As followers of this blog are aware I am an avid fan of satire. My second novel, Necropolis, is a satire about a sociopath who works for the burials and cemeteries department in his local council. I plan to release further satirical works in the not too distant future. In addition to my writing I have read numerous satires and devoted many blog posts to the subject.
This week’s post is dedicated to 6 satirical novels by 6 American authors. They are presented in the order in which they were published. Click on the links to read my reviews.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a satire of American southern antebellum society that parodies religion, morality, literature and above all the practice of slavery.
My Review: 13-year-old Huckleberry Finn is living in Missouri with a widow who plans to ‘sivilize’ him. That is until his alcoholic father relocates him to an isolated cabin in the woods. Huck fakes his own death and escapes…(more)
Subjects Satirised: Slavery & numerous others
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
Based on Heller’s own experiences as a bombardier in WWII, this best-selling, satirical, anti-war novel, took its American author eight years to write.
My Review: Set on the Mediterranean island of Pianosa during WWII, Catch-22 is about the exploits of the fictitious 256th Squadron. We follow protagonist Yossarian and his comrades’ farcical attempts…(more)
Subject Satirised: War
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)
Slaughterhouse-Five’s anti-war rhetoric has resulted in it being banned from numerous US schools and libraries. This satirical story is about a survivor of the notorious firebombing of Dresden.
My Review: Narrated in a non-linear order, the story follows protagonist Billy Pilgrim’s journey through life. A married optometrist with two children, Billy is a veteran of World War II, and a survivor of the notorious…(more)
Subject Satirised: War
Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis (1998)
Glamorama adeptly captures the hedonism of 1990s New York. In typical Ellis fashion the text is punctuated with numerous pop-culture references, sporadic descriptions of violence and graphic sexual encounters.
My Review: Victor Ward aka Victor Johnson is a male model living in 1990s Manhattan. Victor is a vapid, soulless character, obsessed with celebrity culture, who lives an existence that revolves around social connections and…(more)
Subject Satirised: 1990s
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (2001)
This nihilistic novel is about our innate craving for attention and the fundamental nature of addiction. Its protagonist has a penchant for purposely choking on food at expensive restaurants.
My Review: The protagonist, Victor Mancini, is a sex addict employed at an eighteenth-century historical re-enactment park. Victor attends various sexual addiction support groups, where he meets many…(more)
Subjects Satirised: Addiction treatments & contemporary society
I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe (2004)
I Am Charlotte Simmons is a humorous satire about campus life. Themes include materialism, social class, race and America’s obsession with college sport.
My Review: Appalachian wunderkind Charlotte Simmons has been awarded a scholarship to Dupont, an elite fictional university, steeped in tradition. Living amongst the cream of America’s youth is…(more)
Subjects Satirised: Campus life & numerous others
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