Author: Sherry Helms
Undoubtedly, manuscripts have always been a great source of knowledge. In ancient time, people wanted to invent something that could keep their writings secure for centuries. When writing systems were invented in ancient civilization, people used to express their feelings by writing on stone, clay, bark of trees, metal sheets. With the advent of technology, there comes a drastic change in the reading patterns in human beings. However, still people find books reading entertaining.
Some books proved to be very helpful for humans whereas some books always rattled the cages of the censors. These books even calls for banning the book from members of the community or those in religious or political group. Though there are number of books that have caused a stir due to the themes contained in them or the excessive use of expletive language, violence, religious degradation, extreme political views or blasphemy that have caused trouble.
Below we have mentioned ten such books that have added fuel to the flames of controversy ever since they were published.
#10 Brave New World By Aldous Huxley: One of the most controversial and popular works by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, has been banned for evidently being anti-family and anti-religion. Part of what has made this book controversial is the language it contained. This book was removed from classrooms in Miller, Missouri in 1980. American Library Association has scheduled this book at 52nd position on their list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books.
# 9 Lolita By Vladimir Nabokov : Published in 1955 in Paris, Lolita has been one of the most notable and controversial novel written by prolific author Vladimir Nabokov’s. Many literary critics admired this novel because of its innovative writing, but it was always remained under the scrutiny of the censors for its volatile topic of child molestation. Despite of major controversy, around 100,000 copies of this novel sold in the first three weeks of its release.
#8 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain: Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is considered as one of the challenged novels of all time. This book is famous for its colorful descriptions of people and places along Mississippi river. The book was also appeared on public school banned-book lists throughout the U.S due to the use of coarse languages and implementing the use of the racially abusive word ‘nigger’. This book was also placed by the American Library Association on its list of ‘Most Frequently Challenged Books.
# 7 The God Delusion By Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion is the bestselling book by Richard Dawkins, denies any existence of a God and advocates the nature of morality. His book openly contends that a belief in a personal god qualifies as a delusion and more like an attack upon mainstream religion. This book will certainly offend those who firmly believe in their religion and the existence of god but it will also bring relief to many skeptics as well.
# 6 The Catcher in the Rye By J. D. Salinger: Claimed at times to be one of the finest works about adolescence ever written, Catcher in the Rye has also been included in the 100 best English novels by Times magazine. This book was banned in many countries for its liberal use of profanity, portrayal of sexuality, alienation, rebellion, and lots and lots of smoking and drinking. Some of the critics demanded to censor the book because of its anti-Christian sentiments. Even after controversy, around 250,000 copies were sold each year with total sales of more than 65 million books.
# 5 The Color Purple By Alice Walker: Considered as one of the greatest novels ever written Alice Walker’s The Color Purple has also won 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. Moreover, this book has been positioned at number 17 on the American Library Association’s list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books in 2000-2009. The book gave rise to controversies because of its extremely controversial topics like sexual abuse, racial abuse and domestic violence. Some of the critics condemned it for its ostensibly indecent language and its representation of violent events.
#4 Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell: George Orwell wrote this novel when he was on his death bed. A classic book has received mixed responses where on one hand many fanatics claim that when the novel was written Orwell was not of sound mind due to ill health and so the novel should be banned. On the other there are many who consider it a masterpiece. The novel moves around United States and Soviet Union and surrounds topics like totalitarianism, torture, mind control, invasion of privacy, censorship, organized religion, sex and a lot more gave rise to controversies related with the book.
#3 The Satanic Verses By Salman Rushdie: Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses greeted with a heated and frequently violent reaction of Muslims who accused this novel of blasphemy and mocking their faith. As the controversy increase, the book was challenged in India and burned in demonstration in the UK. Even mid-February 1989, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death.
#2 The Anarchist Cookbook By William Powell : The plot of the book revolves around the protest United States involvement in the Vietnam War. When published in 1971, the book was quick to receive International acclaim and controversy due to its information on the home preparation of explosives, basic telecom phreaking devices and other tools, and weapons used in wars.
#1 The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: A popular suspense novel by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code created a great deal of controversy since its publication in 2003. The controversial factor related to this book is the inaccurate descriptions of European art, history, architecture and misrepresentation of the history of Roman Catholic Church. This book enlightens an unconventional manner, the life of Jesus Christ and how he got married to Mary Magdalene.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of some of the controversial books that have been published despite of many protests and have lead to all sorts of issues. These books have been randomly selected by our editorial team and we would invite you to share any other book that you believe will fit into this category.