Ape and Essence: A Novel

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When Aldous Huxley's Brave New World first appeared in 1932, it presented in terms of purest fantasy a society bent on self-destruction. Few of its outraged critics anticipated the onset of another world war with its Holocaust and atomic ruin. In 1948, seeing that the probable shape of his anti-utopia had been altered inevitably by the facts of history, Huxley wrote Ape and Essence. In this savage novel, using the form of a film scenario, he transports us to the year 2108. The setting is Los Angeles where a rediscovery expedition from New Zealand is trying to make sense of what is left. From chief botanist Alfred Poole we learn, to our dismay, about the twenty-second-century way of life. It was inevitable that Mr. Huxley should have written this book: one could almost have seen it since Hiroshima is the necessary sequel to Brave New World. -Alfred Kazin. The book has a certain awesome impressiveness; its sheer intractable bitterness cannot but affect the reader. -Time.