Brave New World
"Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today--let's hope the sterility and absence of individuality he predicted aren't yet to come.
Huxley has done something interesting. While Brave New World wasn't popular in it's time because the population couldn't see a time when such a world was possible, less then 100 years later we are living in what could very well be the last decades before this civilization - and that's what makes Brave New World interesting.
Huxley's style makes it easy to see the world he has created, and while the characters are often hard to relate to because of their conditioning, it is easy to see their reasoning. I really liked Lenina and Helmholtz because they were 'civilized' but were also a little off, not as off as someone like Bernard, but they also weren't as manipulative. In a world where Everyone Belongs to Everyone these three are a little off, Helmholtz writes controversial poetry, Lenina is as close to monogamous as possible and Bernard is just, well, he's off.
Overall I was really impressed with Brave New World, it wasn't as challenge a read as I expected and it really left me thinking.