As you can all probably guess from many of the books I’ve written, I’m a big fan of dystopian fiction. There are some clear classics, such as 1984 and Brave New World, but there are also some that fell by the wayside and deserve more attention. Here’s my list of the ‘5 Most Underrated Dystopian Novels’ I’ve read.
5. Man in the Dark
– Paul Auster’s book of two interconnected storylines—one filled with sorrow and the other with a dark future—is the best introduction any reader could have to the great writer that is Auster. His voice is unique, and his writing is always honest.
– Walter Tevis’ book is more apocalyptic than dystopian, but I include it here because of how perfectly the story is told. This is one of the few books that I can’t think of a way it could be improved.
3. In the Country of Last Things
– Another Auster book. A city has collapsed and there is pure anarchy everywhere. The citizens are trapped and with each passing day life for the citizens gets worse. This is the closest story I can think of that compares to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
2. The Circle
– Dave Eggers’ book received very mixed reviews—some loved it, some hated it. I have to admit that after read it I initially focused on two things I didn’t like about the book (i.e., the overly weak main character and the Ayn Rand level of excessive dialogue). After thinking about it more, though, The Circle has become one of my favorite dystopians of all time. It shares many parallels with 1984, except instead of Orwell railing against a totalitarian government, Eggers is writing about the dangers of depending on your online identity for fulfillment. The more I think about this book, the more I love the moral it told and the warning it provides.
1. The Iron Heel
– Its says a lot about how timeless Jack London’s dystopian is that it was published in 1907 but is as truthful today as it was then. In the book, there is massive inequality between the rich and the poor, yet the rich control the news and the resources that the poor receive, and so nothing can ever be done to make things better. Incredibly relevant to today’s world.
In other news, the audiobook of A Different Alchemy, my second post-apocalyptic novel, is now available! The audiobook of The Hauntings of Playing God, the third and final book set in that post-apocalyptic world, comes out July 19. Everyone I’ve spoken to who listened to the audiobook for The Man Who Watched The World End has raved about how incredible it was. If you enjoy audiobooks, be sure to check them out.