I mean, we can’t start a book club in the middle of a global pandemic and just ignore the obvious dystopian connotations of this, can we?
*EDIT* Click here to find out which book we’re reading!
Our first book club theme is ‘Dystopia’:
‘an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic’ (OED).
Terrifying, perhaps, but reading dystopian fiction at a time like this may provide some comfort in that things really could be a lot worse.
At the bottom of the page, there’s a link to my Twitter poll that can give us all a clear indication of which book people would like to read, or you can message me your decision.
As its exam season, I’m expecting a slow start to the book club and so I think that the end of June is perhaps a good time to schedule a discussion of the novel – if anyone has any issues, please let me know!
Here are the options for ‘Dystopia’ with some brief descriptions to help you to decide what novel you’d like to read:
A Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley’s 1932 groundbreaking novel is a dystopian classic:
‘Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free…’
The Road – Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Road, takes us on a post-apocalyptic journey through no mans land:
‘In a burned-out America, a father and his young son walk under a darkened sky, heading slowly for the coast. They have no idea what, if anything, awaits them there. Attempting to survive in this brave new world, the young boy and his protector have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves. They must keep walking…’
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
You may have heard of Ernest Cline’s novel already. Steven Spielberg directed the film a few years ago:
‘In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS, studying the puzzles hidden in this world. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win…’
The Power – Naomi Alderman
Alderman’s novel stormed the book charts, winning the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2017:
‘What if the power to hurt were in women’s hands?
Imagine a world where teenage girls awake one morning with extraordinary physical strength and power that outstrips their male counterparts. Young women can now conduct electricity like electric eels: inflicting pain or electrocuting to death as they wish. They can even waken this power in older women too. In Naomi Alderman’s The Power, the balance of the world is irrevocably altered overnight…’