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Commonly extrapolating elements of current society, dystopian fiction explores the darker side of possible worlds. Discover more than a Brave New World here.
35 years after the release of The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood takes us back to Gilead. Following three characters we are introduced to perspectives outside of those of the Handmaids. This is a terrific book that rounds out Gilead and tells of its downfall as opposed to being a direct sequel. A perfect book for anyone who wants to learn more about this restrictive, dystopian regime and for anyone who wants the questions they had at the end of The Handmaid's Tale answered.
35 years after the release of The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood takes us back to Gilead. Following three characters we are introduced to perspectives outside of those of the Handmaids. This is a terrific book that rounds out Gilead and tells of its downfall as opposed to being a direct sequel. A perfect book for anyone who wants to learn more about this restrictive, dystopian regime and for anyone who wants the questions they had at the end of The Handmaid's Tale answered. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.
January 2012 Guest Editor Simon Lelic selects The Road... Technically and philosophically, this is probably not McCarthy’s best book. His masterpiece, probably, is Blood Meridian – although I also love Child of God. And Outer Dark. And . . . Well, everything else McCarthy has produced. But The Road, I would say, is my favourite of his novels, if only for the devastating portrait he paints of a father’s love for his son. I must have read this novel four or five times now (I’ve seen the film, too, but only once and never again). Devastatingly simple, yet dazzling in so many ways, this is the book I wish I had written. A 2012 World Book Night selection. Winner of The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2007.Once in a while a book comes along that is so powerful, so terrible and so beautiful that you are left staggered at its close. This is one such. A journey through a devastated, post-apocalyptic America that is both frightening and strangely hopeful. It’s not an easy read but once embarked upon, it’s hard to draw away. Father and son share their dreadful experiences and their love. It has just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and been chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her Book Club so it’s going to sell bucket-loads in America and deserves to do the same over here.Similar this month: None.Comparison: J G Ballard, J D Salinger.
Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.
It’s the end of the world, but not as we know it. The rise of a zombie plague, and life in the aftermath, but a real cut above the usual hack-slash thrillers of the genre. In fact I think it should have been three volumes. It is enormous, but worth it. A moving and involving story charting the fall of civilisation, then chronicling life in the new world a few generations later. Really powerful stuff. One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011. STOP PRESS – The eagerly awaited sequel to The Passage is out at the end of October 2012. It’s called The Twelve and you can read an exclusive extract right now here on Lovereading. In addition to our expert opinion above and below for The Passage, we’ve also managed to secure a few copies so that Lovereading members can review it for us. Just scroll down this page to see what they think. May 2011 Mega Book of the Month. Maxim Jakubowski's view... A truly epic masterpiece that will have you hanging on for dear life for both its conclusion and the next volume. It's a chilling end of the world as we know it saga, this first volume of a trilogy has all the impact of Stephen King’s THE STAND in breadth of vision and length. Following a failed military experiment, America falls to a zombie/vampire epidemic and only a curious little girl and a group of doughty survivors hold the key to survival. 'Read 15 pages, and you will find yourself captivated; read 30 and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. It had the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve. What else can I say? This: read this book and the ordinary world disappears.' Stephen King Why I Wrote The Passage by Justin Cronin... You write the book that asks to be written, and THE PASSAGE asked me to write it on a seriesof long jogs in the fall of 2005, taken in the company of my daughter, Iris, age eight, who rodebeside me on her bicycle. Click here to read more...
Beautifully formed and gut-wrenchingly gripping, this is essential reading. Here at Lovereading we're glad to see the back of too much paranormal publishing and pleased to see a new theme - dystopian fiction - coming to the fore. The worry will be that it gets to be, like paranormal, an overpublished area in time but for the moment there are some really cracking books. The Other Life is absolutely no exception. Terrific characterisation and a setting so well portrayed that you can almost smell the world that Sherry and Joshua inhabit. With an incredible twist at the end which you absolutely will not know about until you read it this is an incredible debut novel not to be missed.
A cracking sci-fi post-apocalyptic adventure thriller for teens. When Thomas wakes up, walks out of the lift he’s in he finds himself in a walled encampment – the Glade - surrounded by a maze alongside lots of boys. He wonders how he got there but no one knows. All they all know is that every 30 days a new boy arrives and every morning the big wall comes down between the Glade and the world inhabited by the terrifying Grievers, part-animal, part machine, and the boys will risk everything, to find out why they’re there and every evening the wall goes up again. This really is adrenalin pumping reading that fans of Michael Grant’s Gone series, The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies will love.
Kevin Garvey, Mapleton's new mayor, wants to bring a sense of hope to this traumatised community, but his family has fallen apart in the wake of disaster. His wife has joined a homegrown cult, and his son is a disciple of the prophet Holy Wayne. Only Jill, Kevin's daughter, remains, and she's no longer the sweet student she once was. Written with a rare ability to illuminate our everyday struggles, The Leftovers is a startling novel about love, connection and loss.
A 2013 World Book Night selection. The electrifying and unflinching young adult debut novel about the impossible choices of growing up by award-winning fiction writer Patrick Ness. Shortlisted for the 2009 Branford Boase Best Debut Novel Award. Shortlisted for the Carnegie Award 2009. Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2008 and Booktrust Teenage Prize 2008. A word from the author: 'The Knife of Never Letting Go started as an idea about information overload. We're constantly surrounded by information - internet, emails, texts, etc - whether we want to be or not. To me, this can sometimes see overwhelming, sometime just so incredibly loud that it's impossible to make sense of. And I start thinking, what if you really couldn't escape? What if information never, ever stopped? And that gave me the idea of the Noise and of an intelligent, thoughtful young man buckling under the weight of it. There would come a day when he'd have no choice but to run...' What the Carnegie Award judges said: 'A bleak and unflinching novel with fascinating characters and extraordinary dialogue which creates a fully-realised world that the reader really buys into. The dog Manchee is an inspired creation! Ness conveys a real sense of terror and the ending is devastating. A novel that really stands out.' Click here to see The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness, winner of the prestigious Costa Children's Book Award 2009
If you're on the hunt for an original plot that's thought-provoking and chilling then The Hunt will be just up your street. Gene is human in a world where they've been made extinct other than those held in an Institute. For 17 years he's managed to keep all usual human emotions well hidden from those around him but now having been selected to go on the once a decade hunt of humankind he must somehow learn the art of the hunt but also elude his fellow competitors whose suspicions about what he really is grow. Praise has been heaped on this debut by the author of the Vampire Academy series among others for its brilliantly original theme.
Dystopia - The opposite of Utopia.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from dys-‘bad’ + Utopia. An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.
H.G. Wells was the first popular dystopian writer with the Time Machine (1895) in which the future doesn’t bring continuous improvements in human kind, rather its demise to the baser darker side of our nature. Through Metamorphosis (1915) by Franz Kafka, Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell and on to The Handmaid's Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood dystopian fiction continues to probe the darker areas of the human condition.
Perhaps all the end of world prophecies have fueled the demand, never the less the contemporary dystopian offerings are proving popular reading – especially among a younger audience. We hope you enjoy the selection.