My Top Five Post Apocalyptic Picks

I love a good Post Apocalyptic novel, I prefer them to the Dystopia that Kath so adores purely because humanity’s insistence that they cannot survive without some form of political infrastructure drives me scatty. Give me a good Super Volcano End of the World trek to find the last Twinkie and I am in seventh heaven.

The first ever PA novel I read is a book I am still searching for; it was a sci fi novel written (probably) in the fifties and it begins with a group of people climbing into a gyroscopic sphere, which is on a lake (I think) in order to ride out the imminent meteor strike that threatens to wipe out all living things. I’ve never been able to find out who wrote it or what the title was but if I could, that would be in top spot as it is the book that began my love affair with the End of the World genre. In its absence, these are my top five Post Apocalyptic picks.

“This is what we do. We make tea and read books and watch people die.” ~ Megan Crewe

I am Legend By Richard Matheson

The film with Will Smith in it? Forget that, the book is of course, so much better and bears little resemblance to the film version. Robert Neville believes he is the last man on Earth, not physically, everyone else is still there, it’s just they’re vampires. Robert is nothing special, it just so happens that he is a survivor and this book really sucked me in with its excellent portrayal of a man alone, and very lonely in a world that is no longer hospitable.

I am Legend (US)
I am Legend (UK)

The Stand By Stephen King

Stephen King’s epic novel of life after Captain Trips was one of my first forays into life as a Constant Reader. Despite the enormity of this book I was hooked right from the beginning and never lost interest right to the end. Yes there is a very definite two party feel to the tale but it is a party of opposing religious factions rather than political ones, with dark battling light for ultimate control of what is left of the world. Classic King and classic PA.

The Stand (US)
The Stand (UK)

Review of The Stand

Wool By Hugh Howey

This one was probably my first FRA recommended read. It had appeared in a few visitor posts, then in a poll, then someone in The Cwts Reading Group on Facebook waxed lyrical about it. It is a trilogy and I still haven’t managed to get round to the next two but the premise of the first is breathtakingly brilliant. Generations have lived in the Silo, with the surface completely inhospitable the Silo depends upon total obedience and those who show a desire to go outside are given the opportunity to do so. Is outside as inhospitable as is portrayed? Or is there something out there that the Silo doesn’t want you to see?

Wool (US)
Wool (UK)

The Passage By Justin Cronin

A post apocalyptic world filled with vampires and zombies and all things that go bump in the night, I was bought this novel as a Christmas present or I don’t think I’d have ever chosen it myself. I’m glad I did, Cronin’s Passage bears more than a passing resemblance to King’s The Stand and that is no bad thing. The book has three distinct sections and has a 92 year jump in between the first and second part which whilst a little disconcerting is made clear in part three and although I did find the middle part to be a bit laboured, the story’s bookends more than made up for it. A great big brick of post apocalyptic brilliance.

The Passage (US)
The Passage (UK)

Review of The Passage

The Road By Cormac McCarthy

This has to be one of the bleakest, most depressingly final novels I have ever read and that alone makes it worthy of this top five. I finished it and threw it across the room I was that angry with it! Cormac isn’t known for his uplifting story-lines and The Road is a perfect example of this; however I read recently that one reader felt it to be uplifting, they took away from it the all encompassing love of a father for his son, of his determination to give him the chance of a future that he can never have and this has made me lift the Road back up to the top of my re-read pile. I get the feeling I might have missed the point.

The Road (US)
The Road (UK)

These are my top five, they’re not meant to be a comprehensive or a scientific top five, they’re just the five Post Apocalyptic Novels I happened to think were better than the rest.