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The Best Satirical Novels

Updated April 13, 2021 4.2k votes 879 voters 39.7k views65 items

List RulesOnly satirical novels. No short stories or essays.

List of the best satirical novels from various authors, such as Joseph Heller, Evelyn Waugh and Mark Twain, on various topics that are written to ridicule a popular point of view in order to have readers change their opinion about it. Some authors show up a few times on the list for their satirical writings so be sure that you are voting for your favorite satire book and not just the author behind the work.

Books such as Catch-22, Animal Farm and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are on this list because the authors present their own opinions on the subjects and usually give their solutions on how the issues can be resolved. Topics that are usually covered in satirical novels are politics, economy, religion and other forms of power in a society. A lot of these topics are the most pressing in a society and the topics can be considered taboo.

The list asks the question, "What is the best satirical novel?" with novels to vote on to get your favorite book to the top of the list. If what you think is the best satirical novel is not listed, then there is an option to add the novel to the list to be voted on by others.
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    Animal Farm

    George Orwell

    First Published1945-08-17

    SubjectsMonarch, Literary, Literature, Classics, Drama

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Roman à clef, Satire, Children's literature, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Animal Farm is an allegorical and dystopian novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution...  more

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    #2 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time#7 of 71 Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving

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    Catch-22

    Joseph Heller

    First Published1961-11-11

    SubjectsDrama, World War II

    Genres (Book)War novel, Black comedy, Satire, Historical fiction, Absurdist fiction

    Original LanguageAmerican English, English Language

    Catch-22 is a satirical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953; the novel was first published in 1961. It is frequently cited as one of the greatest literary works of...  more

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    Slaughterhouse-Five

    Kurt Vonnegut

    First Published1969

    SubjectsLiterary, American science fiction, Classics, Prisoner of war, World War II

    Genres (Book)Philosophy, Speculative fiction, War novel, Black comedy, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is a satirical novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier named Billy...  more

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    #10 of 98 The Best Sci Fi Novels for Smart People#4 of 52 The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

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    First Published1979-10-12

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Comic novel, Comic science fiction, Humour, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction "trilogy" by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of the first four...  more

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    #22 of 102 The Best Books for Teens#21 of 57 The Best Science Fiction Franchises of All Time

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    Brave New World

    Aldous Huxley

    SubjectsLiterary, Technology, Brainwashing, Literature, Classics

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Utopian and dystopian fiction, Children's literature, Dystopia, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540, the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning,...  more

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    #3 of 72 The Greatest Dystopian Novels#37 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Read

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    Gulliver's Travels

    Jonathan Swift

    First Published1726

    SubjectsPopular literature

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Satire, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, commonly known as Gulliver's Travels, is a satire by...  more

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    #68 of 300 The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies#8 of 315 300+ Great Books of the Western World

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    First Published1884-12

    SubjectsPopular literature, Education, 19th century, Slavery, Mississippi River

    Genres (Book)Humour, Satire, Children's literature, Fiction, Adventure fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American...  more

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    #3 of 37 Books You Didn't Really Need To Read In Middle School#1 of 40 The Best Books Written Under Pen Names

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    Candide

    Voltaire

    First Published1759-01

    SubjectsFrench literature, Great Britain

    Genres (Book)Picaresque novel, Bildungsroman, Satire, Philosophical fiction

    Original LanguageFrench Language

    Candide, ou l'Optimisme is a French satire first published in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. The novella has been widely translated, with English versions titled...  more
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    Don Quixote

    Miguel de Cervantes

    First Published1605

    SubjectsMusic, 16th century, Literary, Literature, Classics

    Genres (Book)Picaresque novel, Satire, Farce, Parody

    Original LanguageOld Spanish language, Spanish Language

    Don Quixote, fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It follows the adventures of a nameless hidalgo who reads so many...  more

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    #66 of 117 The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written#1 of 46 The Best Spanish Novels

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    99
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    Cat's Cradle

    Kurt Vonnegut

    First Published1963

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Satire, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Cat's Cradle is the fourth novel by American writer Kurt Vonnegut, first published in 1963. It explores issues of science, technology, and religion, satirizing the arms race and many other targets...  more
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    First Published1973

    SubjectsLiterary

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Novel, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday is a 1973 novel by the American author Kurt Vonnegut. Set in the fictional town of Midland City, it is the story of "two lonesome, skinny, fairly old...  more

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    #18 of 57 The Best Postmodern Novels#140 of 704 Books That Changed Your Life

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    Good Omens

    Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett

    First Published1990-05-01

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Comic novel, Fiction, Comedy, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is a World Fantasy Award-nominated novel written in collaboration between the English authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The...  more

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    #11 of 56 The Best Terry Pratchett Books#7 of 30 The Best Neil Gaiman Books

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    A Clockwork Orange

    Anthony Burgess

    First Published1962

    SubjectsBrainwashing, Classics

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Utopian and dystopian fiction, Satire, Dystopia, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess published in 1962. Set in a near future English society that has a subculture of extreme youth violence, the novella has a teenage...  more

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    #78 of 186 The Scariest Horror Books of All Time#1 of 48 The Best Novels About Sociopaths

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    A Confederacy of Dunces

    John Kennedy Toole

    First Published1980

    SubjectsPopular literature, Literary, Classics, French Quarter, New Orleans

    Genres (Book)Tragicomedy, Fiction, Comedy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel by American novelist John Kennedy Toole which appeared in 1980, eleven years after Toole's suicide. Published through the efforts of writer Walker Percy...  more

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    #12 of 62 The Best Pulitzer Prize Winning Novels#20 of 189 The Best Books Released Posthumously

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    The Sirens of Titan

    Kurt Vonnegut

    First Published1959

    SubjectsPopular literature, Mars in fiction

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Black comedy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Sirens of Titan is a Hugo Award-nominated novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., first published in 1959. His second novel, it involves issues of free will, omniscience, and the overall purpose of human...  more
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    World War Z

    Max Brooks

    First Published2006-09-12

    SubjectsZombie apocalypse, Suspense, Adventure, Horror Film, Military

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, War novel, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Humour, Satire

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is an apocalyptic horror novel by Max Brooks. The novel is a collection of individual accounts narrated by an agent of the United Nations Postwar...  more
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    First Published1942

    SubjectsChristianity, Theology, Classics, 20th century, Practical theology

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Humour, Satire, Fiction, Epistolary novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Screwtape Letters is a Christian apologetic novel written by C. S. Lewis. It is written in a satirical, epistolary style and while it is fictional in format, the plot and characters are used to...  more

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    #5 of 32 The Best Audiobook Versions of Classic Novels#2 of 24 The Best C. S. Lewis Books

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    Fight Club

    Chuck Palahniuk

    First Published1996-08

    SubjectsLiterary

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Satire, Suspense, Mystery, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Fight Club is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It follows the experiences of an unnamed protagonist struggling with insomnia. Inspired by his doctor's exasperated remark that insomnia is not...  more
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    First Published1965

    SubjectsLiterature, Classics, Satire

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    God Bless You Mr. Rosewater is a play by Howard Ashman....  more
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    17

    Thank You for Smoking

    Christopher Buckley

    First Published1994-05-17

    SubjectsSmoking

    Genres (Book)Satire, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Thank You for Smoking is a novel by Christopher Buckley, first published in 1994, which tells the story of Nick Naylor, a tobacco lobbyist during the 1990s....  more
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    18
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    The Master and Margarita

    Mikhail Bulgakov

    First Published1967

    SubjectsJerusalem, Russia, Communism, Soviet Union

    Genres (Book)Romance novel, Speculative fiction, Satire, Farce, Novel

    Original LanguageRussian Language

    The Master and Margarita is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, written between 1928 and 1940, but unpublished in book form until 1967. The story concerns a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic...  more

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    #146 of 169 Books You'll Never Finish Reading#7 of 40 The Best Russian Novels

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    American Psycho

    Bret Easton Ellis

    First Published1991

    SubjectsPopular literature, Suspense, Women, Adventure

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Satire, Suspense, Horror Film, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    American Psycho is a novel by Bret Easton Ellis, published in 1991. The story is told in the first person by Patrick Bateman, a serial killer and Manhattan businessman. A film adaptation starring...  more
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    14

    First Published1973

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageFrench Language

    The Camp of the Saints is a 1973 French apocalyptic novel by Jean Raspail. The novel depicts a hypothetical setting whereby Third World mass immigration to France and the West led to the destruction...  more
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    1979

    Christian Kracht

    First Published2001

    SubjectsDecadence

    Genres (Book)Novel

    Original LanguageGerman