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A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932) (audiobook)

Finished: ???

Grade: C

A Brave New World outlines a zany dystopian future where all human reproduction is organized by the government and every member of society is genetically engineered from birth to perform a specific job. For example, people meant for a life of factory work have their intelligence chemically stunted and are conditioned as children to hate the outdoors. This would be horrific, except that every person in this world, no matter what their class, are psychologically programmed to genuinely love their role in society. If they ever feel unhappy for any reason, they can take a soma pill, a happiness drug that every citizen keeps with them at all times. This is a world with no war and no conflict, where everyone is happy all the time. Nothing wrong with that!

...Or is there?

This novel poses some interesting questions: If you were happy all the time no matter what, would that be a good thing? Is there something more to life than happiness? If so, what is it? Is unconditional happiness even possible?

The blunt force answer Aldous Huxley concocts for these questions is: You shouldn't be happy all the time because war makes good art and science, and because God says so. Also, women are too slutty these days.

This book is almost really good, and it's frustrating how dumb it is.

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