Thursday, 4 April 2013

D is for Dystopian

It's such a buzz word right now.

After the success of The Hunger Games, everyone and their dog seemed to suddenly be writing about a future world that had a totalitarian government in place.

I've read a few, and will defend the Hunger Games against it's harshest critics but... surely we've all had enough of Dystopian at this point? Right?

It just seems that, when reading some of the fallout from this dystopian boom that we've been having one thing is clear to me. The 'evil' 'corrupt' government systems are usually one dimensional. Maybe that is because most of the boom of Dystopian novels seem to be series that are still incomplete and they may be saving more of the political background to the later books. However, there are some where I feel that the author gets a bit lazy and the government is totalitarian, because it can be. It's a bit reminiscent of an old silent film baddie tying the girl to the train tracks, or one of the classic James Bond villains  Mostly they seemed to be that way "because of reasons."  If I was to have conversation with these books, it would go something like this.

"Government is Evil!"
"Yeah, but why?"
"... because this is a dystopian novel. EVIL AND CRUEL."
"Surely there must be-"

Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me being picky? What's the best Dystopian that you've read out of the recent boom?

Sarah x


  1. Agree. I loved Article 5 until I thought about the government and just wanted to know, WHAT WENT WRONG?!? We don't know anything except the government is corrupt. It's annoying. Good post. Very thought provoking. =]

    Visiting via A-Z.

  2. I've actually written a YA dystopian recently and did have this in mind. I tried to work in as much backstory as I could, how the government came to power, which was integral to the plot. They are also very human and government leaders figure in the action, as opposed to being distant. I agree there does seem to be a glut of them but hopefully there's room for one more!

  3. Very true. Though I enjoy a good Dystopian novel (and appreciate the success of the Hunger Games if only because saying the word "dystopian" no longer makes my friends stare at me blankly...) they aren't always really well thought-out.

    One of the most well-thought out (at least so far...) dystopian stories right now is the TV show "Revolution" - I'm really enjoying that, and the fact that it has a premise that makes sense (at least so far as the "dystopian" part of it is concerned).

    I enjoyed Divergent. But my favorite dystopia of all time is always gonna be "The Giver."

    Visiting via A-Z

  4. Hello, Sarah! I know exactly what you mean. My favorite dystopian, before it was called dystopian, is The Giver by Lois Lowry. That's the way a dystopian should be told! The world is so well-developed and there's no obvious good or evil. The reader comes to her own conclusions, though of course you'll be rooting for Jonas to get out of there!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  5. Dystopian will always be one of my favorite genres. Like any other genre, if it's done well and it's fresh, I'll never get sick of it! Margaret Atwood will always be the queen of dystopian for me, but the best book that I've read recently was PURE by Julianna Baggott. Wow!!!! It's amazing.


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