10 Livros mais controversos do Mundo

10 Most Controversial Books of the World


1. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

Where to start with this book? Probably one of the most controversial books ever written, upon its release in the late 80s The Satanic Verses caused a huge uproar in the Islamic world. Many believed that Rushdie’s fourth novel was highly blasphemous; for example he referred to the Prophet Muhammad as Mahound. A fatwa was issued against the author by the Iranian spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khomeini. A bounty of $1 million was put forward to anyone who killed Rushdie and $3 million if the killer was Iranian. Other countries soon jumped on the bandwagon: Venezuela banned the book and threatened 15 months in prison to anyone caught reading it, while in Japan a translator who was involved with the book was stabbed to death. Several other countries, including America, removed the books off the shelves of their book stores. Rushdie lived in hiding for a decade for fear of his life. Despite all this the book was still listed for the Booker Prize in 1988!

2. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

A satirical novel that came out in 1991 highlighting the farce nature of the yuppies in America. The story was told through the protagonist Patrick Bateman, an insane yuppie who happens to be a serial killer. In recent times the novel has been labelled as “one of the key novels of the last century,” but when it came out it garnered huge controversy due to its extreme levels of graphic violence and sexual torture. The author received hate mail and death threats. It still cannot be purchased by under 18′s in some countries.


3. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Another book courting controversy through its religious slurs, this time towards the Christian faith. The story revolves around characters who discover a dark secret that’s been hidden by the Catholic Church for centuries, which sheds light on the divinity of Christ. The book (and film) has become hugely popular but has also gained controversy over its inaccurate descriptions of history, geography, art and architecture. Another author even sued Dan Brown for plagiarism!

4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

If your central character is a paedophile then your immediately going to be putting your neck on the line. It comes as no surprise really then that Nabokov’s novel gained such controversy in 1955 when it was first published in France. Said paedophile was Humbert Humbert, who had a particular obsession with a 12 year-old girl called Dolores Haze. It went on to be banned in France, the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina. Surprisingly though it was a massive success in America where it sold 100,000 copies in its first three weeks.

5. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

One of the most challenged books of all time, especially in the USA. It has been banned from many libraries around the country as well being removed off the school curriculum. It’s also held a spot on the list of the American Library Association’s ‘Most Frequently Challenged Books.’ The reason for all this is because of the racial language used in the book. For example, the word “nigger” features in the book over 200 times.

6. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

The Chocolate War was written for teenagers and young adults but once parents realised what the pages of the book contained there were protests to have it banned. Released in 1974 the novel includes violence, over 200 swear words and a masturbation scene. It is still banned in libraries and shops around the world to this day, and you won’t find it in schools any more either!

7. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Despite the amazing global success of Harry Potter in among both children and adult readers there is still a huge amount of controversy surrounding the books. Fanatics around the world have cited that the Harry Potter series promotes Satanism. Stats revealed by librarian scientists revealed that over 3,000 attempts had been made between 2000 and 2005 to have the books banned in the U.S.

8. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

When The Wasp Factory came out in 1984 it was Scottish author Iain Banks’ first novel. The bold novel by an unknown writer was hit with controversy over its violent material. Written in first-person and told through the sadistic mind of sixteen year-old protagonist Frank Cauldhame, the character describes his troubled childhood whereby he tortured animals and killed three children whilst only a child himself. Think Patrick Bateman in his early years.

9. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Described by many as one of the greatest novels ever written and included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels The Catcher in the Rye is still not short of its controversy and critics. Originally intended for an adult readership, many teenagers enjoyed the novel (and still do) as the rebellious central character is Holden Caulfield. Tackling themese such as confusion, angst, sexuality, alienation, and rebellion many teens related to Caulfield’s issues. But the book gained controversy for these very reasons. Some critics wanted the book censored because of its “anti-Christian” sentiments.

10. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Written by George Orwell whilst he was on his death bead, the novel is influenced heavily by the author’s political views. Themes in the book include the United States and the Soviet Union, and surrounds topics such as totalitarianism, torture, mind control, invasion of privacy, organised religion, censorship, sex and a whole lot more! The novel is also said to have created the notion of “Big Brother”, in that we are always being watched. Many fanatics claimed that Nineteen Eighty-Four was written by a very sick Orwell who wasn’t of sound mind at the time and for that reason it should be banned. Others disagree saying it was his masterpiece.


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