The best of dystopian reads

Published: November 16, 2013

Every dystopia is someone's vision of a utopia, however, these books are written in such a way that this utopia turns sinister and ugly to those of us with the privilege to read about it from the outside. Having read every dystopian books I could get my greedy little hands on, these are my top five. 

  1. 1984

    This goes without saying. 1984 is the dystopian book that all other dystopian books are held up against and compared to. Orwell was a master of creating a scary not-so-distant future that even now, with the setting firmly in the past can give you the willies. 

  2. The Wanting Seed

    This one hides in the shadow of it's alltogether more famous brother "A Clockwork Orange". Burgess himself said that he wished Wanting Seed had been the one to be famous. Set in a future where homosexuality is encouraged to prevent over-population this one is filled with some twists that you won't see coming. 

  3. Ender's Game

    With the movie coming out this book is likely to regain some popularity, though I don't know how well the story will translate to the big screen. The protagonist is a young genius sent to a military school to save the human race. It's almost an entirely mental story with some action thrown in, but it's not to be missed. 

  4. Fahrenheit 451

    Most of us have had this as assigned reading at least once in school, but re-reading it as an adult paints a lot of the story in an entirely different light. As a bibliophile imagining a world where books are outlawed is particularly frightening. 

  5. Cloud Atlas

    Another book that's gained some popularity thanks to Hollywood, this one can be a bit of a challenging read at some points but it is well worth pushing through. I highly suggest finding a reading guide online to follow along with because there are a lot of subtle foreshadowing and backshadowing elements throughout that are really easy to miss. 

Some of these are classics that you may have already read, but I think they're all worth a read or re-read. I would suggest The Wanting Seed above all the others if you haven't read it as it's story and characters have stuck with me for years since my last read.