The best (highly political) satirical novels

Why am I passionate about this?

Some creative writers believe that stories carry a responsibility. The duty to entertain, of course, but also to educate, challenge and question the character(s) of the most powerful, the wealthiest. I am one of them. As an author, screenwriter, stage, and film actor, I’ve always believed in using stories as a platform to convey positively disruptive ideas, to highlight potentially destructive ideologies, to combat imperialism, expansionism, racism, and other toxic practices while delivering a neutral message devoid of political affiliations and emotional responses with no logical ground. Not unlike my latest novel, America is a Zoo, I am the product of a passionate soul, one who’s apolitical by design, yet political by conviction.

I wrote...

America is a Zoo

By Andre Soares,

Book cover of America is a Zoo

What is my book about?

America is a Zoo is a thrilling cautionary tale on the rampant corruption plaguing U.S. politics. 

Shadowy characters of questionable ethics and morals (well, politicians and government officials) are targeted by a mysterious organization with capabilities beyond anything known to men. They begin an otherworldly transformation, trapped inside the U.S. Capitol, as the world outside begins rising against its oppressors, in the wake of a loud revolution.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Sensation Machines

Andre Soares Why did I love this book?

Gripping. Frantic. Dark. Uncomfortable. And many more adjectives. Sensation Machines is an explosive, uncompromising satirical novel disguised as a crime thriller. It offers the best of both worlds: a sustained beat, a visual journey, and the questioning of our very own significance in a post-Trump America, one that closely resembles ours. 

Adam Wilson’s 2020 novel is a prime example of art being used to fulfill a perceived social responsibility. It follows the journey of a Brooklyn-based couple fighting to salvage their marriage. Connected by a string of murders, market crashes, and shady employment opportunities, they begin plunging into the gargantuan mouth of a rabbit hole…

By Adam Wilson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sensation Machines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A razor-sharp, darkly funny, and deeply human rendering of a Post-Trump America in economic free fall
Michael and Wendy Mixner are a Brooklyn-based couple whose marriage is failing in the wake of a personal tragedy. Michael, a Wall Street trader, is meanwhile keeping a secret: he lost the couple’s life savings when a tanking economy caused a major market crash. And Wendy, a digital marketing strategist, has been hired onto a data-mining project of epic scale, whose mysterious creator has ambitions to solve a national crisis of mass unemployment and reshape America’s social and political landscapes. When Michael’s best friend…

Book cover of Adjustment Day

Andre Soares Why did I love this book?

Satires are mostly identified with laughter and larger-than-life figures moving in equally absurd settings with this… theatrical tone used to amplify, highlight very real issues. But satirical novels also demand change. Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, Adjustment Day, is both fun and challenging, and expertly executed. 

What is it about? A mysterious blue-black book carries directives leading to an “Adjustment Day.” It is shared among private circles, triggering a countdown to an earth-shattering schism. 

Brilliant, layered, and complex, a must-read: a nightmarish vision of our twisted and fractured societal body.

By Chuck Palahniuk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Adjustment Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Adjustment Day is an ingenious darkly comic work in which Chuck Palahniuk does what he does best: skewer the absurdities in our society. Geriatric politicians bring the nation to the brink of a third world war to control the burgeoning population of young males, while working-class men dream of burying the elites. Adjustment Day's arrival makes real the logical conclusion of every separatist fantasy, alternative fact, and conspiracy theory lurking in the American psyche.

Book cover of Animal Farm

Andre Soares Why did I love this book?

A group of animals rises against their owner, a dysfunctional farmer with a penchant for alcohol. They build a parallel society on the farm’s grounds, led by a couple of charismatic pigs and seven commandments. 

One of my biggest influences is George Orwell. Animal Farm was to be expected here: it is a cornerstone of satirical novels’ legacy. But beyond the praises, the novel’s broad coverage and reach in academic settings, Orwell’s massive brand recognition… What makes Animal Farm such an amazing exercise in storytelling? One word: timeless. Originally written to mock the former Soviet bloc, Animal Farm shapeshifts based on the reader’s perspective. It is a tale of betrayal that would fit within our current framework, a stress test performed on alliances and friendships, the demonstrated failures of politics as we know it. All far too relatable, to this day. 

And this is what makes Animal Farm unique, precious, dense, and witty: it is a patchwork of boundaryless themes woven into the thick fabric of a sharp narrative.

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Animal Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The perfect edition for any Orwell enthusiasts' collection, discover Orwell's classic dystopian masterpiece beautifully reimagined by renowned street artist Shepard Fairey

'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.'

Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the…

Book cover of Trump Sky Alpha

Andre Soares Why did I love this book?

In an age of codified and tropey stories with uninspired characters and safe plots designed to satisfy whatever market drivers the Big Five publishers are pushing, Trump Sky Alpha gives me hope. It is not about aesthetics, or one-dimensional coffee shop, shirtless Brads, or conforming political views. It is bonkers, aggressive, and hilarious. 

In the aftermath of a nuclear war initiated by Trump, the “Orange Man”, an American journalist, finds herself in a containment zone, documenting the defunct internet’s wild humorous takes: viral memes and twitter’s heated exchanges. The journalist’s assignment soon uncovers references to an enigmatic figure, only known as Birdcrash, one who might know how to stop Trump from flying in a luxurious zeppelin for "the very best people who look terrific.” Yes, you read that right. 

By Mark Doten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trump Sky Alpha as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A novel on the political madness of our time and the Internet’s deep workings, by the author of The Infernal

One year after the president has plunged the world into nuclear war, a journalist takes refuge in the Twin Cities Metro Containment Zone. On assignment, she documents internet humor at the end of the world, hoping along the way to find the final resting place of her wife and daughter. What she uncovers, hidden amid spiraling memes and twitter jokes in an archive of the internet’s remnants, are references to an enigmatic figure known only as Birdcrash, who may hold…

Book cover of The Sellout

Andre Soares Why did I love this book?

If I had to use one word to describe The Sellout, it would be “charged”. 

The Sellout tells the story of a young black man who lost his father to a police shooting. As he attempts to cope with this new reality, his hometown is gradually fading into oblivion. To salvage what’s left of it, he decides on the craziest plan: reinstating slavery. An action that will drag our protagonist to the Supreme Court’s doorsteps.

Unconventional and wild, The Sellout is one of the best social commentaries on America’s racial issues you’ll ever read. I guarantee it, I stand behind it.

By Paul Beatty,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Sellout as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Book of the Decade, 2010-2020 (Independent)

'Outrageous, hilarious and profound.' Simon Schama, Financial Times
'The longer you stare at Beatty's pages, the smarter you'll get.' Guardian
'The most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I've read.' New York Times

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game.

Born in Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father's racially charged…

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Return to Hope Creek

By Alyssa J. Montgomery,

Book cover of Return to Hope Creek

Alyssa J. Montgomery Author Of A Spanish Seduction

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian USA Today bestselling romance author who writes contemporary romance and uses the pen name Alyssa James to write medieval romance. I think the makeover trope resonates with me because although I’m no beauty queen now, I was definitely an ugly duckling in my teens. For reasons best known to him, my father insisted on close-cropped hair, and financial circumstances dictated out-of-style hand-me-down clothing. After university, I found my own style, but it wasn’t until I was accepted as an international flight attendant that I believed that I couldn’t be all that ugly if Qantas employed me!

Alyssa's book list on makeover romances

What is my book about?

Return to Hope Creek is a second-chance rural romance set in Australia.

Stella Simpson's career and engagement are over. She returns to the rural community of Hope Creek to heal, unaware her high school and college sweetheart, Mitchell Scott, has also moved back to town to do some healing of his own.

Mitchell, a former NFL quarterback, doesn't need the complication of encountering Stella again so long after the messy end to their relationship, but as each tries to build a new life, they are drawn together and find their chemistry is just as strong as ever.

Will their love be stronger the second time around?

Return to Hope Creek

By Alyssa J. Montgomery,

What is this book about?

When two old flames come back to their home town, sparks are bound to ignite. A rural romance from USA Today bestselling author Alyssa J. Montgomery.

A horrific car accident ended former world number-one Stella Simpson’s tennis career, and a betrayal ended her relationship with her fiancé/coach. When a family friend offers to sell her half of a property in the rural community where she grew up, it seems like the perfect place to escape, heal and begin the next phase of her life. Until she discovers that the man who broke her heart ten years ago has bought the…

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