Customer Reviews


16 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Britain in the late '20s, with a dash of bitters
Aldous Huxley's reputation as a writer of fiction rests on
three works: _Antic Hay_, _Brave New World_, and _Point
Counter Point_. In this book, the most ambitious and
successful of the three, he examines in detail the ideas
and personalities of the British intelligentsia of the late
twenties. Their politics, their sexuality, their world...
Published on Jan. 1 2004 by L. Stearns Newburg

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
This was probably the most disappointing book on the Modern Library list. I loved Brave New World, but it seems that I misunderstood one of it's main points. Huxley apparently opposed science and meant the book to be as much a warning about a science dominated future, as a warning about authoritarian government in general. From this perspective, Brave New World is...
Published on Oct. 31 2000 by Orrin C. Judd


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars Britain in the late '20s, with a dash of bitters, Jan. 1 2004
This review is from: Point Counter Point (Paperback)
Aldous Huxley's reputation as a writer of fiction rests on
three works: _Antic Hay_, _Brave New World_, and _Point
Counter Point_. In this book, the most ambitious and
successful of the three, he examines in detail the ideas
and personalities of the British intelligentsia of the late
twenties. Their politics, their sexuality, their world
view, their love of life, and their fear of death are
ruthlessly dissected for our delectation. Huxley
accomplishes this by developing various themes with one
group of characters and then reintroducing them with
another group, whose members view similar developments from
a different perspective. Situations, ideas, and figures of
speech recur in altered form throughout the novel.
Oftentimes, he accomplishes this effect with a great deal
of gentleness and subtlety.
Two brothers-in-law, Walter Bidlake and Philip Quarles, are
clearly projections of Huxley at different ages. They
interact with each other and the other members of the large
cast of characters. A third, diabolical character, Maurice
Spandrell, is more or less Huxley's Jungian shadow. D.H.
Lawrence is projected into the story as Mark Rampion, and
John Middleton Murry appears as Denis Burlap. We are
allowed inside the minds of these five men, letting us see
the events of the story from many points of view. For that
matter, we are allowed inside the minds of all the
characters. In particular, we are allowed inside the mind
of the frighteningly seductive femme fatale, Lucy
Tantamount, who is a projection of Nancy Cunard.
Communists and Fascists, apolitical seekers of wholeness,
God-seekers, and bored aesthetes offer their views on the
events and ideas of the time and on each other. Sometimes
these oppositions escalate into violence. The crippling
effects of poverty on the poor are contrasted with the
pathetic efforts of their economic betters to come to terms
with their personal demons.
The young rich characters have for the most part dispensed
with God and busy themselves searching for a good time. But
the doddering rich, the elderly quietists, the weepy
inepts, the smarmy bullies, the shameless exploiters, and
the sinister diabolists continue the quest. The elderly
quietists come off best.
The lusts of the flesh fail as miserably as religion.
Philip Quarles and his wife cannot communicate. Spandrell
humiliates his conquests, but is ultimately bored with
them. Lucy Tantamount is also chronically unfulfilled.
Rampion's vision of wholeness and marital fulfillment
serves more to highlight the deficiencies of the other
characters than to inspire emulation. The elderly members
of the cast no longer possess the life force necessary to
seduce, and such efforts as they make end in disaster.
Burlap, the truly successful seducer of the novel, is so
disgusting that he will make your skin crawl.
The novel is like a machine with a thousand moving parts.
It delights, it captivates, it amuses and horrifies. It
sparkles with Huxley's intelligence and wit. It is
sufficiently vicious in spots to gratify one's intellectual
bloodlust. I enjoyed it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars a pompous and irritating book that somehow draws you in, Feb. 26 2002
By 
asphlex "asphlex" (Philadelphia, PA USA) - See all my reviews
After 100 pages I hated Point Counter Point. It was pretty nicely written, witty and urbane and filled with mildly amusing ponderings of people who like to show off how smart they imagine themselves to be. After the first 100 pages my vague recollection of reading Brave New World sometime years and years ago made my already underwhelming opinion nosedive. I hated the characters: hated their smug, self-righteous, utterly condescending self-importance and I was annoyed with Huxley for creating them.
But I kept going, for an as yet uncertain reason compelled to at least finish it. And nothing changes . . .
The turnaround comes in the slow, very subtle humanizing of these pompous jerks followed by a rapid and all-consuming anatomization of the nuance and flow of their personalities. Regardless of their lofty identities and superior postures, these people are flaked away, pulled apart, itemized and discarded with an ambitious and often roaring insight.
I suspect many of Huxley's other novels resemble this slow-to-appreciate mumble of ramblings, often in dispute, of various social issues as seen by people who hardly care. Having ventured this one I might wish to avoid many of the others. Regardless of this eventual respect I still find myself irritated. Call it three-and-a-half, rounded up because it ends rather cruelly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars points about Point Counterpoint, Oct. 20 2001
By 
BENJAMIN DENKINGER (MINNETONKA, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This striking portrait of early 20th century high society is the first book I read by Aldous Huxley. While exposing the lavish lifestyle of the literary and social elite as one of hypocracy and shared animosity, it also carries a strong philisophical undercurrent. He uses the satirical charaterizations to expound on his personal docterine, and does so in a way that is both accessable and entertaining.
At times the book tended to be a tad meandering, without any real plot-driving focus of conflict, but somehow the lack of a linear plot deveopment is not that big of an issue once you get caught up in the flow of his writing style. I do caution readers to avoid the foreward, as it reveals one of the few major plot developments.
This is one of my all time favorite novels, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys biting satire, brilliant dialogue, and discourses on a variety of subjects that are still applicable nearly a century later. And how can one resist a book that fits in the phrase "the stertorous borborygmy of dispepsia"?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, Oct. 31 2000
By 
Orrin C. Judd "brothersjudddotcom" (Hanover, NH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This was probably the most disappointing book on the Modern Library list. I loved Brave New World, but it seems that I misunderstood one of it's main points. Huxley apparently opposed science and meant the book to be as much a warning about a science dominated future, as a warning about authoritarian government in general. From this perspective, Brave New World is nearly a crypto-Luddite tract.
Huxley was generally something of a sensualist and an anti-rationalist. Like most men before him, he was troubled by the body/mind dichotomy that uniquely confronts humankind. But unlike the great thinkers who have been responsible for nearly all human progress, he (along with his friend DH Lawrence) came down on the side of the body and sensory experience, rejecting reason, science, religion, etc.. It seems to me that to choose the body over the mind is to reject the divine spark in man in favor of the animal instinct.
Point Counter Point, a voluminous, wildly overpopulated, completely outdated roman a clef is meant to vindicate his viewpoint, but is so sarcastic as to undermine even his own arguments. Despite some funny set pieces and some interesting ideas, I'd not recommend this book and may have to revisit Brave New World.
GRADE: D
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Point-Counter Point is the Best Book I have ever read., Feb. 11 2001
By A Customer
I read this book several years ago and I am now adding it to my personal library. As one of your editorial reviewers notes, Aldous Huxley's explanation of the motives for actions filled gaps in my understanding of peoples' thinking. It is as valuable as a psychological textbook, and it is a lot more interesting. Seconding the reviewers' comments, this book is as appropo today as in the recent past. Modern man can reflect on the personalities of the characters and see how they betray themselves and others with subtle repressions of their real feelings. For the lovelorn on Valentine's day, Huxley's portrayal of a venal vixen provides soothing understanding for those who have endured similar rejections. Also, commentating on what one of the critics said, that Huxley showed his disapproval of science; this is another reason why it is a great novel. Science ignores the human spirit.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Godless, Fornicating Characters? No way! Not Huxley!!!, Dec 4 2000
By 
Melanie McNeil (Lynn Haven, FL United States) - See all my reviews
Point Counter Point provokes all kinds of philosophical thoughts in my young, impressionable mind. But isn't that what I need? I love the way Aldous Huxley makes his readers think about their godless, fornicating lives and the impact it has on them and their world. Few authors cause me to feel the love for reading I have like Aldous Huxley does. Regardless of my age, I am a senior in high school, Huxley stampeded his way into my heart with Brave New World in ninth grade; then with Doors of Perception in eleventh; now he does it with Point Counter Point. I can live without a major plot as long as he continues to build his characters. No flat characters exist in any of Huxley's novels. Read them. Fall in love with him like I have.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, Sept. 22 1998
By 
William Dorin (bill4@lanl.gov) (Palau, Republic of Micronesia) - See all my reviews
Huxley's character portrayals are, as has been mentioned, sophisticated, fascinating and diverse, if not a little exaggerated. His ideas are, as always, well developed and insightful. The plot structure, as is typical in a character-driven novel, is virtually nonexistant - but we can forgive this. In fact, the only real problem I have with this book is a disagreement with Huxley's callow "whole person" thesis, which smacks of a kind of vague transcendentalism. Of course, this is a personal gripe, and I would encourage this book to anyone interested in a rather meandering examination of extreme personality types in early 1900's England.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars An all-encompassing portrait of 1920's English intellectuals, Sept. 21 1998
By A Customer
This is simply an amazing book. Compulsively readable even while it dazzles with long bravura political/intellectual conversations. You finish the book with a real feel for a particular moment in time, politically, artistically, personally and intellectually. What astonished me more is that Huxley creates a fictional character who eerily foreshadows the real life figure of Oswald Mosley, the British fascist leader of the 1930s. When I first read the book, I thought it was an actual, lightly fictionalized portrait of Mosley and his movement, only to learn that in fact Mosley did not come to prominence concurrent with the book. Do not miss this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Huxley is stunning, April 24 1999
By 
I spent two weeks on this book, and I know that this masterpiece needs to be reread at least three more times to grasp Huxley's message. His characters are portrayed so meticuously that I was able to relate myself to several of them. I love how Huxley will have an exchange between two or more characters and then explain situations or aspects of that person's life that made them act that way. Philip Quarles and his father are my favorite characters in the novel. This is a perfect example of how literature should be written. I can't believe this novel only received a measly six reviews...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful satire of intellectual society, Aug. 26 1998
By A Customer
Wonderful reading, terrific character development, and Huxley does a great job of personifying the main characters, all of whom weave in and out of readers' focus and each others' lives while all the time expanding on such subjects as: materialism, intellect, social staidness & frivolity. There is also,of course, my favorite character: Lucy Tantamount - who boogies to her own tune & lives her own life at a time when women didn't really "enjoy themselves as a man does." A lot of different perspectives on life, love & learning which are sure to expand the mind.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Point Counter Point
Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley (Paperback - March 14 1994)
Used & New from: CDN$ 0.05
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews