10 books like A Clockwork Orange

By Anthony Burgess,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Clockwork Orange. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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VALIS

By Philip K. Dick,

Book cover of VALIS

Blimey. Even by PKD’s standards, this is an unconventional read. VALIS is a story which seeps into the author’s real life, or vice versa. It includes autobiographical elements as well as science fiction and philosophy. Its bravery impresses me. This is art written with the utmost passion, honesty and perhaps even desperation, as it details the author’s mental illness and unexplained experiences and tries to make sense of them. And yet it also manages to be great fun. Really. 

VALIS

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It began with a blinding light, a divine revelation from a mysterious intelligence that called itself VALIS (Vast Active Living Intelligence System). And with that, the fabric of reality was torn apart and laid bare so that anything seemed possible, but nothing seemed quite right.

It was madness, pure and simple. But what if it were true?


Crime and Punishment

By Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Pevear (translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (translator)

Book cover of Crime and Punishment

This nineteenth-century novel paved the way for the modern crime novel. While the plot revolves around a murder, the book also explores the psychological workings of a loner who’s a frustrated and opinionated young man with a Napoleon-like complex, and is undone by a clever police detective. The narrative can be overwritten at times and a slog to read through, but the story remains compelling and insightful after all these years.

Crime and Punishment

By Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Pevear (translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (translator)

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Crime and Punishment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury,

Book cover of Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is the best dystopian novel of the 1950s in which firemen work as enforcers burning books rather than putting out fires because a societal mob claims that the world’s unhappiness and discord are the result of ideas expressed in books. A woke mob that prefers to watch tv rather than read books has determined what is wrong with each book. Blacks are offended by Little Black Sambo so it must be burned. Whites are offended by Uncle Tom’s Cabin so it must be burned. Cigarette companies burn books that portray cigarette smoking as dangerous. There’s bound to be something offensive in every book, so every book is burned. A fireman named Guy Montag decides to fight back. Bradbury’s imaginative work is still fresh today.

Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Fahrenheit 451 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen.

Over 1 million copies sold in the UK.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

The classic…


Naked Lunch

By William S. Burroughs Jr., James Grauerholz, Barry Miles

Book cover of Naked Lunch: The Restored Text

First published in 1959, Naked Lunch was shocking then, and it still retains its power today. Both in content and structure, Naked Lunch is powerful and wholly original.  In effect, it becomes more than a work of fiction, it becomes an experience. Burroughs invented a technique called the “cut-up method,” where he cut up his coherent storyline into paragraphs, scenes, and even sentences, then reordered them both randomly and editorially. The disorder thematically represents the chaos of existence and the universe, and it also disrupts the reader. Like the book or not, it shakes you into realizing that there are possibilities beyond the conventional.

Burrough’s language is honed to a razor’s edge, and I find that many of the sentences in Naked Lunch burn like fire. The meaning of the title as Burroughs explains it is to bare the naked truth of reality on the end of a fork. From…

Naked Lunch

By William S. Burroughs Jr., James Grauerholz, Barry Miles

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Naked Lunch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

By Philip K. Dick,

Book cover of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I prefer stories that are about life rather than about things that happen in life. PKD’s books are exactly that. Hollywood omitted the humour, spirituality, and craziness in their adaptations of his work and often inverted his meaning entirely; the books are so much better and far more radical. If you want literature that expands the mind try a PKD book, or at least an exact replica of one.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the eagerly-anticipated new film Blade Runner 2049 finally comes to the screen, rediscover the world of Blade Runner . . .

World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal - the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life.

Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were…


Paranoia and the Destiny Programme

By Richard Godwin,

Book cover of Paranoia and the Destiny Programme

My take on a future society in which a shadowy group conducts mass surveillance and is experimenting on turning a musician into a serial killer. 'I see no butterfly wings in the Rorschach test, but a mountain of bones.' So says Dale Helix, who is convinced he is being abducted by a shadowy group of rulers called The Assembly. The novel is set in a dystopian city, and is an exploration of totalitarianism, paranoia, and social engineering in a society where it is impossible to gauge the truth. The aim of the programme is to study the link between serial killers and dictators in order to clone the ideal dictator. And the Assembly is engineering a new gender. Is Dale insane or is his paranoia a key to a hidden truth? This is a novel about surveillance totalitarianism.

Paranoia and the Destiny Programme

By Richard Godwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Paranoia and the Destiny Programme as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Slaughterhouse-Five

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Book cover of Slaughterhouse-Five

I can’t think of another book that bends and blends competing realities as well as Slaughterhouse-5. Vonnegut shows us the mundanity of a 9 to 5 optometrist, the horrors of war (in this case, the fire-bombing of Dresden), time-traveling sci-fi, and mental breakdown – each of these realities plays off the others until I can’t be sure where one ends and the next begins. It’s a high-wire act, in that respect, one that could easily fall flat. I think Vonnegut makes it work, not only because of his skill but also because, after trying for ages to write a book about his experiences in WW2, he found a story and structure that lets him capture all the madness and horror (and bleak, deadpan, absurdist humour) of everything he saw.

Slaughterhouse-Five

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Slaughterhouse-Five as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Handmaid's Tale

By Margaret Atwood,

Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale

If you ever need an illustration of why you should always fight for equality and fairness amongst all people in the real world, this is it. What I loved most about this book is how unapologetic it was at depicting the consequences of allowing inequality to rule over nations. This story single-handedly taught me how to keep fighting, both for others and for myself in life. I took the stoicism of these characters and incorporated them within myself. It is a strength that I will always thank this author for.

The Handmaid's Tale

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Handmaid's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **
**A BBC BETWEEN COVERS BIG JUBILEE READ**

Go back to where it all began with the dystopian novel behind the award-winning TV series.

'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it' Guardian

I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford -…


1984

By George Orwell,

Book cover of 1984

This is probably the most referenced dystopian novel, which is why I didn’t put it first. That being said, it is the most referenced because it is the most obvious as to the fear of the power of government. George Orwell had a genuine mistrust of government and other authoritative organizations simply through his observation of the Spanish Civil War. Orwell feared those who would ban books, concealing the truth from us.

In 1984 people were controlled by government’s pain and fear, aka Big Brother, which is something society runs into on a daily basis in the information age. Not only do people self-censor, but Big Tech is silencing and cancelling opposition and politicians and CEOs are constant threats of becoming tyrants as they grasp for their slice of control.

1984

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked 1984 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU . . .

1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words 'DOWN WITH BIG…


The Time Machine

By H.G. Wells,

Book cover of The Time Machine

The genius of HG Wells lies not only in his mastery of words, but in his uncanny way of predicting the future and future events. From submarines to flying machines to future societies, many of Wells’ predictions came to fruition over the course of the 20th century. An enjoyable, albeit cautionary read, The Time Machine takes readers on a white-knuckled ride into the past and far into the future, exploring and questioning man’s own humanity.

The Time Machine

By H.G. Wells,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Time Machine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brilliant scientist constructs a machine, which, with the pull of a lever, propels him to the year AD 802,701.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition of The Time Machine features an introduction by Dr Mark Bould.

The Time Traveller finds himself in a verdant, seemingly idyllic landscape where he is greeted by the diminutive Eloi people. The Eloi are beautiful but weak and indolent, and the explorer is perplexed by…


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