Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Dystopian Novels

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:

  1. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Still the best. Big Brother is still a threat.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.]
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. A society where firefighters burn books may not be as troubling as one that does not read them.
  7. Fatherland by Robert Harris. World War II reaches a stalemate, President Joseph Kennedy is going to meet with Hitler, and a secret is emerging.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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]

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