The dystopian novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, published in 1932, served as a catalyst for a slew of subsequent works in the same vein. George Orwell and Ray Bradbury are said to have been influenced by Brave New World. As one of the best English-language dystopian novels ever written, Huxley’s seminal work is a veritable masterpiece. In the event that you have read Brave New World and are looking for more books in the same vein, there are a number of options.
Books like Brave New World
1984, by George Orwell
For a list of books like Brave New World, 1984 by George Orwell would be the most obvious choice. Taking place in London in 1984, Airstrip One is a pivotal dystopian novel that takes place in present-day London. The oppressive, totalitarian government constantly monitors the citizens of Oceania, a country that has been renamed.
Winston Smith, a government employee in a middle position, is the focus of the story as he begins an illicit sexual relationship with Julia. Winston begins to question the nature of the government, The Party, and Big Brother’s role in their lives as a result of this relationship. It is in prison where we learn about the secrets of this oppressive regime thanks to his scepticism about the system.
Individualism and the questioning of authority are among the many topics addressed in this book. As well as emphasising the need for freethought, it warns against totalitarian regimes. An anti-totalitarian message similar to Brave New World is conveyed in this book.
We’ve compiled a list of other books similar to 1984 if you’ve already read this one.
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a great addition to any list of books that include Brave New World by Huxley. At least 50 to 100 years after its publication, the novel follows Guy Montag as he navigates a dystopian society that the United States of America has created.
As a “fireman,” Montag’s job is to destroy books that the government has declared to be unfit for human consumption. It’s not uncommon for people to have multiple televisions and other electronic devices in their homes or other public places, which means they are constantly exposed to superficial media.
With each chapter, Montag begins to ponder the totalitarian culture of censorship. Fahrenheit 451 is a critique of government censorship that was written during the McCarthy era as a warning against the dangers of suppressing free speech and thought.
One of the most influential dystopian novels of the twentieth century, Fahrenheit 451 is a great choice if you’re looking for something similar to Brave New World in terms of themes and style.
If you’ve already read Fahrenheit 451, take a look at our list of similar books.
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale is a haunting addition to any list of books like Brave New World, which was published in 1985.
Handmaid’s Tale takes place in a dystopian future where the United States government has been overthrown by a religious/political group known as the Sons of Jacob. The United States of America has been abolished and replaced by a theocratic theocracy known as the Republic of Gilead.
All previous rights for women have been revoked in Gilead, where they are no longer allowed to read, work, handle money, or enjoy any other form of freedom whatsoever. Gilead has been organized into a hierarchical society, and each member of that society has a distinct role to play. Fertile women are enslaved and used as “handmaids” to be raped and bear children for their masters in a time when birth rates and fertility are declining.
Offred, a handmaid in what was once Cambridge, Massachusetts, tells her story in The Handmaid’s Tale. Since it is a work of science fiction, Margaret Atwood is obligated to acknowledge the historical veracity of the events she describes. It’s a cautionary tale about how totalitarian regimes are put in place and how we, as a society, can stop them from happening. There are many books like Brave New World to choose from, and this is one of them.
If you’ve already read The Handmaid’s Tale, be sure to check out our list of similar books!
The Power, by Naomi Alderman
Naomi Alderman’s 2016 novel The Power is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a Brave New World-esque read.
Set in a world where women have mastered the ability to fire electrical bolts from their fingertips, making them the world’s predominately female species.
Even though “girl power” and “ladies in charge” are mentioned, the book fails to demonstrate how much better off the world would be if more women were in charge. There is no mention of abuse, dominance or authoritarianism as a means to gain power.
When it comes to fiction, there’s no better example than The Power, which earned a spot on the New York Times bestseller list and was even mentioned by President Obama as one of his favorites in 2016.
Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
For those looking for books like Brave New World, Kazuo Ishiguro’s dystopian novel Never Let Me Go is an excellent choice.
Never Let Me Go tells the story of Kathy H., the protagonist, who lives in a world where cancer and heart disease have been eradicated, and where human lifespans are the longest in history.
At the beginning of the novel, it is a bildungsroman in the sense that it follows the life of Kathy as she grows up and forms relationships at her seemingly idyllic English boarding school. Throughout the story, it becomes clear that Kathy and her friends are not like the rest of us, and that something much darker is at play.
In spite of the fact that Never Let Me Go is not necessarily a cautionary tale about a totalitarian regime, it is still a beautiful work of speculative fiction about how we treat the human condition and above all else, what it means to be human. There are many fans of Brave New World out there who will enjoy this book.
Check out our list of more books like Never Let Me Go if you’ve already read it.