1. DanM
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    DanM Member

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    Favourite post-apocalypse/dystopian novel?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by DanM, Nov 1, 2013.

    I'm a sucker for these buggers :) some of the ones i've read recently include:

    The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood) - read online here
    In the Country of Last Things (Paul Auster)
    The Carhullan Army (Sarah Hall)
    Earth Abides (George Stewart) - again, online here

    What's your favourite?
     
  2. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    The Road(Cormac McCarthy)
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The Road is a great choice for sure. Nineteen Eighty-Four by Orwell is a classic for a reason; it's engaging, enlightening, and frightening all at the same time. Brave New World by Huxley and We by Zamyatin are two more good ones.
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World are the obvious ones, they are almost cliches. But they are remembered for a reason: they are fantastic - and they are both favorite novels of mine. I just happen to like Orwell's novel, and Orwell himself, much more than Huxley.

    In my opinion, Nineteen Eighty-Four should be required reading in schools. While it may not be technically the best novel of the 20th century, it is the novel of the 20th century - and for what it's worth, it's not a bad novel, technically, either. No other novel I know of captures better every great fear that we had in the century just closed on us. As we move deeper into the 21st, the shadow of Big Brother and The Party continues to linger. Also, to anyone who says it is no longer relevant because the Soviet Union doesn't exist anymore: 'You are an idiot'.

    Earth Abides is another good one, far better than the novel it inspired by one Stephen King. Sorry King-fans, The Stand is merely fun, and King isn't that good. Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is another one I really rather like.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  5. DanM
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    DanM Member

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    The Road is definitely right up there - an especially good achievement when you consider that it's quite 'limited' in plot (just two unnamed characters, no real backstory to the apocalypse). The stylistic ability of McCarthy is definitely a factor imo.

    1984 and BNW are, of course, classics.

    I read The Stand a few times as a kid, and loved it then - but I'm not sure how much I'd enjoy it now. King's a great storyteller, but a lot of his (old classic) books feel dated when I look at them. Earth Abides, in comparison, has a timeless quality (despite the slightly archaic writing style), and is much more ambitious in scope.

    Definitely keen to read all 3 of Atwood's dystopian series - O + C is already on my Kindle!

    One thing I have noticed is the huge number of YA dystopian novels - Hunger Games, Uglies, etc. As someone who's definitely not a young adult, I'm not sure if I'd get much from them, but it's an interesting trend...

    Any others?
     
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    If you are looking for just examples of the genre then one of my friends has been bugging me to read Children of Men and The Chrysalids for some time. I am taking serious look at the latter, not the former. The Chrysalids just seems the most interesting.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, but it is better than The Handmaid's Tale, which is bad enough that I've put off reading Oryx and Crake.

    1984 is good. I'll throw in A Clockwork Orange. I thought We was pretty good as well.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    _Oryx and Crake_ is in my to-read pile. I've just been putting it off, but maybe I'll try it next. I suppose it was hyperbole to say The Handmaid's Tale is bad, but I didn't enjoy it, and I remember thinking the setup was implausible.

    For feminist fiction, Angela Carter remains a favorite.
     
  9. Sphyre
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    Sphyre New Member

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    One by Conrad Williams and the Newsflesh Trilogy (and subsequent short stories and novellas that accompany it) by Mira Grant
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I once heard about a story about a world without emotions - that's basically all I know about it. Would love to read it if anyone knows what book I'm on about and what it's called!

    And what's Chrysalids and We?
     
  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    We is a dystopian novel by Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin. Here's a description of the setting from Wikipedia:

     
  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks. That sounds pretty interesting actually. Gonna go check it out!
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    We is pretty good. I was going to study it for my dissertation but picked Dante instead. Without We you would not have either the Huxley novel or Orwell. At least, in quite the same way anyway.

    The Chrysalids is apparently about a post nuclear war society that struggles to survive in the wastes. Or something. I have not read it, but my friend has recommended it; and to be fair, I trust his taste more than most.
     
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  14. DanM
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    DanM Member

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    I've heard The Chrysalids is very good - it's by the same guy who wrote Day of the Triffids (John Wyndham)
     
  15. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I read Day of the Triffids just once when I was maybe 17 - the first half was amazing, but then the second half bored me and I don't even remember why. Maybe I should read it again?

    Cheers for the info on Chrysalids - think I'll give it a go too at some point!
     
  16. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    1984 and BNW were both required reading in my high school. At the moment, I think my favorite post-apocalyptic is The Passage by Justin Cronin. And... I never actually thought of The Stand as a dystopian novel...which is strange, because that's pretty much what it is.
     
  17. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really like Simon Morden's Metrozone books, and not just because Simon's a friend of mine.

    I also read some of our more sensationalist newspapers as dystopian fiction...
     
  18. TWErvin2
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    One Second After by William Forstchen.

    It's about a small town trying to survive after most of the USA and a few other nations have been devastated by EMPs, destroying just about every and anything electronic.
     
  19. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Read it years ago, but I remember enjoying Stephen King's The Stand.
     
  20. peachalulu
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    Z for Zachariah
    The Plague - Jean Ure
    The Girl who Owned a City - O.T. Nelson
    House of Stairs - they're old ya books but they're great.

    The Stand was pretty good, I read both versions and it's probably one of my favorites of his
    ( though I've never been too impressed with King's endings )

    Walk to the End of the World - Suzy McKee Charnas
    The City by Clifford D Simak

    All of J.G. Ballard's dystopian fiction is excellent - The Crystal World, The Burning Word, The Drowning world, High Rise,
    The Concrete Island. The Wind from Nowhere.
     
  21. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    World War Z was awesome. I thought it would be a so-so novel, but reviews were good, so I bought it, read it in 2-3 days. I loved it.
     
  22. MrPizzle
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    I am Legend. What a brilliant book.

    Vampires that don't act like vampires, the only human alive and a twist at the end is incredibly unique, I loved it and it is a shame it is short, I wonder what happens after the end. The setting becomes really unique after you learn about the consequences of Robert's actions and his status among them.

    The film does the book no justice what so ever.
     
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  23. schwuldubist
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    I have read a lot of these books, Brave New World, 1984, The Crysallids - all good. I am Legend takes cake for me. There is also a new one out called Wool by Hugh Howey which was fantastic. Still I am Legend the book is well beyond the others I think - but MrPizzle said it right. The film does no justice on the book.
     

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