Jessica Doyle gives her list of the 60 best dystopian books.
I have not read all of them. The books in that general category that I'd recommend are:
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Still the best. Big Brother is still a threat.
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It can be argued that Huxley's predictions (drugs,sex) were more on target than Orwell's but Orwell's book is more powerful.
- Submission by Michel Houellebecq. France gets a Muslim-dominated coalition government and the nation undergoes a transformation. A best seller in France and we all know why. [After I read it I wondered if the Germans have ever wondered what would happen if the far-right ever allied with the Islamists.]
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. I think the book is better than the film. You'll even learn a new language while navigating the world of the unrepentant and the ultra-vi. So much for rehabilitation.
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy. One scary book with a father who is a genuine hero in a world that has fallen apart. Oh yes, and there are gangs of cannibals to avoid.
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. A society where firefighters burn books may not be as troubling as one that does not read them.
- Fatherland by Robert Harris. World War II reaches a stalemate, President Joseph Kennedy is going to meet with Hitler, and a secret is emerging.
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A traveling theater troupe performs Shakespeare in a world where a mysterious illness has rapidly wiped out around 90 percent of the population. Sounds strange? Give it a read.
- On the Beach by Neville Shute. A nuclear war has finished off every country but Australia and radiation is heading south. The film version with Gregory Peck is also worth watching.
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Being a sole survivor is rough enough but Matheson was the first to put vampires into the mix. There goes the neighborhood.
[Photo by Pawl Janiak at Unsplash]