fiction The Greatest Dystopian Novels  

Walter Graves
Originally by
15.6k votes 1.9k voters 23.3k views 57 items

List Rules Novels set in a fictional society that is (in some important way) frightening

Dystopias have become a fascinating genre over the last century as disillusioned writers witnessed and reacted against imperialism, two world wars, including the Nazi and Stalin regime and the treacherous Holocaust. These writers played with the darkest sides of humanity, unearthed by war and technology and used satiric irony to present a destructive vision of the future. Dystopian novels are characterized by a lack of individual freedom, heroes that know something is wrong and contain many WTF moments that make you rethink the current status quo and become aware of the constructed nature of our values and standards.This dystopian novel list is nowhere near a complete list of all dystopian books, but on it are some of the greatest dystopian works of literature of all time (though most is from the 20th and 21st centuries). If you’re a fan of H.G. Wells or George Orwell but are looking for more recent content, the best dystopian books list is the place to be. If your favorite dystopian novel isn’t on the list, make sure to add it so others can find their favorite new read.

If you want dystopia without the reading, check out the greatest dystopian and near-future movies or get some synopses on the 13 best dystopian novels.
list ordered by

1
795 114
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
carlybobarly added Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

2
536 123
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

3
628 126
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Animal Farm George Orwell

4
655 114
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

5
446 169
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
The Giver Lois Lowry

6
422 136
The Handmaid's Tale is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood

7
407 128
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess

8
565 173
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Lord of the Flies William Golding

9
625 255
The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins

10
301 97
V for Vendetta is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
midnightq2 added V for Vendetta Alan Moore

11
274 81
Do Androids Dream of Electric ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels

12
291 100
The Road is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
UrsulaScrimgeour added The Road Cormac McCarthy

13
267 103
Watchmen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
PeteBoyle added Watchmen

14
136 70
The Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
JustinShim added The Children of Men P. D. James

The 13 Best Dystopian Novels

15
173 114
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Starship Troopers Robert A. Heinlein

16
185 86
Logan's Run is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Logan's Run George Clayton Johnson, William F. Nolan

17
415 203
Catching Fire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Catching Fire Suzanne Collins

18
423 217
Mockingjay is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Mockingjay Suzanne Collins

19
200 211
Atlas Shrugged is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Bootsdad added Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand

20
116 53
A Scanner Darkly is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Joseph Stanley added A Scanner Darkly Philip K. Dick

21
116 84
Never Let Me Go is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro

The Best Horror Movies of 2014

22
148 88
Ready Player One is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
exoticmatter83 added Ready Player One Ernest Cline

23
303 207
Divergent is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Divergent Veronica Roth

24
222 137
The Maze Runner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
The Maze Runner James Dashner

25
99 59
Utopia is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Knight_2k1 added Utopia Thomas More

26
139 82
The City of Ember is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
The City of Ember Jeanne DuPrau

27
230 177
Insurgent is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Insurgent Veronica Roth

28
108 87
Battle Royale is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
PeteBoyle added Battle Royale Koushun Takami

Times Dystopian Novels Predicted Real Life Events

29
93 83
We is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
William Roberts added We Yevgeny Zamyatin

30
107 108
Anthem is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
josie-maxwell added Anthem Ayn Rand

31
104 71
Oryx and Crake is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Kscura added Oryx and Crake Margaret Atwood

32
69 69
Snow Crash is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
JustinShim added Snow Crash Neal Stephenson

33
56 69
Earth Abides is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
gsbookseller added Earth Abides George R. Stewart

34
67 57
The Year of the Flood is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Kscura added The Year of the Flood Margaret Atwood

35
67 57
Naked Lunch is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
gygughjhg added Naked Lunch William S. Burroughs

The Most Overrated Books of All Time

36
82 24
The Running Man is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Ben Weiss added The Running Man Stephen King

37
59 65
The Passage is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
UrsulaScrimgeour added The Passage Justin Cronin

38
25 62
Erewhon is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Knight_2k1 added Erewhon Samuel Butler

39
67 97
Matched is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Matched Ally Condie

40
56 68
Station Eleven is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
krizabrulow added Station Eleven Emily St. John Mandel - Emily St. John Mandel

41
47 59
Red Rising is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Armomor added Red Rising Pierce Brown

42
30 57
The Man Who Was Thursday is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Knight_2k1 added The Man Who Was Thursday G. K. Chesterton

20 Books to Read in Your 20s

43
61 25
The Long Walk is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Ben Weiss added The Long Walk Stephen King

44
30 54
Metro 2033 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Amber UberAlles added Metro 2033 Dmitry Glukhovsky

45
26 51
Stand on Zanzibar is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Christopher Godawski added Stand on Zanzibar John Brunner

46
25 54
The Forest of Hands and Teeth is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
YvonneBardsley added The Forest of Hands and Teeth Carrie Ryan

47
28 60
Keep the Aspidistra Flying is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
smooth added Keep the Aspidistra Flying George Orwell

48
14 53
Kallocain is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Krukkrukkruk added Kallocain Karin Boye

49
16 64
Only Lovers Left Alive is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
muncie added Only Lovers Left Alive

50
13 55
Vurt is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Amber UberAlles added Vurt Jeff Noon