Opinion & Featured Articles

Top 5 Must-Read Banned Books

“Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.” — George Bernard Shaw

If you thought book censorship was a utopian concept in the modern world, think again. There are a considerable number of classics that were banned in the last 100 years. What appears poignant to some readers might appear to be a diabolically corruptive influence to others. So some fellows use censorship like Damocles’ sword to cut-off seemingly volatile ideas. Here are some highly controversial books, which a few bright people thought were unfit for public reading:

Ulysses james joyce

Ulysses – James Joyce

What’s it about?

This modernist novel follows Leopold Bloom around Dublin on 16 June 1904.

Why on earth they banned it?

Ah, it’s sleazy, and blasphemous. Joyce’s masterpiece was banned in UK, USA, and Australia. Copies were burned even after the book got critical acclaim and was recognized as one of the most important works of modern literature.


Lolita – Vladimir Nabokovlolita vladimir nobokov

What’s it about?

A French scholar Humbert Humbert starts having a relationship with a 12 year old girl. What’s more, he marries her mother to continue the relationship.

Why on earth they banned it?

“..the filthiest book I have ever read”, said the editor of The Sunday Express and his opinion was shared by many others. The book was banned in France, UK, Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada.

animal farm george orwellAnimal Farm — George Orwell

What’s it about?

Animal Farm is an allegorical and satirical take on Communism. In the words of Orwell himself, it fuses “political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole”.

Why on earth they banned it?

Orwell wrote the book at a time when USSR was a close ally of Britain (WW II). He struggled to find a publisher, and when published, Animal Farm was banned in the USSR and other communist countries. It is still banned in Cuba, North Korea, and China.

Mein Kampf — Adolf Hitlermein kampf adolpf hitler

What’s it about?

It’s an autobiographical manifesto by the Nazi Supremo Adolf Hitler and documents his political ideologies and plans for the German state.

Why on earth they banned it?

Some European countries like Austria and Russia banned the book due its extremist ideas. Re-printing is banned in Germany.

tropic of cancer henry millerTropic of Cancer — Henry Miller

What’s it about?

Fluctuating between the past and the present, Tropic of Cancer, revolves around Miller’s struggle as a writer.

Why on earth they banned it?

For sexually explicit content and vulgarity. The book was banned in the US and South Africa.

Few others that caused a lot of ruckus

harry potter jk rowlingamerican psycho bret easton ellis









Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. LawrenceSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutA Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess








the grapes of wrath steinbeckthe lord of the flies william goldingBrave New World Aldous Huxley

24 thoughts on “Top 5 Must-Read Banned Books

    • I think we have become more mature as readers over the years. It takes a lot of effort to shock us these days. So banned books of the past decades do not really look like “banned” in spirit.

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