Aldous Huxley: Brave New World
Dystopian world views have been quite common in English literature. 1984, Animal Farm, Clockwork Orange, Facial Justice – there are many. This may not have been the first but it did precede all of the above. If there are similarities with its successors, it is Facial Justice it most resembles, which might explain why that book had only limited success.
Huxley’s views may also turn out to be the most accurate. Cloning, drugs, the glitterati getting excited about savages, conditioning of children, a caste system based on intelligence and money, centralised totalitarian control using technology, sleep teaching, enforced consumption – all of these are already with us. There is no point in giving a plot summary – there are many available on the web. Suffice it to say that Huxley tells a pretty good story and is certainly as prescient as his successors, making this book still essential reading for all of those who, unlike the characters, in this book feel that reading a book is still something worthwhile to do.
First published 1932 by Chatto & Windus