Brave New World Audiobook Review

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Brave New World

Written by: Aldous Huxley

Narrated by: Michael York

Length: Blackstone Audio Inc.

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: January 16, 2008

Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Throughout the generations, times have changed. Some books have grown less popular and this is a major mistake. By looking into the past and examining a handful of classic novels, it is possible to experience the future. Although George Orwell is likely best known for realistically capturing the future, Aldous Huxley should also be credited for his book, Brave New World, which does the same! The book delves into many societal problems, which are predominant today. Drugs, anti-aging schemes, social control and media manipulation are all present. 

Can the Utopia that so many people desire actually destroy humanity? Huxley seemed to believe so and his 1932 novel, Brave New World, gives the reader a front row seat for the destruction. Now that the book has been adapted into an audiobook, it has the potential to engage a new generation. Do Michael York and his vocal performance do the book justice? You will find out below!

Michael York’s Narration

Over the years, Michael York has worked on a large collection of audiobooks, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Theory of Everything and The Lion, the With, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia. Although all of these were excellent adaptations, it is arguable that Brave New World is Michael’s best performance to date. There is something intriguing about York’s accent, which draws in the listener. Also, he speaks loudly and clearly. Although it’ll take a moment to adjust to his quirky accent, you’ll begin to love it, once you do!

Although the audiobook is over eight hours, Michael York manages to keep the pace flowing at an enjoyable speed throughout. He does get a little excited from time to time, but it never feels like he is trying to rush through the process. Instead, his energetic performance dramatizes the action and enhances the overall story greatly. The audio quality is also equally impressive. It remains unblemished throughout its entirety.

If you’ve read the book, you realize that the story beholds numerous characters. In order for Michael York to make the audiobook successful, he would need to portray each of these characters in a unique manner. He does this without a bit of difficulty. During the tale, it is never hard to differentiate from the outsider, John, and the misfit, Bernard Marx. York manages to separate the characters during the dialogue, which makes it easy to follow along.

As soon as the vocals begin to emit from your speakers or earphones, York will draw you in and transport you to a dystopian state, where everything is controlled by the World State. When the going gets tough for the characters, York adds a dramatic tone to his voice. This helps to add credence to the story and make the listener feel like they’re right there in the moment.

The best aspect of York’s performance is definitely his rendition of John, who is only able to speak in phrases from classic Shakespearean dramas. The listener will chuckle and smile, as York dishes out classic lines from Othello and Hamlet, while John struggles to communicate with those around him.

Overall, Michael York’s performance is definitely an enjoyable one. He successfully carries the story and helps to develop the characters. Give yourself a few minutes to get acquainted with his accent and you’ll love it!

A Book About A Complex Society

Aldous Huxley is intrigued by William Shakespeare’s works, “The Temptest”. He works diligently to capture the same irony employed by John the Savage. He also uses the works of H. G. Wells “A Modern Utopia” to give him the inspiration to create this wonderful novel, Brave New World.

Lenina Crowne, a hatchery employee and Bernard Marx, a psychologist definitely have different personalities, with Lenina being the more accepted character. Bernard finds himself being shunned by many of the citizens of London, because he is very boisterous and verbal about his specific different take on society and his ideas do not set very well with others.

Helmholtz Watson just happens to be Bernard’s only friend. Watson is so intrigued by Helmholtz’ confidence, even though it alienates him from society’s finest. Lenina and Bernard take off on a holiday to the Savage Reservation, where they meet Linda and her son John. Linda became pregnant out of wedlock and was never accepted back into her village, but this did not deter her from setting an example for John. Linda has created a fictional “Brave New World” that John is determined to see, but in order for this to happen, Bernard would be challenged to take on the Director of Hatcheries, Thomas. John verbally recognized Thomas as his father and in return, Thomas was forced to resign from his position.

Bernard becomes a celebrity in London, but this is short-lived due John’s unwillingness to attend Bernard’s social events. Lenina and John become involved, but there is one thing that stands in their way and that is John’s take on sex, which is based on Shakespeare. Lenina attempts to entice John, but is immediately accused of being an impudent strumpet.

John learns that his mother’s health is failing, so he rushes to her bedside, which is not the traditional way of dealing with death. Without giving the final details of the story to the listeners, this is a fabulous novel that focuses on dystopian science fiction. One must draw their own conclusion to the wonderment of the Brave New World.

Overall

When it comes down to it, Brave New World is a book that everyone should experience, at some point or another. Thankfully, the excellent audiobook offers you a more modern way to enjoy the classic. Although Michael York’s narration might be a little grating at times, the majority of listeners will absolutely love it. He brings a little more quirkiness to an already humorous tale.

Despite the nature of it all, the dystopian science fiction drama is beginning to look more and more realistic each day. If you want to experience the potential future, before it arrives, you should check out Brave New World today! Whether or not the book’s predictions come true, you’ll enjoy the audiobook’s eight hour-long venture greatly!

Brave New World Audiobook (Review)
Date Published: 11/01/2015
5 / 5 stars

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Filed under: ClassicDystopian

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