2018 Mar 11
Ranging from classic to contemporary novels, this is a collective insight on authors that dared to boldly step outside the box and confront controversial topics amongst gender, sexuality, religion and society.
1.The Anarchist Cookbook – William Powell
Probably the most notorious guide to date, The Anarchist Cookbook contains the dangerously inaccurate instructions for the manufacture of explosives, drugs, and other weapons. Powell was also criticized for his misinterpretation of anarchist ideals and even though he later tried to remove the questionably legal book from circulation, he was powerless due to copyrights.
2. The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
The book begins with a terrorist hijacking and bombing of a London-bound jet that causes two Indian actors to fall to Earth transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. His book gave way to a violent reaction from the Muslim community, of whom regarded his book as being blasphemous- a mockery of their religion and a fatwa was issued for his death.
3. American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
Creating a dark and bitter world, Ellis introduces us to the life of Patrick Bateman- a young investment banker and serial killer. Sharing a harsh light on to a different mindset towards life, the book contains visceral and prolonged scenes of rape, torture and murder while also dealing extensively with an apathetic society. American Psycho was considered harmful and disturbing and generated renewed controversy following the trial of serial killer- Paul Bernado who ‘read it as his Bible’.
4. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Against the backdrop of postwar America, this tells us the story of Humbert, an aging man and his obsessive passion for a 12 year old girl. Easily achieving the status of a classic, the novel still generated responses of horror due to its themes of child abuse, incest and pedophilia.
5. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
The immensely popular novel following the footsteps of Robert Langdon has created quite the uproar from the Roman Catholic Church. It was banned by the Vatican and (at the time) certain other countries as well for blasphemous material and its alleged misrepresentations of Christianity. There were also additional criticisms towards the accuracy of the historical events shown in the book.
6. Call Me Dave- Michael Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott
The unauthorized biography based on interviews with colleagues, friends and opponents, this disturbing read follows the life of the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom- Dave Cameron. While some consider it to be an interesting insight into the man’s life, the book is widely known for its allegation of Cameron’s incidence of necrophilia with an animal.
7. 13 Reasons Why – Jay Asher
The bestselling novel follows the life of Hannah Baker and the events following her suicide after the release of 13 tapes containing her reasons. The novel and recent film adaptation is said to glamorize suicide and give professionals a bad reputation but provides a candid insight on the depth and effects of bullying and social pressures. Following an increase in rash suicides, there were attempts to take the book out of circulation but to no avail.