The Ten Best Dystopian Books of All Time

Dystopian books are some of the best books out there in my opinion. Seeing society on the verge of collapse or a government restricting its citizens makes for some great reading material. That is why we decided to list the ten best dystopian books of all time.

The genre took a leap forward with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. That has led to lots of modern takes and I am all for it. That does also lead to some bad ones but you have to take the good with the bad. Many dystopian novels are inspired by real fears by the authors. You can check out the list below!

The Ten Best Dystopian Books of All Time
The Ten Best Dystopian Books of All Time

The Ten Best Dystopian Books of All Time

Classics and a Fear of What May Happen

You can’t take about dystopian books and not mention The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It is the quintessential dystopian book and it imagines a worse-case scenario of the government being in control of a woman’s body. The novel connected with millions of readers and has led it to being one of the most censored books of all time.

Another classic dystopian book that shaped the genre is The Giver by Lois Lowry. Without this book, there would be no The Hunger Games. Dystopian novels weren’t aimed at Young Adults but Lois Lowry changed that and now it that is the norm. It takes only one book to change the direction of a genre and this is the perfect example.

Other dystopian books that need mentioning is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick. They were inspired by real life fears by the authors and part of 1984 did end up becoming true. Hopefully, the other books don’t also accurately predict the future because there won’t be many people left.


Choosing ten dystopian books seems wrong because it doesn’t show the journey of the genre over the years. But most of these are the books that shaped the genre. Some of them like Station Eleven and The Passage are more modern and while they aren’t considered classics or are as read as the other books, they exemplify the best of what dystopian books have to offer.

What do you think of the ten best dystopian books of all time list? What books should have been on the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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19 thoughts on “The Ten Best Dystopian Books of All Time

    1. Matt says:

      I’m just happy “The Road” is not on here.

      It’s not even good. The Parable of the Sower and The Stand are both much darker and engaging.

    2. Terence Coderre says:

      You should consider a recent book by Terry Birdgenaw. Reviewers say the third book in The Antunite Chronicles is destined to be a classic. Antunites Unite is reminiscent of 1984 and Brave New World, but is out of this world!

    1. R. Sayes says:

      Don’t see my all time favorite STARMAN’s Son aka DAYBREAK 2250 AD . Awesomely creative , original,prescient and spell binding from cover to cover !

  1. Hovering goat says:

    I absolutely didn’t expect fifth season to get pick up as dystopian (it definitely is). Love love love that series.

    1. Ahaqir says:

      I will admit that is one series that I keep wanting to read but keep forgetting it when I am choosing my next book. I have too many books to read atm but I will read it soon because of your comment!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed the “world made by hand” series from Kuntsler

  3. Michael R Gonzalez says:

    Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
    Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro
    The Imperial Radch Trilogy – Anne Leckie
    The Dispossessed – Ursula LeGuin (though it’s debatable that it’s a dystopia rather than two competing utopias).

    And, some would say, Ender’s Game and many of the sequels (Xenocide, for sure) – Orson Scott Card

  4. Susie Foster says:

    Lord of the Flies is not dystopia, as it examines the possible reality behind our existing social structure.
    Paolo Bacigalupi offers 2 excellent and pertinent dystopia futures with The Windup Girl and The Waterknife

  5. Anonymous says:

    I found Marlene Haushofer’s „The Wall‘ absolutely electrifying and cannot understand that this book was not in your list. Shame on you

  6. Beth says:

    It was 1979 or 1980 in English class, when my teacher introduced the book, Catcher in the Rye. Once the book was here, we were given assignment to read chapter one for homework. We had one class to discuss chapter. Next day, the books were taken up, he explained why we couldn’t read it. In closing, I saw the movie at a later age. The fowl language wasn’t in movie. I didn’t understand who complained.


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