End of the world books

Via a Sunday Salon post on a blog called Not Enough Bookshelves, I was led to a list of "end of the world" books at another blog, this one called Becky's book reviews. This Becky is not Becky of A Book a Week, but is another Becky, and here is her list of EOW books:

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (and sequels)
The Sky Inside by Clare Dunkle
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
the dead and the gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
the shadow series by Margaret Peterson Haddix
the uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

To my embarrassment, I have not read any of these, although my daughters both read the Jeanne DuPrau trilogy (aimed at children) and loved it. They have also read other EOW children's novels by authors such as Robert Swindells, Philip Reeve, John Christopher, Julie Bertagna and others. It is possible that most of Becky's selection (apart from the Cormac McCarthy, which I haven't read on the basis of Frank Wilson's advice) is mainstream SF, which would account for why I haven't heard of the authors, apart from McCarthy and DuPrau. 

That aside, what EOW books have I read?

On the Beach by Neville Shute (brilliant – read the Wikipedia synopsis at the link, and weep. I read this book when a young girl and will never forget it.).

The Stand by Stephen King (one of my favourite Stephen Kings, though I haven't read him for about 30 years now. Hence, it seems from the Wikipedia link, I have missed out on The Stand edition with bits added by the author — but I am not too sad as the original was a doorstop).

I think that is all I can think of, which I find hard to believe as I love the concept. I expect some other EOW books (that aren't out-and-out SF, which is not my cup of tea) will occur to me if they don't to you. Are there any EOW crime fiction books, though?

5 thoughts on “End of the world books

  1. Yes. Also “The Pesthouse” by Jim Crace and “Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood.

  2. I like this genre too, so thanks for the pointers.
    I’d give The Road a go if I were you Maxine. Whether you like it or not – it’s not a book to be enjoyed either way – I suspect the experience will still be interesting.
    Another couple worth looking at:
    Last Light by Alex Scarrow, which examines an apocalyptic post-oil era. (http://materialwitness.typepad.com/material_witness/2008/05/last-light-in-p.html)
    And Cell by Stephen King, which is effectively a technological update of The Stand and might be a better bet than attempting to reread that book.

  3. Thanks, Ben – I actually bought Cell, not having read a Stephen King book for years, because I like the title (reminds me of a scientific journal!), so now I obviously have to read it! And thanks for the Alex Scarrow/McCarthy tips also.
    I enjoyed Children of Men, didn’t enjoy Oryx and Crake, and could not face starting The Pesthouse (I know you recommend it, Susan, so probably I really should, it is just the subject matter. Mind you, the Torso, my current read, is perhaps a “way in”!).

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