Before this audiobook, I’d only ever read this story once… years ago now on my Kindle. Apparently, I had forgotten a rather alarming amount of what happens, to the point I’m now wondering if I ever actually finished it.
First published in 1938, Huxley paints a bleak future for mankind. Having taken the principles of Henry Ford to heart, mankind has streamlined the production of humans so they’re now hatched rather than born. The production line produces anywhere from Alpha++ humans (the best and brightest) down to the Epsilons, the barely sentient beings who do the grunt work.
This astonishingly well-thought-out dystopia still holds up well today. Sure, there are a few references to old tech in the high-tech world, but it was 1938, so I think his vision was still top-rate.
It’s hard to sympathise with any of the characters, if I’m being frank. Damaged as they were, nobody, I believe, was the hero of the story. Even the “savage” from the savage reservation that is found and brought back to civilisation is also hard to like.
John (the savage) is obviously written to juxtapose the civilised people, to throw into stark relief how bad and Hypno-conditioned they are… but is he really any better?
The narrator, Michael York, I thought did a fantastic job. There were quite a few different dialects and accents he had to deliver, and he did them well. Each character is given a distinct sound.
All up, a great story that I’m glad I had another go at… because I honestly didn’t remember most of it!