For this edition of Friday Favourites, I will be discussing my favourite Dystopian novels. Now, I actually strongly dislike dystopian fiction, and so it was rather easy for me to formulate this list. That said, I read most of these at an impressionable young age, and I must acknowledge that though I don’t like the genre much, these books have had a great impact on how I see the world, and how I think about my place in it.
#1. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins:
Of course, the most popular of all the dystopian novels of late. Still, this series was successful for a reason, and though I can’t say I particularly enjoyed the series, (there’s not much to enjoy about dystopian worlds), I found the story compelling, and I was intrigued by the social commentary on capitalism, and colonialism. I found Suzanne’s writings about life in The Capitol particularly striking – excessive makeup and fashion trends, anti-intellectual ‘entertainment’, and a general air of vapid self-indulgence (which I find, frankly, quite prescient in today’s society).
#2. The Giver – Lois Lowry:
A book I was assigned to read in grade school, but still an excellent novel. I found it interesting reading this book again as an adult. Far less revelatory, but there remains a disturbing quality to this story; not just because of the narrative itself, but Lowry’s writing, which creates a melancholy air around the mystery that pulled me in again, even though I already knew the ending.
#3. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury:
Another assigned book from middle school, and yet another revelatory read. This was the book that started my love affair with Ray Bradbury. The writing is excellent, the story disturbingly relevant (and even more so today), and I found the way Bradbury turned everyday assumptions on their head to be very compelling – what if firemen started fires instead of putting them out? The revelatory question in the story, “Are you happy?”, is something I find myself thinking of often. Fahrenheit 451 is an excellent dystopian read!
What are your favourite dystopian reads? Tell me in the comments below!
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