As I continue writing reviews, I've ever fewer interesting subjects. I'm loath to choose such well-known fiction, but have recently read it for the first time and feel I may have a unique view on it. Know I don't recommend reading it. This review will spoil aspects of the story. For a better story concerning a like path humanity may take, read ``The Machine Stops'' instead, which is also shorter.
The prose is generally unremarkable, though I did enjoy the shifting of viewpoints in chapter three. The phrase ``All men are physico-chemically equal.'' is surely meant to parody ``All men are created equal.'', but the latter is a real and modern lie, accepted by many at face value just as the former is in the book, although anyone with a mind can discern its falsity. The phrase ``Every one belongs to every one else.'' is likely intended to impart a sense of socialism, or communism, but this world described is driven by capitalism with pointless production, as evidenced by ``Ending is better than mending.'' and the other goings-on of this world, like the absurd worship and mention of Henry Ford.
I was disconcerted at realizing the brain-damaged retards of the book's society spoke better English than the brain-damaged retards of my society; they spoke true English using real words, not ebonics.
The book can be read in one day. I began reading one chapter each day, but then shifted to many, to quickly finishing the remaining book, suiting the tone of the longest conversation being at the end.
The turning point of the book is the introduction of a naturally-born man. The described society is far from dystopia. That man is neither hunted nor scorned nor treated as a threat, but instead seen as a curiosity. Further, his new friends aren't killed at the end, but sent away to an island to be with the other humans too abnormal to fit in with the larger society. That man is denied this, with his end being suicide, and I'm of the belief that man got what he wanted, but also that he was weak.
That irreligious world depicted was likely horrifying to earlier readers, but they failed to protect their way of life, and the world therein is merely different now, rather than horrifying. This book is in ways a strawman argument, stitched together by combining wholly unrelated ideas for an attempt to discredit them. There's naught wrong with not mourning death, a stoic notion. This same society which doesn't weep over death also mutilates children, and not in a perfectly cosmopolitan way, such as by circumcision, but by implanting unpleasant memories for purely secular reasons. While another could argue the world depicted is terrible, as the man does, it fails to argue for the previous one.
I've few thoughts on letting children loose to run naked and play sexual games; it has no bearing on the story afterwards, and is purely shock material. Reserved sexual conduct seems a persistent lie.
Soma is a perfect drug, having no ill effects, and can put the user into a pleasant, carefree, or an oblivious trance, based on dosage; there's nothing wrong with it, and there is no parallel in modern society. The Internet isn't Soma, if only due to stalking behaviour for amusement or other reasons.
This book has only strengthened my views against democracy and similar filth. The world of the book is one created and clamored for by the weak, as described by the ``world controller'' in the longest conversation at the end; the arguments made for the brain-damaged retards has been amusingly twisted by the passage of time since publication. Automation has removed the need for weak people to exist. The reasoning for why a society can't be comprised solely of the best no longer applies; the purpose of modern weak people is primarily work that merely hasn't been automated, such as voting. Billions aren't needed, but they do pose a threat, in their ability to overwhelm humans, using their numbers.
I do believe the book may have some social utility, as a means to notice fools who find it profound.