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apocalypse/post-apocalypse reading. anyone?

(42 Posts)
tyaca Sun 28-Nov-10 23:06:47

i really like books in which most of the world's population have been wiped out.

not bothered by genre, happy to read YA and kids books. any ideas?

My list so far...

Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake, and Year of the Flood.
Stephen King: The Stand
Jean Ure: Plague
PD James: Children of Men

God, there must be loads more. When i was a teenager, the apocalypse stuff was all nuclear holocaust. YA I've read recently has all been environmental.

Recommend me some more!

KurriKurri Sun 28-Nov-10 23:29:57

A couple of old ones you might like is On The Beach, by Nevil Shute, and The Chrysalids (John Wyndham), also Z for Zachariah (Robert O'Brien) and The Road (Cormac McCarthy) - I haven't read the last one, but my DS recommends it.

llareggub Sun 28-Nov-10 23:49:35

Children of the Dust haunted me for years when I read it as a teen. Great book.

The Road is amazing.

Kaloki Mon 29-Nov-10 00:02:18

The Electric Church by Jeff Somers
One by Conrad Williams

DandyDan Mon 29-Nov-10 07:59:06

I;m guessing you know there are three books in the Jean Ure series, Plague 99?

I'd recommend On the Beach and Z for Zachariah too.

There are YA books written in environmental diaster-times: Exodus and Zenith by Julie Bertagna are written in a flooded world scenario. I think "The Carbon Diaries: 2015" by Saci Lloyd is set in world-straitened times.

A different kind of "survival against the odds in reduced population" is more of a sideways approach: Charlie Higson's YA books, The Enemy and The Dead, where all those over the age of 15 have either died or become zombies. There are the usual post-apocalyptic issues of food sourcing and governance and knowledge loss.

Likewise, The Chrysalids and The Day of the Triffids.

badgermonkey Mon 29-Nov-10 08:06:38

A newer one with a different take on it is Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez, set in the aftermath of a flu pandemic.

Brother in the Land is a great YA post-nuclear war novel.

RedRosie Mon 29-Nov-10 08:16:14

I cried for about half an hour after finishing The Road. And it haunted me for ages.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 29-Nov-10 08:24:06

Have your read Justin Cronin's The Passage. Fantastic book. Don't be put off by the "vampires", its not proper vampires but a plague that wipes out most of the population, leaves a few untouched and some are turned into weirdy vampire types trying to eat the normal ones.

TheFoosa Mon 29-Nov-10 08:33:34

I recently readthis warm bodies

again don't be put off by the zombies, it's a very surprisingly funny and humane read

lucysnowe Mon 29-Nov-10 09:50:44

A Canticle for Leibowitz is an aces book.

Also: Empty World by John Christopher (easy YA read).

lalalonglegs Mon 29-Nov-10 09:56:47

Another vote for The Road. 1984 I think would count.

lalalonglegs Mon 29-Nov-10 09:57:53

And Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, of course.

tyaca Mon 29-Nov-10 13:12:31

thanks all. great list.

a few i've read and forgotten (vivid memories of reading z for zachariah on the upstairs loo as a kid!), but lots i've not heard of. or wouldn't have thought of picking up - such as charlie higson.

off to ebay now...

MegBusset Mon 29-Nov-10 13:18:46

This Is The Way The World Ends by James Morrow
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Both excellent but pretty bleak. Cat's Cradle is about the most depressing book I've ever read.

BelligerentGhoul Mon 29-Nov-10 13:38:29

There's one called 'Plague House' (I think, by Jim Crace which is okay - not in the league of The Stand but then again, little is.

The Knife Of Never Letting Go series (YA) is v good - there's a society but things have gone largely back to agriculture etc and everything has changed (including relationships between men and women).

Yes to Exodus and Zenith.

Meg Rossoff's How I Live Now is an okay-ish YA one. Lots of people love it but I wasn't blown away by it.

ChickensHaveNoMercyForTurkeys Mon 29-Nov-10 13:44:05

Children of the Dust is good. Also Famine by Graham Masterton is worth a look. The Stand is still the best, though wink

lalalonglegs Mon 29-Nov-10 13:53:24

Was trying to remember the name of a young adult book I really loved as a teenager: "Empty World" by John Christopher - everyone gets wiped out by a plague.

anonacfr Mon 29-Nov-10 14:43:08

Just read The Passage (did a thread on it) and thought it was excellent!
Well written and gripping. There is an end but it's ultimately the first of three- second book due in 2012 I've been told.

exexpat Mon 29-Nov-10 23:01:46

Has no one mentioned Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban? Modern post-apocalypse classic - the Guardian has been doing it as their readers' book club book this month - here.

DandyDan Tue 30-Nov-10 07:12:30

The Jim Crace is "The Pest House" - I'd forgotten about that. Also second the John Christopher "Empty World" and the Robert Swindells - Brother in the Land.

belindarose Tue 30-Nov-10 12:31:15

Doris Lessing 'Mara and Dan' is worth a read.

ragged Tue 30-Nov-10 12:39:34

Earth Abides. Which I found one of the more credible visions of a post-disaster world.
Must confess that The Road annoyed me.

NoelNemofish Tue 30-Nov-10 17:56:46

For a more horror kind of feel to your apocolypse:

Cell by Stephen King - great for technophobes!

and for a bit of fantasy with your apocolypse:

Armageddons Children
Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
This is a trilogy by Terry Brooks - some of the best Apocolype stuff I have ever read, and I have read a fair bit. Absolutely haunting.

Takver Tue 30-Nov-10 18:34:23

One of my favourite post-apocalyptic stories is 'Solitude' in the collection 'The Birthday of the World' by Ursula le Guin.

melezka Tue 30-Nov-10 18:37:49

Looooooove The Chrysalids. The Road is ok but I read The Hours at the same time (not at all post-apocalyptic I know) and thought it looked at the same question of what it means to be human in a much more female friendly way. McCarthy all a bit boy and Hemingway for me.

But Riddley Walker? Possibly the best book EVER WRITTEN.

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