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  • Island

  • Written by: Aldous Huxley
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (79 ratings)

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Island cover art

Island

Written by: Aldous Huxley
Narrated by: Simon Vance
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Publisher's Summary

In his final novel - which he considered his most important - Aldous Huxley transports us to the remote Pacific island of Pala, where an ideal society has flourished for 120 years.

Inevitably, this island of bliss attracts the envy and enmity of the surrounding world. A conspiracy is underway to take over Pala, and events are set in motion when an agent of the conspirators, a newspaperman named Faranby, is shipwrecked there. What Faranby doesn't expect is how his time with the people of Pala will revolutionize all his values and - to his amazement - give him hope.

©1962 Aldous Huxley (P)2016 Tantor

What the critics say

" Island...holds the charm of Huxley's cultured prose and fertile mind." ( The Guardian)

What listeners say about Island

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Excellent Writing & Voice Acting

A brilliant counterpart to Brave New World and a beautifully written narrative. The voice acting was fantastic - Simon switches between characters and can somehow put on convincing British and British-tinged south Asian accents on with male and female characters with ease.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Could not wait for it to end

One of the most tedious audio I have finished. Maybe the most tedious of approximately 200 Audible titles. There are so many better books available-go elsewhere.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great Writing and Performance

Great writing and voice performance but way too preachy for my liking. Glad I listened. By wouldn’t recommend

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Utopian Manifesto Lightly Shrouded in Narrative

I’ve been curious to read this for a while and was very glad to finally get around to it. Shockingly modern in many concepts and still (mostly) holds up as a philosophical text. Was hoping for a little more of a narrative (ie. any kind of plot vs. just the conversational indulgences that give voice to Huxley’s own ruminations), but it feels wrong to judge it for that since it’s clearly not trying to be a novel so much as a utopian manifesto.

If you like Brave New World and want to read the utopian counterpart presented as straightforward philosophy, definitely give it a listen. If you’re looking for something entertaining, perhaps it’s not for you. Still happy to have crossed this off my list though.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful

really great performance, I could feel the emotions of each character through the narration. Highly recommend, even if you have already read the book!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Lecture Style

I appreciated the amount of thought that went into this message of the book, but I didn’t enjoy the lecture style of the writing as it felt like the author had an agenda to dismiss western ideals in favour of eastern mysticism. Interesting ideas were presented, but it was hard continuing to keep listening because the story was boring.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Oddly prescient story from the 1960s

Psychedelia, mindfulness, environment vs oil exploitation. This tale has this all and more. This is a parable about a perfect environment where man lives in harmony with man and nature but ‘progress’ is lurking in the wings to invade. Written in glorious and ponderous prose, it has wonderful classical 1960s British private school education at its heart.

It is remarkable how current thinking about mindfulness and CBT, with a liberal mix of magic mushrooms is presented with a voice from the past. Like Brave New Word, Huxley somehow manages to see things as they are now and were 60 years ago.

Having said that, this is not an adventure story and needs careful concentration to listen to.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Strange storyline

I couldn't piece together what was going on. Couldn't make it past the first chapter even.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good

Well this certainly was no Brave New World. But it starts getting interesting about half way through. Basically a critique of the sorry state of the world of international politics. Nice dose of Huxley for sure and well narrated too.

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