The Top 10 Best Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Novels of All Time

If you’re looking to switch up your reading habits a little, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic novels are a great choice. Here are the top ten books about the apocalypse.

  1. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut’s thrilling apocalyptic novel fully deserves its place as the first on this list, due to the extreme literary mastery it is written with. Cat’s Cradle is an incisive satirical dystopian narrative in which the moments leading up to the apocalypse build up, painting an intricate picture of human society and its many flaws.

  1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick

Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream shows human life in the aftermath of a technologized apocalypse, living amongst garbage and ruins and hunting rebelled androids in order to restore some remnant of peace of Earth.

  1. Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood

Canadian author Margaret Atwood has made a name for herself in the dystopian narrative community with her witty and incisive portrayals of the apocalypse. Oryx and Crake is the first book in her MaddAddam trilogy, and it focuses on a biochemical apocalypse, presenting both the events leading up to it, as well as its grim aftermath.

  1. The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood

The second book in Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy is equal to its predecessor, which is rare in the case of trilogies. The Year of the Flood presents the aftermath of the same apocalypse from different points of view. Unfortunately, the final book isn’t nearly as good as the first two.

  1. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece bends the conventions of the genre, achieving a unique perspective on the post-apocalyptic novel genre. The Road is the story of a nameless father and son who wander around a world destroyed by an unspecified catastrophe.

  1. Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut’s second book on this list can also fit into the sci-fi genre due to its exploration of space travel and other related concepts. However, Sirens of Titan is par excellence an apocalyptic novel because it presents a dark military space apocalypse in the making.

  1. Zone One, by Colson Whitehead

For readers out there that very much prefer their apocalypse to be zombified, Colson Whitehead’s novel is a clear winner.

  1. Tenth of December, by George Saunders

Saunders’ book is perfect for fans of Black Mirror, because the style is very similar.

  1. Children of Men, by P.D. James

This novel-turned-film explores themes such as infertility and exploitation of immigrants, all under the watchful eye of a deranged government. It’s a real page-turner, trust us.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is clearly a winner on this list, seeing as this is her third book here. The Handmaid’s Tale explores a different kind of post-apocalyptic world, one that has been torn apart by political dictatorship. It’s a bold and incisive exploration of gender roles and norms that has been rightfully acclaimed as a feminist masterpiece.

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