$2.99 End-of-the-World eBooks

Google Play is currently having a $2.99 sale on “end-of-the-world reads.” Since I’ve read several of them, here are my recommendations:

Recommended:

Station Eleven
A flu pandemic almost wipes out all of the world’s population. [Review]
Ready Player One
The key to a vast fortune is hidden within an MMO virtual reality simulation. [Review]

Brave New World
An “ideal” society has been created through genetic engineering and brainwashing.
Feed
Network devices implanted in the brains of American consumers are exploited by corporations.
The Handmaid's Tale
Women are subjugated in a totalitarian Christian theocracy. [Review]
1984
The government uses surveillance and propaganda to eliminate independent thinking.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Humanoid androids are also practically indistinguishable from humans. [Review]
The Giver
A community has eliminated emotion, color, and memory in order to eliminate pain. [Review]
 

Not recommended:

Atlas Shrugged
Aggressive regulations cause vital industries to collapse.
Lord of the Flies
A group of boys on an uninhabited island try to govern themselves.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Warning: Spoilers about the backstory below!

The Handmaid's TaleA terrorist attack blamed on Islamic extremists kills the president and wipes out most of Congress. A new movement called the “Sons of Jacob” takes over and revolutionizes the United States, turning it into a militarized, patriarchal, ultra-conservative, Christian-based religious society known as the Republic of Gilead.

Men and women in Gilead live very separate lives. Men have varying military roles and those at the top (the Commanders) are permitted to establish a household. Women are subservient to men and have domestic roles. A woman can be a Wife (married to a high-ranking man), Handmaid (bearer of children for the Wives), Aunt (instructor and supervisor of the Handmaids), Martha (domestic servant), or an Econowife (married to a low-ranking man).

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is told through the eyes of a woman valued only for reproduction, who witnessed the transformation of modern day America into the Republic of Gilead. It’s amazing how quickly and convincingly the radical societal revolution took place.

I love dystopian novels, so it’s not surprising that I enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale. I liked how I had to piece together what was happening and why as I was reading. It’s a terrifying prospect of what America could be like if right-wing, Christian fundamentalist ideologies are taken to the extreme: an oppressive, misogynistic theocracy.