23 Best Classic & Dystopian Books Like 1984 and Animal Farm

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1984 is a classic dystopian novel that was written by George Orwell and follows Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party in Oceania. The world of 1984 is essentially a world without freedom; not only can your actions be picked up on cameras and microphones, but the Thought Police constantly watch you.

The following are some books that may interest fans of 1984, one of the most influential novels like 1984 of all time. These books explore the role of surveillance in society and share similar themes to Orwell’s work.

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1984 Summary

The novel tells the story of Winston Smith, a Party member living in Oceania. His job is to rewrite past newspaper articles so that they agree with the current Party line and deliver propaganda pieces, but he secretly hates the Party and yearns for rebellion against Big Brother. As he changes the record of history, he discovers that his idealism may not be as futile as it seems.

This is an excellent book for those who are interested in what life would be like without freedom of thought.

Books Similar to 1984 – Nineteen Eighty-Four

These books are written by some great authors like George Orwell.

Book NameAuthor/Authors NameGenre
Animal FarmGeorge OrwellDystopian Fiction
The Picture of Dorian GrayOscar WildeGothic Fiction, Philosophical Fiction
To Kill a MockingbirdHarper LeeDomestic Fiction
Fahrenheit 451Ray Bradbury Dystopian Fiction
The Catcher in the RyeJ.D. SalingerBildungsroman
Brave New WorldAldous HuxleyDystopian Fiction
Lord of the FliesWilliam GoldingPsychological Fiction
Pride and PrejudiceJane AustenDomestic Fiction
Of Mice and MenJohn Steinbeck Fiction Tragedy
The Diary of a Young GirlAnne FrankAutobiography
The AlchemistPaulo CoelhoAdventure Fiction
The MetamorphosisFranz KafkaAbsurdist Fiction, Psychological Thriller
SapiensYuval Noah HarariNon-Fiction
The Kite RunnerKhaled HosseiniFantasy Fiction
The Fault in Our StarsJohn GreenYoung Adult Fiction
A Clockwork OrangeAnthony BurgessMystery
WeYevgeny ZamyatinDystopian Fiction
One Day in the Life of Ivan DenisovichAleksandr SolzhenitsynFiction
The Handmaid’s TaleMargaret AtwoodFeminist Science Fiction
Jennifer GovernmentMax BarryDystopian Fiction
The CircleDave EggersDystopian Fiction
VoxChristina DalcherFantasy Fiction
The GiverLois LowryUtopian Fiction

1. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

Animal Farm is a satirical novella by George Orwell. It was written in the midst of World War II, but it is not about war. Animal Farm is actually about how power corrupts people, even the best people, and what happens when it becomes too much for them to handle. 

The story starts with all animals on an English farm owned by Mr. Jones. The animals are not well cared for by Mr. Jones, who drinks excessively and spends his money at the pub rather than taking care of the animals. The animals find out that they are being mistreated and decide that they don’t want to live like this anymore, so they meet up to plan their revolt against Mr. Jones. And so Animal Farm begins… If you’re searching for some dystopian books like 1984, this book would be a perfect choice for you. Moreover, if you are thinking about what to read after Animal Farm, then you should read these books.

2. The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

The author, Oscar Wilde, uses lush detail and florid yet precise language to tell the story of Dorian Gray, a handsome young man with an otherworldly beauty next to which everything else pales in comparison…

He lives an immoral life of pleasure and sin without any consequences for his actions. Yet by conducting himself so that others might be tainted by his actions or suffer for them, Gray ensures that his portrait will age and change while he remains unchanged. If you like The Picture of Dorian Gray, you might like these books.

3. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novel that was published in 1960. This is a captivating story about a lawyer named Atticus Finch who defends an innocent black man against accusations of rape, sexual assault, and other crimes. The story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great Depression era. 

4. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

In the novel Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury, an all-powerful government controls its people by censoring and burning books. In this futuristic novel, we follow Guy Montag as he lives as a “fireman.” His job is to start fires on houses and buildings to burn books. 

Everyone will be better off without the possibility of different opinions and thoughts on what they should believe and how they should live their life. Fahrenheit 451 is in one of the books similar to 1984 and brave new world in this list.

5. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

A novel that is written in the style of an autobiography, narrated by Holden Caufield, who talks about his mental breakdown at the age of sixteen. 

Catcher in the rye

The Catcher in the Rye discusses the feeling of inadequacy in teenage years and transitions to adulthood. Themes include loss, depression, suicide, innocence; the world, boredom; hypocrisy; idealism. Without a doubt, this is one of the books to read if you like 1984.

6. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World is one of the best dystopian books like 1984 talks about a pessimistic, dystopian future where infertility has skyrocketed, and the population of people has decreased dramatically. In this society, children are raised in state-run facilities called “hatcheries” and conditioned to believe everything they’re taught as they grow up.

7. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

This book takes place when a group of boys is stranded on an island after their plane crashes. They start to form tribes based on what they know from their past life but fight each other over scarce resources like food. The novel has strong themes about male friendship, aggression, obsession, morality, and religion.

8. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

This novel is set in 19th century England, where five sisters must find husbands while living on their family’s estate. 

The humorous prose, social commentary on marriage customs of the time, and love story all make this one of the most iconic novels of all time. Pride and Prejudice is a New York Times bestseller with over 500 million copies sold worldwide.

9. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

This modern classic tells a dramatic story of two friends who travel together from Texas to California. It’s set in America during the Great Depression. The world was gripped by poverty, and people struggled to make ends meet. If you like of Mice and Men, these books might hook you till the end of the story.

10. The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank

The Diary of A Young Girl, written by the young girl Anne Frank, is a novel about a Jewish family forced to relocate from Germany to the Netherlands to escape Hitler’s Nazi regime. The diary starts with Anne’s first days. She talks about her father Otto, the family business where they have been ledgers and desks with neat paper and pencils. 

11. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

A spiritual allegory that tells the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. 

Along the way, he meets real and surreal characters who each have something to teach him about himself and the world around him. Eventually, Santiago learns about personal wisdom, takes responsibility for his choices, encounters love, overcomes obstacles, and achieves his heart’s desire.

12. The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka

This book was written by Franz Kafka in 1915. In this novella, a man named Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning to find he has turned into an insect. 

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He does not know what has happened or why, yet he feels that he must act like this new creature to survive. This story was originally written in German, so it may be difficult for some readers to understand. 

13. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari

This book is a dense and detailed read and an eye-opening one at that. Harari offers an alternative history, focusing on Homo sapiens and their extraordinary power to transform the world. He tells us how we can use our fabulous powers for good or for ill as we gradually come to understand what it means to be human.

14. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

A profound and mesmerizing story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant. It tells the epic saga of the Afghan people over three decades. 

It is an unforgettable tale about coming to terms with history and discovering how secrets never stay hidden for long. This novel explores themes of love, loyalty, betrayal, and redemption. If you’re searching for books to read similar to 1984, this classic would be a perfect pick for you. Additionally, these are The Kite Runner similar books. Check this list to find books written in historical fiction genre.

15. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is the quintessential modern love story, set against the backdrop of cancer, that has become both a literary sensation and Hollywood movie.

The book is told through the lives of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year-old living with cancer, who is forced to attend a support group where she meets Augustus Waters, a fellow cancer patient.

16. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

It follows the life of protagonist Alex, who spends most of the time getting into violent fights, stealing, raping, or terrorizing people with his gang of friends. He ends up being convicted of murder and undergoes treatment to reduce his violence, which is based on aversion therapy. This is one of the staple books like 1984 and fahrenheit 451 in this list.

17. We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin

The book is set in a future city called OneState and takes place on the eve of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the One State. The book explores themes such as rationality, revolt against prevailing social norms, egalitarianism, and how humans respond to an environment that suppresses individuality.

18. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

This book is about one day in Ivan Denisovich’s life in prison under Stalin’s rule, which gives readers a perspective into the Korean War-era Soviet Union. 

The book shows how prisoners were treated, what they did each day to survive, and what they thought about their situation.

19. The Handmaid’s Tale, By Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood that offers a dark view of the future, describing the establishment of a totalitarian society in New England.

The story focuses on the life of Offred, one such handmaid to the Commander and his wife, Serena Joy. Offred narrates her thoughts and experiences following her forced sexual servitude as a handmaid to a powerful elite couple in a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. Undoubtedly, this is one of the books like 1984 and brave new world in this list.

20. Jennifer Government, by Max Barry

Jennifer Government is a satirical novel about an unnamed megacorporation termed ‘Organization’ or ‘The Company’, which dominates all areas of society. Contrary to the trend of dystopian novels, this one celebrates consumerism and government regulation. The Company controls everything from food production to entertainment.

21. The Circle, by Dave Eggers

This dystopian novel follows Mae Holland as she arrives at the Circle, a powerful tech company that records her every move. As she navigates her new environment, Mae realizes many of her decisions are not her own; they are the result of some computer algorithm bent on control.

22. Vox, by Christina Dalcher

Vox is an alt-history novel that flips the script by telling it from the point of view of two women in a world where America has been taken over by a totalitarian government that limits women to one hundred words per day. The protagonist, Dr. Jean McClellan, is a high school English teacher who has lost her job for refusing to use their speech-limiting technology called the “sheeple”…

23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry

This book is about a 12-year-old boy named Jonas, who is selected to be the next “Receiver,” or person in charge of carrying memories for the community. 

The Giver reveals what life was like before all this control, how different people have to behave, and how they try to maintain peace. This would be a great book for children who are having trouble starting to read independently. In Addition, these are The Giver similar books. Check these to collect one that might hook you with it’s story.

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Final Words:

1984 and the other books on the list provide a cautionary tale for our society. A warning that we must be aware of dangers that threaten our freedoms and liberties.

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