“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
(First publication: 1932 / This edition: Harper Perennial Modern Classics 2006)
Taken during a coffee break at the sneaker store/cafe, Carnival
I actually dream about it sometimes. Dream of being woke up by that peal of thunder and finding her gone; dream of searching and searching for her under the trees. (pg.97)
The first time I became interested in Aldous Huxley was when I saw his quote on Instagram: “Maybe this world is another planet’s Hell.”
I remember I was on a skyscraper building in Tokyo and I was looking down to see the vast, endless city of concrete jungle—and that quote popped into my mind. This was in March 2014.
A few months later, I was on a train ride to our seminar’s camp and I was discussing books with my classmate. He was recommending this book to me. He said that if I like Orwell’s “1984”, I should try checking this one out because it has the similar vibes/theme (about a dystopian world), but what’s amazing is that it was written even before “1984”.
So this book had always been on my mind—but I didn’t get it until May 2015.
…and I didn’t pick it up to actually read it until just a few days ago.
and oh, how disappointed I am.
Well, I have to admit that I am astounded by the fact that it was written all the way back in 1932 because it really feels like it was written in this decade, or at least in this millennium. It’s crazy how “into the future” Huxley’s mind and imagination were—to be able to create such a futuristic and modern world. It even sounds more modern than “1984”.
But it’s… just so uninspiring. I feel that aside from the mind-blowing fact of how “modern” it is, there’s not much excitement in the story. I was bored and confused through the whole thing. I guess that’s how it is with most of the dystopian-themed books I’ve read, such as Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”. (The only one I like is Orwell’s “1984” actually. Keep it simple so that the readers will be spending more energy on actually absorbing and digesting the content.) I was often confused about “what the hell is going on?” and thus, spent more time trying to just decipher the “concept” rather than understanding the story. It was just stressful, boring, and uninspiring.
After a little halfway through, I ended up just flipping through. I was going to just give up and leave the book, but… I wanted to see if the quote I had read (“Maybe this world is another planet’s Hell.) is in this book. So, I (sort of reluctantly… against myself) went to the last 25% of the book and started reading there, hoping it’d be more “exciting”—seeing it’s towards the end. It should be picking up, right?
It’s disappointing because I really had high hopes for this book. I understand why it’s such a “legendary” book and that it’s probably even taught in millions of schools, but… it’s just not for me.
(Above: In front of Carnival)
(Above: At Little Spoon Cafe)