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About the book
  • Published: 1 October 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409079668
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

Ape and Essence




Painfully and majestically vivid; it is a great piece of work' Guardian

In February 2108, the New Zealand Rediscovery Expedition reaches California at last. It is over a century since the world was devastated by nuclear war, but the blight of radioactivity and disease still gnaws away at the survivors. The expedition expects to find physical destruction but they are quite unprepared for the moral degradation they meet. They find that the current inhabitants of Los Angeles belong to a sadistic, devil-worshipping society obsessed with the mutations arising among them due to the radiation poisoning they have suffered. Ape and Essence is Huxley's vision of the ruin of humanity, and he treats it with all his moral indignation, his knowledge and his imaginative genius.

  • Pub date: 1 October 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409079668
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

About the Author

Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley was born on 26 July 1894 near Godalming, Surrey. He began writing poetry and short stories in his early 20s, but it was his first novel, Crome Yellow (1921), which established his literary reputation. This was swiftly followed by Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925) and Point Counter Point (1928) – bright, brilliant satires in which Huxley wittily but ruthlessly passed judgement on the shortcomings of contemporary society. For most of the 1920s Huxley lived in Italy and an account of his experiences there can be found in Along the Road (1925). The great novels of ideas, including his most famous work Brave New World (published in 1932 this warned against the dehumanising aspects of scientific and material 'progress') and the pacifist novel Eyeless in Gaza (1936) were accompanied by a series of wise and brilliant essays, collected in volume form under titles such as Music at Night (1931) and Ends and Means (1937). In 1937, at the height of his fame, Huxley left Europe to live in California, working for a time as a screenwriter in Hollywood. As the West braced itself for war, Huxley came increasingly to believe that the key to solving the world's problems lay in changing the individual through mystical enlightenment. The exploration of the inner life through mysticism and hallucinogenic drugs was to dominate his work for the rest of his life. His beliefs found expression in both fiction (Time Must Have a Stop,1944, and Island, 1962) and non-fiction (The Perennial Philosophy, 1945; Grey Eminence, 1941; and the account of his first mescalin experience, The Doors of Perception, 1954. Huxley died in California on 22 November 1963.

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Praise for Ape and Essence

“Ape and Essence leaves us in mingled respect of the author's intelligence and disgust for the world he had created”

Independent

“Clever, brutal, thoughtful, original...a nauseating vision of a still-possible future”

Anthony Burgess

“Powerfully moving”

Times Literary Supplement

“Painfully and majestically vivid; it is a great piece of work”

Guardian

“The ultimate horror vision -- but one not without humor”

Los Angeles Times


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