It’s been too long since I wrote one of these posts. The software on my computer even tells me that the last time I worked on this post was back in November. November! What with my new job, Christmas and a small promotion after New Year, it already feels like a life time ago.
So why I haven’t I finished it before now? It’s not because I have fallen out of love with books, it’s more the opposite. Ever since I swapped my job at the castle for the one in the bookshop, I have had so much more time to read. And read I have. So much and so frequently that my boyfriend exclaimed the other day “Are you nearly done with that one too? I can’t keep up with you anymore, every time I turn around you are reading a new one!”
So that, ladies and gentlemen, is why this post with books that I read last autumn is only being published now. But it is here now and that’s all that matters. Good books don’t suddenly go out of fashion anyway.
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
“Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…
Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.”
After I read The Handmaid’s Tale last summer I felt a bit lost about what to read next. I was looking through the unread books on my shelf, not really feeling any of them, when I found my boyfriend’s copy of Brave New World with an introduction by Atwood herself and saw it as a sign to continue reading in the dystopian genre. I have read a lot of Dystopian and Speculative fiction classics and because it’s a genre I like a lot, especially when they critique capitalist societies, I was expecting to love the book.
I don’t know if it was the timing but something just felt off to me. Maybe it felt flat after the amazing voice of the narrator in The Handmaid’s Tale or maybe it was because I didn’t warm to any of the characters, as none of them developed or changed with their (incredibly selfish) actions. I know it’s been described as shocking but to me it felt a bit outdated or maybe even too realistic. It made me feel depressed about the way the characters end up leading their lives. Its best quality was that the old copy I was reading smelled amazing, of library books and yellowed pages but even for a booklover that feels quite a sad thing to say about a book.
Bleaker Island – Nell Stevens