Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide: It's the End of the World As We Know It

For People Who Are Totally Into Dystopian Fiction

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
For my money, the gold-standard series of dystopian novels.  Sure, it’s supposed to be for your twelve year-old niece, but readers of all ages will be enthralled with heroine Katniss Everdeen and the mash-up Collins creates between Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and reality television show, Survivor.

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
Temple is alone in a new world.  It used to be the United States, but that doesn’t matter now.  People used to live in houses, ride bicycles, and go to school.  No one does anymore.  Not really.  Not the way it used to be.  Temple’s world is full of zombies, or meatskins, and survivors like her.  Like Katniss of The Hunger Games, Temple kicks so much ass that you can’t stop turning the page to find out what in God’s name this terrible new world is going to throw at her next.

The Passage by Justin Cronin
The most dystopian wasteland populated by zombies for your buck.  At almost 800 pages, Cronin’s wild ride starts in a secret military complex where they are creating awful, human weapons and heads to the California wasteland created in the aftermath of these humans playing God.  Fans of Stephen King’s The Stand will devour The Passage like a half-starved vampire.

World War Z by Max Brooks
The perfect Studs Terkel-style dystopian novel.  This one is for fans of zombie, werewolf, vampire novels, and fans of This American Life or StoryCorp.  Brooks creates a whole new appreciation for oral histories in this fascinating treatment of a zombie apocalypse.   

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