Crome Yellow is the first novel by Aldous Huxley, a fairly renowned author today. The book details the story of a young poet, Denis Stone, who visits an estate in Crome with a variety of different characters, having a sort of house party of intellectuals. There is no overarching plot or fundamental story, it’s mostly a reflection experience for the main character and his conversations with the different characters at the estate. It almost feels like the book is written as a selection of the author’s experiences/conversations but in the fictional format of a novel, of this exact relation I’m not sure. Many of the fads and fashions of the time (1920’s) are satirized in the book, and through the different characters, different intellectual perspectives are explored. One such exploration is the future of society, where some of the ideas in the book are taken as a pre-figuring for Aldous Huxley’s famous book Brave New World.
I did enjoy much of the book, however without a solid plot, it feels very haphazard in it’s development. It seems more like a selection of ideas that aren’t really cohesively joined together. Some of the book is quite tedious to get through as it very focused on the period of time it is written in, and some love interests that are hardly developed at all, but the book is quite short, so it’s not a difficult read in that aspect.
The language used is very varied and if you aren’t well read you will have to look up the definitions of a lot of words to understand the real meaning behind some conversations. In that aspect the book is very educational, however as a pure example of enjoyment from reading, the book is fairly average in my opinion. I only found two of the characters to be interesting, the protagonist Denis, and Mr. Scogan, who acts as an elder guide for Denis in their conversations of Mr Scogan’s realizations of different truths and life in general. I would have much preferred if the book was much more about these two characters conversations and observations of the world, with the viewpoint of a young man and an older man both interested in the arts, society and meaning to life.
Although I found the core of the book to be fairly average, I think the book is still worth reading for some of the interesting conversations and stories.
- £6.57 or $5.36