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Best Apocalyptic Books

Immerse in end-of-the-world scenarios through the pages of the most gripping apocalyptic narratives. These books have earned their place at the top by compelling readers and critics alike, appearing time and again on must-read lists.

Recommendations from 69 articles, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Emma Watson and 68 others.
Best Apocalyptic Books
93 books on the list
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The Road book cover
The Road
Cormac McCarthy - 2006-10-02
Goodreads Rating
In a desolate, post-apocalyptic America, a father and son trek towards an unknown West Coast in a desperate attempt to survive. Armed only with a pistol, scavenged supplies, and each other, they encounter danger and uncertainty at every turn. The Road is a heart-wrenching story of love and endurance in the face of catastrophic destruction. Cormac McCarthy's vivid prose paints a stark portrait of humanity's best and worst qualities.
Station Eleven book cover
Station Eleven
Emily St. John Mandel - 2014-09-09
Goodreads Rating
Experience a post-apocalyptic world where a devastating flu pandemic has destroyed civilization as we know it. Follow Kirsten Raymonde, a member of The Traveling Symphony - a small troupe of actors and musicians dedicated to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they come across a violent prophet threatening their existence, they must fight for survival. With a unique timeline that jumps between life before and after the pandemic, uncover the twist of fate that connects them all in this National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist.
The Stand book cover
The Stand
Stephen King - 2021-10-07 (first published in 1978)
Goodreads Rating
A chilling tale of a world decimated by plague, where dreams foretell the rise of a sinister figure known as the Dark Man. As fear grips society, the Prince of Evil's domain flourishes, and an inevitable battle for the fate of humanity looms.
World War Z book cover
World War Z
An Oral History of the Zombie War
Max Brooks - 2006-09-12
Goodreads Rating
This acclaimed book takes you on a journey across the globe during the Zombie War, featuring firsthand accounts from survivors who witnessed the end of the world. Through interviews with men, women, and children who faced the horrors of the apocalypse, you'll experience the full scope of this epochal event. This chronicle provides a hauntingly immediate look at the human dimension of one of the biggest catastrophes in history, and asks important questions about our capacity for personal detachment from history.
Oryx and Crake book cover
Oryx and Crake
Margaret Atwood - 2004-03-30 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
A post-apocalyptic world where one man may be the last human alive. Snowman, also known as Jimmy, mourns the death of his best friend and the love of his life, Oryx. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey with the help of genetically engineered children through a lush wilderness that was once a great city. Margaret Atwood's thought-provoking tale is a compelling vision of the future that is both familiar and beyond our imagination.
Earth Abides book cover
Earth Abides
A Novel
George R. Stewart - 2006-03-28 (first published in 1949)
Goodreads Rating
In the aftermath of a devastating disease that wiped out most of humanity, one lucky survivor explores a world without man. What he finds will leave him surprised and amazed.
Recommended by
Ben Shapiro
Swan Song book cover
Swan Song
Robert McCammon - 1987-06-01
Goodreads Rating
A post-apocalyptic America is plagued by an ancient evil who seeks to destroy a special child named Swan. The last survivors of humanity must fight against monstrous creatures and marauding armies to protect their world and souls in the final battle between good and evil.
Wool book cover
Hugh Howey - 2012-01-25
Goodreads Rating
This post-apocalyptic sci-fi is not just an ebook sensation, it's a new classic. In a toxic future, people live in a giant underground silo with strict rules. When the Sheriff breaks the greatest taboo by asking to go outside, events unravel and an unlikely replacement is appointed: Juliette, a mechanic tasked with fixing the silo. As she faces the broken world around her, the silo prepares for an uprising. With accolades from The New York Times and USA TODAY, and named Kindle Book Review's 2012 Indie Book of the Year, Wool is a blockbuster must-read.
The Passage book cover
The Passage
A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy)
Justin Cronin - 2010-06-08
Goodreads Rating
In The Passage, a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions goes wrong, leading to catastrophic events that trigger a societal collapse. The only hope for humanity is a young girl named Amy, who possesses a mysterious power that can save the world. With gripping storytelling and unforgettable characters, this epic tale of survival is a must-read for fans of post-apocalyptic fiction.
A Canticle for Leibowitz book cover
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Walter Miller - 2006-05-09 (first published in 1959)
Goodreads Rating
In a post-apocalyptic world, a group of monks known as the Order of Leibowitz dedicate themselves to preserving ancient knowledge. Will mankind learn from past mistakes or will history repeat itself?
One Second After by William R. Forstchen
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Blindness by Jose Saramago
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
On The Beach by Nevil Shute
Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven
Zone One by Colson Whitehead
Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
The Children of Men by P. D. James
The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Severance by Ling Ma
The Postman by David Brin
The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
CyberStorm by Matthew Mather
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Emergence by David R. Palmer
The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Shift by Hugh Howey
Going Home by A. American
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Atlantis Gene by A. G. Riddle
Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Dust by Hugh Howey
Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
Lights Out by David Crawford
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey
[Dies the Fire] By by S M Stirling
Down to a Sunless Sea by David Graham
The Death of Grass by John Christopher
Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaya
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The Last Ship by William Brinkley
The Last Man by Mary Shelley
The Ferryman by Justin Cronin
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Deadline by Mira Grant
Shadow & Claw by Gene Wolfe
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
The Atlantis Plague by A. G. Riddle
Holding Their Own by Joe Nobody
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Empty World by John Christopher
Pilgrimage to Hell by Jack Adrian
Patriots by James Wesley Rawles
Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny
The Last by Hanna Jameson
Things We Didn't See Coming by Steven Amsterdam
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
The Vixen Amber Halloway by Carol Lahines
Edge of Collapse by Kyla Stone
Calizona by Ralph Rotten
A Gift Upon the Shore by M. K. Wren
All City by Alex Difrancesco
The Lightest Object in the Universe by Kimi Eisele
Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien
Farnham's Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein
The Purple Cloud by M. P. (Matthew Phipps) Shiel