The Ark is set in a post-peak oil scenario in which society as we know it collapses. So I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating the apocalypse lately. Good times! Here are some of my favourite books about the end of the world as we know it:
Z for Zachariah by Robert C O’Brien
This is the first post-apocalyptic novel I ever read and it made a deep impression on me. Told in the form of a diary, written by a young girl who survives a nuclear holocaust, it is a great insight into human nature in desperate times for the young reader.
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The zombie apocalypse! This is absolutely not a genre I ever thought I would read but it was so gripping and so well-written I believe it would convert even the greatest cynic.
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
A gorgeous coming-of-age story set in a world which is tilting slightly on its axis, changing life as we know it and leading to possibly devastating consequences.
The MaddAddamm Trilogy by Margaret Atwood
In this scarily believable satire, the apocalypse is caused by a pandemic which is unleashed deliberately.
Wool by Hugh Howey
Hundreds of people living under ground in an enormous silo for many generations. But why did they have to leave the surface of the earth? Page-turner alert!
The Postman by David Brin
The apocalypse in this novel is a combination of bioweapons and destruction via EMPs. The story, which is a little cheesy in parts, follows a survivor who stumbles across the uniform of a long-dead postal worker and masquerades as a postman, bringing hope to the isolated communities he meets that society is gradually reassembling.
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
A pandemic destroys 90% of the earth’s population, leaving Hig alone on America’s wide open plains, with only his dog for company. But somebody else is out there…
I am Legend by Richard Matheson
A genre-defining cult classic about surviving a vampire apocalypse. Unbearably tense.
Red Queen by Honey Brown
Two brothers ride out a pandemic from the safety of their cabin in the Australian bush. All is well until a woman finds them and disturbs their fragile equilibrium.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
McCarthy doesn’t even tell us what caused the apocalypse in this dark dark novel but whatever it was basically turned the world to ash and turned those who survived into a bunch of marauding cannibals. It’s so horrible, maybe the most horrible book I’ve ever read. But also, I think, the most powerful.
Your turn: What are your favourite tales of the apocalypse?