Satire in Literature

Satire Definition: A literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn.

Satirical literature generally comments on current issues, particularly those of a political nature, but also economic, religious and symbolic. Although satire is more often than not amusing, it is designed to provoke a serious reaction.  Many satires make use of humour, but not all comedies are satires.

My book, Necropolis (Release Date: April 24th) is a humorous work of dark Fiction about a sociopath, who works for the Burials and Cemeteries department in his local council.  Necropolis is a black comedy that utilises satirical methods such as humour, exaggeration, understatement, ridicule and mock seriousness to parody the sociopath/psychopath genre, as well as to comment on aspects of contemporary society, such as bureaucracy, political correctness and our attitudes towards death.

Historically significant satirical works include:

Candide by Voltaire – This humorous story ridicules optimism, a central component of Enlightenment philosophy, in addition to criticising organised religion.

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift – So concerned was the publisher with being charged with treason for publishing Gulliver’s Travels that he tried to tone down the book’s political content, resulting in Swift finding a new publisher.

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray – The amusing and verbose Thackeray adroitly presents a panoramic portrait of English society during this period.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – Written shortly after the Civil War, this iconic work embraces satire to mock aspects of the modern world, particularly slavery.

Animal Farm by George Orwell – This serious satirical work can be viewed as an indictment of Stalinism.  So effectively did the book achieve this that it was banned in the Soviet Union.


This is the blurb for Necropolis:

Dyson Devereux works in the Burials and Cemeteries department in his local council.  Dyson is intelligent, incisive and informed.  He is also a sociopath.  Dyson’s contempt for the bureaucracy and banality of his workplace provides ample refuge for his mordant wit.  But the prevalence of Essex Cherubs adorning the headstones of Newton New Cemetery is starting to get on his nerves.

When an opportunity presents itself will Dyson seize his chance and find freedom, or is his destiny to be a life of toil in Burials and Cemeteries?

Brutal, bleak and darkly comical, Necropolis is a savage indictment of the politically correct, health and safety-obsessed world in which we live.


‘Not only a funny, twisted, erudite satire on the psychopath genre, this novel also boasts a compelling plot and finely sculpted characters’

‘A black comedy of true distinction’

‘I was at once fascinated and disturbed by the devious Dyson Devereux with his malicious pedantry, wicked schemes and grotesque good taste.  A barbed joy’



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