Books With A Predictive Function

Hello all! Just a quick post today as I thought I’d share what I think are the most prophetic books ever written. Cos sometimes all I want to do is plug some of my favourite books and hail authors as geniuses. And no, these are not my spooky predictions for the future, because the events of these books have already come to pass. So I promise that none of this will happen again… (I hope).

1984 book

1984 – Yes, yes, I basically created this list because I finally wrote my review for this book the other day and the thought of this coming true is still fresh in my mind. Of course, Orwell’s novel in part relates to the tragedy of communist experiment unfolding at the time of writing, which somewhat takes away its “predictive function”, yet the fear that this could re-emerge in the future is evident in how many times lately we’ve heard the phrase “it’s like 1984”. *Shudders all round*.

war of the worlds

War of the Worlds – Whenever I think of “author turned prophet” I think of H G Wells, because man I’m not kidding, you can find *a ton* of his predictions online that came true (including the atom bomb). The reason why I’m including this one is mainly cos it’s the only one I’ve read and I enjoyed it so much that I thought now would be a good time to recommend it- but Wells did manage to predict Lasers in this book (published in 1898) which is pretty darn cool if you ask me.

notes from underground

Notes from the Underground – Did he define the 19th century man or undermine it? Is Dostoevsky foretelling the collapse of humanism or simply bearing witness? Hard to tell- but one can be certain that there is an eye to the future in all of Dostoevsky’s works. Not least in the way he (using Nietsche as a guide) practically predicted the Soviet Union- however there is a better example of that in…

franz-kafka-the-trial

The Trial – It’s *freaky* how similar the surreal world Kafka presents is to Solzhenitsyn’s real life descriptions. I swear that before I began reading Gulag Archipelago I did not see an ounce of realism in this story. Oh how I wish that was still the case. And speaking of reality…

fahrenheit 451.jpg

Fahrenheit 451 – Okay, so I’m cheating with this one, because this book is more reflective of Nazism than reinventing the wheel. However, I cannot help but praise its genius for the way it captures elements of history and transposes them onto the future. The possibility of this happening again is, horrifyingly, all too real.  If you want to hear more of my thoughts on this a-m-a-z-i-n-g book, you can check out my review here.

Phew! That was a pretty gloomy post! Have you read any of these? Do you have any more suggestions for eerily prophetic books? Let me know in the comments!

37 thoughts on “Books With A Predictive Function

  1. What a great post! That’s not even something I thought to think about but I know I’ve pointed out once or twice before about how predictive a story could be. If I think of one later, when I’m no on work brain, I’ll comment again 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool post: and definitely a couple of books which I am adding to my (already way too long) to read list 😊 It’s amazing how so writers have the ability to almost predict the future like you pointed out with Orson Wells. Another writer who excelled at that was Jules Verne in my opinion. Really enjoyed reading this one 😀

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  3. A book that I found surprisingly eerily prophetic was “Three Men on the Bummel” by Jerome K. Jerome. The book is meant to be primarily humor (it’s the followup to “Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog”). It describes three British slackers biking across Germany. Toward the end of the book, the narrator is poking a bit of lighthearted fun at the German obsession with order. He comments that their mindset where everyone rather mindlessly follows those in authority works just fine for now, but questions what would happen if some unstable person were to get a hold of the “levers of power.” This book was published in 1900 – 14 years before the outbreak of WWI and 39 years before WWII – I think the comment was meant rather lightheartedly, but in retrospect it’s chilling.

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    1. Oh gosh that is eerily prophetic- especially since I recently watched a psychology lecture on the relationship between orderliness and disgust sensitivity- and consequently how the Nazis played into this. That’s quite terrifying, especially since research into this is fairly new. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  4. I read 1984 a while back and absolutely loved it- it’s definitely on my list of books to reread. Speaking of predicting the future, there was a Simpsons episode where Trump was the president :’) that was brilliant haha

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve only read 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, but you’re on point with those books. They are quite prophetic! My favorite is the moment in 1984 where listerine breath strips were more-or-less prophesized. Mind. Blown.

    I feel like Brave New World needs to be in here too. Huxley predicts quite a bit about how free time will be spent for the upper classes of the world, including 4D films! That at least isn’t as depressing as predicting the Soviet Union…

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  6. Have you read Childhood’s End by Arthur C Clarke?

    It is probably my favorite book of all time. I first
    read it when I was 11 years old, so quite a bit of
    it went over my head at the time, but it is very
    revealing about the times we are moving into.

    I highly recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

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