goodbye to All That: Why Americans Are Not Taught History." Harper's Magazine, Nov. 1998.*

74 people found this helpful

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  • Em
  • 2012-04-16

Nightmare-Inducing (in a Good Way)

When I first read Brave New World it gave me nightmares. I was hooked. It might be strange to say that a book that gave me bad dreams is a good thing, but I was intrigued that a story could worm its way so powerfully into my psyche. It was really my first encounter with dystopian speculative fiction and I ultimately credit Huxley with sending me on my recent nosedive into YA lit. He probably wouldn’t appreciate this association, or the one I’m about to make, which is that I think this book is one of the most powerful and accessible works of dystopia ever created, and can be seen as a forebear to much of today’s hottest literature.

Sometimes when I’m not sure what I want to listen to next I’ll return to a book that I loved fervently in print and check it out in audio, and that’s what I did with Brave New World. I’m so glad that I did. Michael York is an excellent narrator and he captures the different characters admirably. But what I found most impressive is how he handles dialogue. Brave New World is more than dystopian sci-fi; it’s a novel of ideas and discussion. There’s a lengthy rapid-fire debate that takes place between John the Savage and Mustapha Mond near the end of the book that is generously peppered with obscure Shakespearian references. When reading you can gloss over anything you do not get immediately because you understand the merit of their discussion: is it better to be happy and controlled, or is the freedom to be unhappy the greatest of human liberties? But I found while listening that Michael York carried me along through their debate and the individual Shakespearian references sang clearly. Just as seeing a play acted out on stage is easier than reading it, I really feel that listening to this book was a heightened experience, and an improvement on the print version. Now when I recommend Brave New World to people I suggest they listen to it first.

And I’m going to recommend it again now: There’s a reason this is a classic, and read by most freshman English students. If somehow you’ve missed it, now is the time to pick this one up.

201 people found this helpful

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  • Sean
  • 2009-04-19

Stick with it!

After only a few chapters into Brave New World, you will be so shocked and appalled that you may feel inclined to emphatically put it down and disconnect yourself from it for the fear that someone else will overhear the spill of your headphones. I challenge you to keep reading; although it never explains itself in a way that eases our consciences, it categorically forces you to reconsider every quantum of morality and ethics you possess. Once done, you will certainly not agree with the hypothetical future set forth by Aldous Huxley, but you will understand why not, and thus have a far more solid foundation for why you believe what you believe.

91 people found this helpful

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  • tom
  • 2019-08-18

unfinished business.

I couldn't finish listening as the Narrators performance was dry and voice was droning. it's a shame, I've heard good things about the book

8 people found this helpful

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  • O.H
  • 2021-06-30

mixed feelings

I would probably have liked this book better if the different characters had been played by someone else... the narrator's voice was... simply horrid.

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  • David Hache
  • 2019-12-09

performance extraordinaire

performance extraordinaire vraiment très bien, histoire bien, un véritable classique qui nous interroge sur le monde actuel