Books Like 1984 – 20 Dystopian Novels Like The Masterpiece

Enjoyed 1984by George Orwell?

This article has other chilling dystopias to mull over.

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1 Brave New World By Aldous Huxley 

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A dystopian novel about a future where technology and the pursuit of pleasure have transformed society.

The World State has jurisdiction. How people live their lives depends on their caste system rank.

Bernard Marx is a lower-class worker. He begins to wonder if life without meaning is worth living.

2 We by Yevgeny Zamyatin 

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A Russian writer wrote We in 1924. Free will has been eliminated to make people devoted to One State. D-503 discovers he is unique.

He writes about his life with I-330, his love. They believe it will end tragically because loving another person is outlawed.

It reflected aspects of the Soviet Union: state control over culture, intrusion into private lives, and cultish hero worship.

3 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 

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Speculative fiction at its best. An extremist government overthrows society and renames it Gilead in the near future.

Fundamentalist rule denies women their rights. Offred (of Fred) is a Handmaid assigned to bear children for the Commanders.

A chilling, intimate look at power and religious fanaticism.

4 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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Books are outlawed. “Firemen” burn any they find.

Clarisse McClellan, a young woman who embodies free thought, challenges Guy Montag’s role as one of these firefighters.

This story’s look at censorship rings true today.

5 Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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British schoolboys are marooned on a deserted island. Some boys establish dominance over others.

This gripping tale of boyhood adventure is considered one of the most influential novels about human nature.

6 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy go to an English boarding school. Their lives an experiment called “The Human Complementation Project.”

They have only ten years to live.

In this luminous story of love, memory, and identity, Kazuo Ishiguro has created a moving novel about childhood friendship.

7 Animal Farm by George Orwell

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A revolution began with high hopes and ended in totalitarian rule. All farm animals are equal, but some are more than others.

A disturbing yet humorous allegory by the same author.

8 the Sheep Look Up by John Brunner 

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A virus has caused mass extinction in a dystopian future.

Ecologist Howard Mittelwerk is determined to restore nature.

A terrific blend of science fiction and environmental activism, it’s the ultimate eco-thriller.

9 All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

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Patricia, a witch, and Laurence, an avowed atheist-scientist who tinkers with things he shouldn’t play with.

They’re drawn together by a power so old it defies understanding. They must overcome their differences to save everything.

A captivating blend of fantasy and Sci-Fi.

10 Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

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Lauren Olamina created a fledgling community of refuge from America and the autocratic president.

It tells of her long journey of developing the community as she searches for human survival skills, hope, and faith.

It won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel in 1998.

11 The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

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The story follows physicist Shevek as he leaves his earth-like planet called Anarres to explore the solar system.

It explores how there’s no single way towards progress. Like dystopian worlds? This is great.

12 The Circle by Dave Eggers

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This is about transparency and surveillance, too close for comfort.

There are no secrets in this world, or at least what they tell us.

13 Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

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A dark fantasy novel set on an island where drought and economic hardship have taken over.

Ti-Jeanne’s only hope for a better future is to face her past.

There’s a rich landscape of West Indian folklore in this book.

14 Jennifer Government by Max Barry

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A futuristic satire about how the world would be if the human race were an employee of a giant corporation.

We follow Jennifer Government, who is employed by McWorldwide and becomes one of their most successful employees.

It doesn’t take much to become consumed by corruption.

15 Vox by Christina Dalcher

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Women are silenced, and America is under a totalitarian regime.

A neurolinguist refuses to adhere to the rule of women must only speak 100 words a day. She will do anything to reclaim her voice.

16 The Giver by Lois Lowry

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The tear-jerking story follows the life of Jonas, who lives in an idyllic community without strife or emotional pain.

It’s not until he becomes the recipient of “forbidden” memories from members of his society, he understand the world’s true ills.

A dark young adult book like 1984.

17 The Shore of Women by Pamela Sargent

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After a nuclear fallout, women rule the earth, banishing men to live a dangerous hunter gatherer life.

One woman, exiled and condemned to the life of men, meets a man and falls for the thing she was born to hate.

18 Panther in the Hive by Olivia Cole

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Tasha Lockett is the lone survivor in a Chicago. Four days ago, cybertronics caused chaos and disaster on American soil.

Tasha’s sister tells there are rumored safe zones from this new onslaught of weaponized people. Tasha sets out to find them.

19 In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster

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A mysterious woman named Alice Blume shows up in a desolate, decaying city near the end of civilization.

She’s searching for her missing brother, a former journalist.

What follows is an intricate story about memory and meaning set during one of humanity’s darkest moments.

20 Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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An American soldier is taken prisoner by the Germans during World War II and becomes a witness to the atrocities at Dresden.

He survives but can’t shake his nightmares.

I hope this list of books like 1984 gave you great stories to read.

Still hungry for recommendations?

  • It Can’t Happen Here By Sinclair Lewis
  • China Dream by Ma Jian

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Books Like 1984
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About Leo Flynn

Leo Flynn writes space opera like The Mara Files. Other galaxies consume his waking hours. Visit leoflynn.com/links for more.

Leo Flynn writes space opera like The Mara Files. Other galaxies consume his waking hours. Visit leoflynn.com/links.