Island – Aldous Huxley (1962)

Island is the final book by English writer Aldous Huxley, published in 1962. It is the account of Will Farnaby, a cynical journalist who is shipwrecked on the fictional island of Pala. Island is Huxley’s utopian counterpart to his most famous work, the 1932 dystopian novel Brave New World.  … Englishman William Asquith ‘Will’ Farnaby deliberately wrecks his boat on the Polynesian shores of the Kingdom of Pala, thus forcing his entry to this otherwise ‘forbidden island’. Farnaby, a journalist, political huckster, and lackey for the oil baron Lord Joseph ‘Joe’ Aldehyde, is tasked with persuading the island’s current queen—the Rani—to sell Aldehyde rights to Pala’s untapped oil assets. Farnaby awakens on the island with a leg injury, hearing a myna bird screaming ‘Attention’, when a local boy and girl notice him and take him for medical treatment to their grandfather, Dr. Robert MacPhail. Dr. Robert and a young man named Murugan Mailendra carry Farnaby to Robert’s house for a surprisingly successful hypnotherapy session led by Susila, Robert’s daughter-in-law and the mother of the two children. Susila’s husband (Robert’s son) recently died in a climbing accident, and Susila is still grappling with the grief. Farnaby and Murugan recognise each other from a recent meeting with Colonel Dipa, the military dictator of a threatening country called Rendang-Lobo that neighbours Pala—another force coveting Pala’s oil. In private, Murugan reveals to Farnaby that he is in fact the Rani’s son and will be assuming control over Pala in a few days as its new Raja. Both the Rani and Murugan were raised outside of Palanese culture, however, and so both are largely westernised, with Murugan especially influenced by materialism and consumerist greed. Contrary to these philosophies, most Palanese islanders engage in peaceful living, intellectual pursuits, and deep spiritualism that avoids superstition. … Island explores many of the themes and ideas that interested Huxley in the post-World War II decades and were the subject of many of his nonfiction books of essays, including Brave New World Revisited, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, The Doors of Perception, and The Perennial Philosophy. Some of these themes and ideas include overpopulation, ecology, modernity, democracy, mysticism, entheogens, and somatotypes. …”
Independent – Book Of A Lifetime: Island, By Aldous Huxley
Guardian – Island of dreams

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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