Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – Audio Book Review

Read by Michael York

Finally, I have read this book! I’ve been meaning to for so many years but just kind of haven’t, but I know it is in the same esteem (and somewhat similar style) of 1984. And wow, how wonderful.

So, it is the future, and everything in the world is controlled, from birth to the sleep learning of status and structure, to the set careers and playtime fun through to death and the recycling of the human body. Sex is a normal interaction like conversation, spending time alone is considered freaky, and no one reads. People are bred and conditioned into several groups, from the Alphas who control everything and have the most fun to the Epsilons who are deprived of oxygen during incubation in a test tube (people are decanted, not born. No-one actually carries a baby anymore). And to avoid emotions and anything unpleasant, people take Soma, a drug that can stimulate good things and send people on holidays in their mind.

Bernard is an Alpha who feels that things are not quite right, and when he goes on a holiday to a savage reservation in New Mexico with Lenina, a woman who plays by the ‘normal’ rules of sex and dating, he discovers an Alpha woman who was abandoned there many years ago. She was pregnant, an unacceptable state in society, and has become an alcoholic who sleeps with men to get drink. Her son is now an adult, and Bernard delights in bringing him back to society to be shown off like a trophy, like a novelty, a creature who, despite his recitation of the famous line from Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Oh brave new world that has such people in’t), finds society disgusting and disgraceful.

The one thing I found difficult from the reading of the book by Michael York was the range of accents he (or the producer) chose during the reading. Bernard is Welsh and The Savage and his mother are from the North of England, possibly Birmingham as a couple of examples. This creates a different reading to it which I’m not sure was intended by Huxley, and I wonder if it added a sense of class that changes things. It’s a shame in a way, because I think I would have preferred to have kept it relatively neutral.

Logan’s Run (1976) Film Review


The world is contained within a bubble, a bubble with finite resources. Thus, at thirty, everyone must die or hope to be reborn in a ceremony known as Carousel. Occasionally, people run, dreaming of a chance to keep living, and are chased by the Sandmen, guards who hunt and kill them. The big computer sends Logan (Michael York) on a mission – to run and find Sanctuary – the place they believe runners end up. With the assistance of a woman he meets, Jessica (Jenny Agutter), Logan takes off, but is tracked by fellow Sandman, Francis (Richard Jordan). Finally, in the outside world, Logan and Jessica meet the Old Man (Peter Ustinov) who they take back to the bubble to try to convince everyone that they don’t need to die at 30.

Wow, this is dated. It’s amazing to think that this won an Oscar for Visual Effects – the effects look terrible now. But, I didn’t have a problem with this at all – in fact, it added to the kitsch factor. The overall plot was quite good. What was terrible was the acting. I suppose the over-the-top acting of several of the characters were in style with this sci-fi world, but I just couldn’t get over Michael York – every time he opened his mouth I had to stop myself from laughing. An unexpected surprise was Jenny Agutter – having recently been watching Call the Midwife, to see the head nun turn up in a skimpy outfit (or, in one scene, nude after Michael York exclaimed “We should take our clothes off so we don’t freeze!”) was just bizarre.

Logan’s Run won a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects at the Oscars and was nominated for an Oscar Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction – Set Direction.