Dystopias and Social Critiques discussion

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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather | 4 comments Just recently, I've discovered how much I enjoy reading dystopic books, and I've only read a few, so I was wondering- are there any suggestions of dystopias that I simply MUST read? What's your absolute favorite?
Are there any that I should avoid?
I've already read:
Oryx and Crake
The Handmaid's Tale
Farenheit 451
Brave New World
I absolutely LOVED these, so don't let me down- gimme some good ones!

message 2: by Andy (new)

Andy (4ndyman) | 10 comments Lois Lowry's The Giver is decent. It's actually a young adult book, and on the smallish side, so it won't take you long to read, either.

You definitely should read Yevgeny Zamiatin's (or Zamyatin's) We. You'll see a lot of connections with both 1984 and Brave New World, but this one was written before both of those two.

I actually enjoyed The Postman, at least up until the last couple of chapters. The resolution is an excellent example of the misuse of deus ex machina.

message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather | 4 comments Awesome- I'll give those a shot. I think I've read Lois Lowry before- other stuff- so that one should come easy. I was thinking about We- I had that one at the top of my to read list.
What didn't you like about the last couple of chapters of the Postman?

message 4: by David (new)

David J. The Giver is short, but it is certainly worth the read, especially if you have or plan to have children. It is a great way to introduce questions of free will and societal perfection to a 12 or 13 year old kid.

For other short reads pick up Animal Farm and The Lottery, if you haven't read them already. Also, a great short story that will make you shiver is The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.

message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather | 4 comments Will definitely give the Giver a shot- thanks! Yeah, I have a three year old, and a three month old, so time is pretty valuable. It takes me way longer to get through books than I used to...
I think I've read the Lottery- must have been in High School though, because I only remember it vaguely. Animal Farm is on my list too- Orwell is too good a writer to just read one work.

message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jes3ica) | 2 comments I really loved Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro but I know not everyone likes his style.

message 7: by Palo (new)

Palo | 3 comments Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (anything by her, really)
Anything by Philip K. Dick

message 8: by Abigail Singer (new)

Abigail Singer | 1 comments There's a short story (only about 7 pages) by Kurt Vonnegut that's in Welcome to the Monkey House called "Harrison Bergeron" that I'd recomend. I'm sure there's other good stuff in there, but I haven't read the whole book yet.

message 9: by Hank (new)

Hank (dystopia_hank) If you have kids, I'd third that collection of short stories. You can get through each one without feeling like you've lost track after chasing your young'uns around.

message 10: by L (new)

L Dub | 2 comments Harrison Bergeron is definitely worthwhile. It's a little obvious, but very provocative.

message 11: by Julie (last edited May 03, 2008 07:03AM) (new)

Julie (huffychick) | 8 comments Just read The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, based on your recommendation, David. Thanks!

As an aside, I'm currently reading The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout, and have found a nice synchronicity. Her discussion of "conscience" is a dynamite counterpart to this short story!

message 12: by David (new)

David J. Good to hear, you're welcome. It is one of my favorite short stories. It really drives its point home very quickly.

Let me know how you like The Sociopath Next Door as a whole when it is done. I have a rough time getting through non-fiction but am very interested in the book for as a comparative for all these characters in dystopian literature.

On a side note, I'm finding that Plato's the Republic is certainly in the dystopian vein, although I am not sure if he meant it that way or was seriously suggesting they way society should be structured.

message 13: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) I would recommendThe Unit
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist by Ninni Holmqvist.

message 14: by Raggedyann (last edited Sep 13, 2010 02:40AM) (new)

Raggedyann | 1 comments How would you classify William Johnstone's series Ashes? Do you think they would be Dystopian?

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Books mentioned in this topic

Never Let Me Go (other topics)
The Unit (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Kazuo Ishiguro (other topics)