So, I’ve been working my way through the BBC’s Book List challenge and there’s several books I’ve been putting off reading. War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Ulysses etc. I think you can probably guess why I’m putting off reading them! But I’d also been putting off Catch 22. Not for the same reasons though, I wanted to save it so I’d still have a fun book to read amongst all those weighty classics. In the end I gave in, I wanted to see what I’ve been missing out on all this time. SO…WAS IT WORTH THE WAIT?
I knew absolutely nothing about this book before reading it, other than it was one of those books you’re supposed to read – get it on your bucket list people, whether you want to or not. However, seeing as it’s only relatively short I decided what the hell, I’ll give it whirl. What had initially discouraged me from reading it was that it’s usually described as ‘existential in theme’ and, to my shame, I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant and so assumed I wouldn’t really understand the book either. YEAH YEAH, BUT WHAT IS IT ACTUALLY ABOUT?
Before 1984, before The Handmaids Tale and even before The Hunger Games (imagine that kids!) there was Brave New World. Written in 1931 the novel was originally written as a parody of HG Wells’ utopian books and in response the political climate after WW1. Reflecting on the book’s progress, Huxley himself admitted ‘I got caught up in the excitement of my own ideas’ and the result is a terrifyingly prophetic tale. SO WHAT’S THE PREMISE?