Dystopian Books Again Seize Power
A sign of troubled times? Number of dystopian-themed books at its highest since the 1960s.
% Categorized as Dystopian out of all Books
1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Goodreads members are categorizing more and more books as "dystopian"
The Hunger Games
published in 2008
World War II
The Cold War
A Guide to Dystopian Literature
The dystopian novel is as popular as it's been in 50 years. what's changed?
The latest crop of books to tackle the subject add a dash of romance to their troubled worlds. Here's a guide to the history of this fascinating genre.
1930s-1960s: Fear of the State
Inspirations: World War II, communism, fascism
Dystopic Traits: Controlling governments, loss of freedom
Gender Split: Men tend to rate these books higher than women
A Handy Key
Lack of freedom/choice
Which gender likes it more
Brave New World
A Clockwork Orange
A Second Wave: Anxiety About the Body
Inspirations: Environmental crises, the Cold War, Identity politics
Dystopic Traits: Still a distrust of the state, increased anxiety about the human body
Gender Split: Women and men both rate these books highly
The Handmaid's Tale
V for Vendetta
Alan Moore & David Lloyd
The Children of Men
Never Let Me Go
The Young Adult Explosion: Romance!
Inspirations: The vapidity of pop culture, 9/11, the War on Terror
Dystopic Traits: Romance, tough heroines, anti-conformist, written for a teen audience
Gender Split: Women rate these books more highly than men
The Hunger Games:
The Most-Popular Dystopian Novel Ever?
The standard-bearer for this latest crop of dystopian fiction incorporates many common dystopian themes, such as a strong heroine and a post-apocalyptic setting. Will it eventually overtake George Orwell's 1984 as the most popular dystopian novel on Goodreads?
Popular Dystopian Novels
Ratings on Goodreads
341,873 BRAVE NEW WORLD
330,276 FAHRENHEIT 451
93,392 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
139,974 THE HANDMAID'S TALE
511,923 THE HUNGER GAMES
What Will Be the Next POPULAR TREND in Dystopian Literature?