Books have always been under the radar of censorship from time to time for igniting ideas which many believe can be harmful to the human race. Literacy pieces which present thoughts on political scenario, racism, nudity, drugs, religion has always been censored. There are books which had attracted a lot of controversies and most of them have been banned as well; the directory is huge, but below is the list of 10 such books which are considered as the controversial books of all time ever written.
1. Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure By John Cleland
This book written way back in 1748 is also called as Fanny Hill and was first published in London. It is considered as one of the first erotic novels which got published, a best seller declared obscene and was yet published illegally throughout the 18th century.
This book tells us about the story of Fanny Hill, a simple countryside girl who is thrown into prostitution in London. Fanny, an innocent virgin learns everything about the sexual business going on around her by watching other prostitutes. The novel basically showcases Fanny’s sexual awakenings and her life which unfold with and without the love of her life Charles, with whom she elopes.
2. Brave New World By Aldous Huxley
Written in 1932, Brave New World is considered as one of the best science fiction books till date. This book was removed from the shelves after it first got published and it is still making waves. Huxley’s futuristic foresight was not liked by many and was considered insensitive, full of negativity, obscene and anti-religion.
Huxley opens the book by imagining a future earth, thereby giving his readers a chance to sneak inside the laboratory where human beings are mass-produced and are then trained to live in a rigid caste system. Huxley very beautifully brings out futuristic extrapolation and it forces everyone to think that although technology is a boon, in the long run, it has its own repercussions as well.
3.The Catcher In The Rye By J D Salinger
Included in the Time’s Magazine list of the 100 best English language novels, this book has always been in controversy since its inception upon its release in 1951. Intended for the adults only, this book which dealt with topics such as smoking, drinking, sexuality, teenage angst, violence, and use of profanity, was very much read by the teenagers as well. Many of the parents then demanded it to be removed from the school curricula.
It’s the story of a teenager, Holden Caulfield, who is expelled out of prep school and presents a detailed account of his turbulent last few days, just before Christmas. He narrates about the undergoing treatment in a mental asylum recovering from stress and the dilemma of telling his parents about the expulsion.
4. Lolita By Vladimir Nabokov
Published in 1955, Lolita was banned across several counties, including France, South Africa, and Britain as it touched the topic of Pedophilia. This book was considered indecent and was subsequently put off the bookshelves.
It’s the story of Humbert Humbert – a scholar who falls in love with Lolita Haze, a twelve-year-old girl who happens to be his landlady’s daughter. In order to reach Dolores (Lolita’s real name), he marries Mrs. Haze, who has an untimely death and Humbert then completely taking over the girls’ life robbing her of her identity.
5.Nineteen Eighty-Four By George Orwell
Written in 1984 by George Orwell, while he lay on his bed and dying of Tuberculosis, 1984 depicts the author’s strong political views. Totalitarianism, attack on one’s privacy, torture, mind control, religion, and sex, this book covers a whole lot of other topics for which it was banned.
This is about the story of Wilson Smith, a low ranking member of the ruling party in London. Wilson is always under the radar of the ruling party, who has total control over all its citizens. The story unfolds when Wilson commits a crime of falling in love with a girl and his escapade which then turn into a nightmare.
6. The Satanic Verses By Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie has to live in hiding for many days after a fatwa was issued against him for publishing this book in the year 1988. Rushdie’s book was considered blasphemous and anti-Islam. Not only this book was banned but there were widespread riots and a translator of this book was assassinated.
Farishta and Chamcha, one a Bollywood superstar and other an immigrant who works as a voice-over artist in England are saved miraculously after a jet explodes. They both take the form of an angel and a devil, which are in a way chosen to represent good and evil. The story keeps unfolding layer by layer and the readers are forced to think if angels can be demons in disguise.
7. The American Psycho By Bret Easton Ellis
Published in 1991, this book was banned as it was considered harmful to minors. The author received death threats and several hate mails for penning down such a literary piece. This book was considered inappropriate due to its extreme level of graphic violence and sexual torture.
It is the story of Bateman, a serial killer who is rich, arrogant and a psychopath based in New York. The book is written describing a series of events from Bateman’s point of view who observes his friends and acquaintances as merely an object.
8. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky
Written in 1990 by an American novelist Stephen Chbosky, this book is controversial for carrying content related to drugs, homosexuality and for having sexually explicit conduct.
It is a story of a boy Charles, who is shy and intelligent, but socially not so amicable and by no means popular. He is basically portrayed as a wallflower, who is partly trying to live his life and partly trying to run away from it. Right from making new friends to first dates from family dramas to a world of drugs and sex, the forays into everything.
9.The Harry Potter Series By J K Rowling
This book came out in 2001 and is basically a series of books meant for children’s. Although it became very popular amongst the youngsters for its gripping plot many parents felt that this book promotes witchcraft and the stories are too dark.
The story is about a young wizard who lost his parents in the hands of an evil lord. The boy then joins a school of witchcraft and slowly and gradually unfolds the murder mystery of his parents. Each book represents the boys year of life in school.
10. The Da Vinci Code By Dan Brown
This 2003 novel is a fast-paced murder mystery and was not liked many religious groups for telling an altogether different story about the life of Jesus. Religious leaders across various countries demanded a ban on this book for carrying content that was insulting to Jesus Christ.
Robert Langdon is chosen to unfold a 2000-year-old religious mystery which is closely guarded by a secret society. While solving a murder mystery in Paris’ Louvre Museum he finds clues in a few of Leonardo DA Vinci’s paintings that rocked the foundation of Christianity.