|Aldous Huxley: More than Brave New World.|
Crome Yellow (1921)
by Aldous Huxley
If you are like me you equate Aldous Huxley with his 1931 dystopian fiction Brave New World, probably in high school, and are unaware that he has other books. Crome Yellow was Huxley's first novel, and it is light years away from his better known work. Crome Yellow is a country-house satire, about a group of early 20s avant gardists who gather in a country house to eat, talk and dance. The main character is a would-be poet/novelist named Denis Stone. Stone is surrounded by a cast of characters who embody different aspects of the bohemian world of England in the early 1920s: The succesful writer who has grown rich off of glorified self help books, the empty headed spiritualist, the feckless libertine. The fact that Crome Yellow was itself published in 1921 reveals that Huxley was very much on top of the trends that would come to define the 1920s avant garde. His prose is stylish and still funny, and the stylistic panache far outweighs the almost absolute lack of plot or even incident.
I would very much recommend Crome Yellow for those unfamiliar. The libary bound edition I checked out from the San Diego Public Library clocked in at 305 pages with huge margins, making it readable in a couple hours.