The End of the World Book: A Novel

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Those remaining turn to magic and sacrifice to cleanse the Earth. It is a unique and imaginative look at a future Earth scarred by environmental neglect.

Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles.

196 countries, countless stories…

While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Things did not go as planned. A decade after the alien attack, people treat each other with paranoia and cruelty…and guess what? A bold conclusion to a riveting trilogy. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless—people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers.

Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. As had happened many times before, the basest, most primal human instincts rose up, only this time armed with the advanced scientific knowledge to create a genetically engineered smart virus that quickly wiped out humanity to the last man.

That man is Ruslan, the sole known surviving human being in the universe.

100 Great Works of Dystopian Fiction

But though they are both experienced sailors, they have no idea what dangers the sea has in store for them. But his dad is not sending transmissions as frequently as he used to, and when he does there are bags under his eyes. A body that is definitely male, definitely still alive. Childbirth is fading out. Refugees are sent to work at the site of an ecological disaster. She is, naturally, both beautiful and extremely scantily clad Burroughs's first novel, published in serial form, is the purest pulp, and its lack of pretension is its greatest charm. Disjointed, hallucinatory cut-ups form a collage of, as Burroughs explained of the title, "a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork".

A junkie's picaresque adventures in both the real world and the fantastical "Interzone", this is satire using the most savage of distorting mirrors: society as an obscene phantasmagoria of addiction, violence, sex and death. Only Cronenberg could have filmed it in , and even he recreated Burroughs's biography rather than his interior world. Butler's fourth novel throws African American Dana Franklin back in time to the early s, where she is pitched into the reality of slavery and the individual struggle to survive its horrors.

Butler single-handedly brought to the SF genre the concerns of gender politics, racial conflict and slavery. Several of her novels are groundbreaking, but none is more compelling or shocking than Kindred. A brilliant work on many levels, it ingeniously uses the device of time travel to explore the iniquity of slavery through Dana's modern sensibilities. The wittiest of Victorian dystopias by the period's arch anti-Victorian. The hero Higgs finds himself in New Zealand as, for a while, did the chronic misfit Butler. Assisted by a native, Chowbok, he makes a perilous journey across a mountain range to Erewhon say it backwards , an upside-down world in which crime is "cured" and illness "punished", where universities are institutions of "Unreason" and technology is banned.

The state religion is worship of the goddess Ydgrun ie "Mrs Grundy" - bourgeois morality. Does it sound familiar? Higgs escapes by balloon, with the sweetheart he has found there. It is a boy quarrels with his aristocratic parents and climbs a tree, swearing not to touch the earth again. He ends up keeping his promise, witnessing the French revolution and its Napoleonic aftermath from the perspective of the Italian treetops.

Drafted soon after Calvino's break with communism over the invasion of Hungary, the novel can be read as a fable about intellectual commitments. At the same time, it's a perfectly turned fantasy, densely imagined but lightly written in a style modelled on Voltaire and Robert Louis Stevenson. Chris Tayler Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Campbell has long been one of the masters of psychological horror, proving again and again that what's in our heads is far scarier than any monster lurking in the shadows.

In this novel, the domineering old spinster Queenie dies - a relief to those around her.

Her niece Alison inherits the house, but soon starts to suspect that the old woman is taking over her eight-year-old daughter Rowan. A paranoid, disturbing masterpiece. The intellectuals' favourite children's story began as an improvised tale told by an Oxford mathematics don to a colleague's daughters; later readers have found absurdism, political satire and linguistic philosophy in a work that, years on, remains fertile and fresh, crisp yet mysterious, and endlessly open to intepretation.

Alice, while reading in a meadow, sees a white rabbit rush by, feverishly consulting a watch.

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She follows him down a hole Freudian analysis, as elsewhere in the story, is all too easy , where she grows and shrinks in size and encounters creatures mythological, extinct and invented. Morbid jokes and gleeful subversion abound. The trippier sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and, like its predecessor, illustrated by John Tenniel. More donnish in tone, this fantasy follows Alice into a mirror world in which everything is reversed.

Her journey is based on chess moves, during the course of which she meets such figures as Humpty Dumpty and the riddling twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee. More challenging intellectually than the first instalment, it explores loneliness, language and the logic of dreams. The year is - and other times.

Fevvers, aerialiste, circus performer and a virgin, claims she was not born, but hatched out of an egg. She has two large and wonderful wings. In fact, she is large and wonderful in every way, from her false eyelashes to her ebullient and astonishing adventures.

Best dystopian novels: the greatest dystopian novels of all time, ranked

The journalist Jack Walser comes to interview her and stays to love and wonder, as will every reader of this entirely original extravaganza, which deftly and wittily questions every assumption we make about the lives of men and women on this planet. Carmen Callil Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. The golden age of the American comic book coincided with the outbreak of the second world war and was spearheaded by first- and second-generation Jewish immigrants who installed square-jawed supermen as bulwarks against the forces of evil.

Chabon's Pulitzer prize-winning picaresque charts the rise of two young cartoonists, Klayman and Kavalier. It celebrates the transformative power of pop culture, and reveals the harsh truths behind the hyperreal fantasies. XB Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Clarke's third novel fuses science and mysticism in an optimistic treatise describing the transcendence of humankind from petty, warring beings to the guardians of utopia, and beyond.

One of the first major works to present alien arrival as beneficent, it describes the slow process of social transformation when the Overlords come to Earth and guide us to the light. Humanity ultimately transcends the physical and joins a cosmic overmind, so ushering in the childhood's end of the title EB Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Chesterton's "nightmare", as he subtitled it, combines Edwardian delicacy with wonderfully melodramatic tub-thumping - beautiful sunsets and Armageddon - to create an Earth as strange as any far-distant planet.

Secret policemen infiltrate an anarchist cabal bent on destruction, whose members are known only by the days of the week; but behind each one's disguise, they discover only another policeman. At the centre of all is the terrifying Sunday, a superhuman force of mischief and pandemonium. Chesterton's distorting mirror combines spinetingling terror with round farce to give a fascinating perspective on Edwardian fears of and flirtations with anarchism, nihilism and a world without god.

Clarke's first novel is a vast, hugely satisfying alternative history, a decade in the writing, about the revival of magic - which had fallen into dusty, theoretical scholarship - in the early 19th century. Two rival magicians flex their new powers, pursuing military glory and power at court, striking a dangerous alliance with the Faerie King, and falling into passionate enmity over the use and meaning of the supernatural.

The book is studded with footnotes both scholarly and comical, layered with literary pastiche, and invents a whole new strain of folklore: it's dark, charming and very, very English. This classic by an unjustly neglected writer tells the story of Drove and Pallahaxi-Browneyes on a far-flung alien world which undergoes long periods of summer and gruelling winters lasting some 40 years.

It's both a love story and a war story, and a deeply felt essay, ahead of its time, about how all living things are mutually dependant. This is just the kind of jargon-free, humane, character-driven novel to convert sceptical readers to science fiction. Coupland began Girlfriend in a Coma in "probably the darkest period of my life", and it shows. Listening to the Smiths - whose single gave the book its title - can't have helped.

This is a story about the end of the world, and the general falling-off that precedes it, as year-old Karen loses first her virginity, then consciousness. When she reawakens more than a decade later, the young people she knew and loved have died, become junkies or or simply lost that new-teenager smell.

5 Books About The End Of The World

Wondering what the future holds? It's wrinkles, disillusionment and the big sleep. It's not often you get to read a book vertically as well as horizontally, but there is much that is uncommon about House of Leaves. It's ostensibly a horror story, but the multiple narrations and typographical tricks - including one chapter that cuts down through the middle of the book - make it as much a comment on metatextuality as a novel.