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Thread: Dystopian Books

  1. #1
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    Dystopian Books

    Naturally during these times I have decided to devote my reading to apocalyptic and dystopian themes. I re-read The Road and now just finished The Fireman... couldn't put it down. Got to the point where I was excited to finish work so I could dive back into it, one of those books you lose sense of time (although reviews weren't kind).

    Any hidden gems out there you recommend? Don't give me 1984 or Handmaid Tales, looking for something under the radar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parvo View Post
    Naturally during these times I have decided to devote my reading to apocalyptic and dystopian themes. I re-read The Road and now just finished The Fireman... couldn't put it down. Got to the point where I was excited to finish work so I could dive back into it, one of those books you lose sense of time (although reviews weren't kind).

    Any hidden gems out there you recommend? Don't give me 1984 or Handmaid Tales, looking for something under the radar.
    A brave new world. Or pretty much anything by Vonnegut.

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  3. #3
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    I just started Charlie Huston's SLEEPLESS this week...pretty good so far

    The Girl With All The Gifts is a dystopian zombie novel that is an enthralling read. Plus the film is good too...

    I also just finished The Feed, but I wasn't terribly taken by it. It reminded me a lot of The Road, but with an underlying social media thread (I didn't feel as if they mined this aspect of the book enough, though, and the rest of it felt like a worn pastiche of familiar tropes...but YMMV).

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    Earth Abides, George R Stewart..

    From 1949 but seems pretty relevant these days.

  5. #5
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    https://www.abebooks.com/books/best-...ks/index.shtml

    Here’s sixty
    I read most but not all.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

  6. #6
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    Thanks. Most of those I've read as well, looks like a couple I need to order. But The Fireman not being on that list brings up my question about hidden gems. It got slammed for being a bit too much like his dad's book, The Stand, but it was thoroughly enjoyable and I think he purposely included a few references to it as an homage to a great book by his old man.

    Looking through that list I just ordered On the Beach since I never heard of it.
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  7. #7
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    Holy crap.
    On the beach is classic
    And free online.

    Imagine life in Australia. With nuclear clouds descending on your continent

    You know your going to die in a few months. How do you live?
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

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    Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake.

    Hunger Games

    Childhoods End

    The Mote In Gods Eye
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
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    Red Rising (whole series incredibly well written and dark, save for the whining in the first part of the first book, gripping 3d characters and mind blowing plot) read this
    1984
    Brave new world
    Animal farm
    On the beach (depressing as fuck)
    Hunger games
    Lucifers hammer (dated)
    Inconsistent moon (short)
    Forever war (very good)
    Trinitys child
    Arclight
    Team yankee
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  10. #10
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    Slapstick, Kurt Vonnegut
    Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
    Blood Meridian, Cormack McCarthy

    On the Beach is a very good novel. Nevil Shute wrote a shitload of good stuff, few of which are dystopian, all of which are fine reads.
    Last edited by GeezerSteve; 04-03-2020 at 10:49 PM.

  11. #11
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    If you really wanna deep dive, here's 2 from Gary K. Wolf, who is best known for his early '80s novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit, which was turned into the cult film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

    Killerbowl (1975)
    Imagine a football version of Rollerball

    A Generation Removed (1977)
    Kinda Logan's Run-meets-Soylent Green
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  12. #12
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    I’m here to see how long it takes to list all the Vonnegut books.

    God Bless You Mr Rosewater.

    If you’re reading McCarthy just knock out the Boarder Trilogy too.

  13. #13
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    Full Disclosure: I have, as of yet, not read any of the below mentioned books, but all of them have been on my radar for quite some time:

    Make Room! Make Room! - Harry Harrison
    basis for Soylent Green. I actually own a copy of this novel, so may have to dig into it soon...

    Children of Men - PD James
    really enjoyed the film adaptation, fwiw

    Path To Savagery - Robert Edmond Alter
    the film adaptation, The Ravagers, starring Richard Harris is a tedious mess, but the underlying story has me interested in the novel

    Logan's Run - William F. Nolan & George Clayton Johnson
    recently revisited the film, which got me wanting to read the novel; copies are $$$, though!

    La planete des singes - Pierre Boulle
    have seen all the movies, but still have not read this widely acclaimed novel!
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  14. #14
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    Dunno what your stance on comic books is, but Y THE LAST MAN is a fantastic 60-issue series. It was complied into 10 trade paperback collections.

    FX has a TV series in development, too...
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

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  15. #15
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    Article about an author who penned a dystopian novel back in 2005. It was rejected by publishers at the time for being considered too unrealistic.
    It just got published.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/04/us/pe...rnd/index.html8
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  16. #16
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    Some interesting suggestions here. I will give a few a try.
    Here are three that I truly enjoy, and have read multiple times each.

    High Rise -JG Ballard
    -a class war violently rages between floors of a luxury high rise

    The Lathe of Heaven -Ursula K. Le Guin
    -a man's dreams effect alternate dystopian realities

    The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch -Philip K. Dick
    -forced to leave a Sun baked Earth, hovel dwelling colonists survive by taking a communal hallucinogenic drug through which they inhabit characters in a simulated world, a world that is all available for a price (really, that's just part of it...)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeathVan View Post
    ...High Rise -JG Ballard
    -a class war violently rages between floors of a luxury high rise...
    I thought about mentioning this, but I have only seen the movie, which wasn't that great, imho.

    I think I scored a vintage PB edition at a used bookstore last year, so I may have to dig that up and five it a read...
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    About to star this. It's supposedly amazing, especially given what's going on.


  19. #19
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    lot of good books in here.

    The Water Knife
    The Dog Stars

    are two fairly recent ones that are good. Station Eleven too.
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  20. #20
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    Not in the same vein as most of these other books, but I found World War Z to be a super easy, yet enjoyable and fun, one-sitting read.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
    I just started Charlie Huston's SLEEPLESS this week...pretty good so far

    The Girl With All The Gifts is a dystopian zombie novel that is an enthralling read. Plus the film is good too...

    I also just finished The Feed, but I wasn't terribly taken by it. It reminded me a lot of The Road, but with an underlying social media thread (I didn't feel as if they mined this aspect of the book enough, though, and the rest of it felt like a worn pastiche of familiar tropes...but YMMV).

    2nd on The Girl with all the Gifts (and I hate zombie shit). Mentioned in the list of 60 but not specifically here: The Windup Girl by Bacigalupi, Paolo - can't recommend it enough

  22. #22
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    The Stand by Stephen King is a great book that I read in high school. It's about a worldwide pandemic flu strain that has like a 99% fatality rate. I just saw that Stephen King recently posted chapter 8 of the audiobook online, in which the spread of the virus is described. Not super interesting, although the final minute might be worth a listen--the part about throwing bodies into the ocean to get rid of them until finally the dead just rot where they lay.


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
    Dunno what your stance on comic books is, but Y THE LAST MAN is a fantastic 60-issue series. It was complied into 10 trade paperback collections.

    FX has a TV series in development, too...
    Y was a great series indeed! Really enjoyed that one.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullywhacker View Post
    2nd on The Girl with all the Gifts (and I hate zombie shit). Mentioned in the list of 60 but not specifically here: The Windup Girl by Bacigalupi, Paolo - can't recommend it enough
    x more on The Wind up Girl - near perfect mix of fantasy based on reality.

  25. #25
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    My middle school kid just read The Giver; I congratulated him on having completed his first dystopian.

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