At some point or another, we’ve all been asked which literary worlds we’d like to visit if we had to opportunity to go. Some immediately come to mind, like Hogwarts and Middle Earth. Even Narnia would be fun because who wouldn’t want to have tea with a faun and have dinner with some talking beavers? I certainly wouldn’t want to pass up the opportunity.
But rarely do we think about the places that we wouldn’t want to go visit. You know the places, those desolate worlds full of despair and people stabbing you behind the back (often literally). Sure, there might be some memorable characters I’d love to meet and converse with, but would I really want to inhabit the world for any length of time just to meet that character?
With that being said, here are some places that I found myself lost in, but probably wouldn’t want to visit.
- The Road, Cormac McCarthy. I don’t know what kind of apocalypse happened here, but I wouldn’t want to spend my days on a road starving and looking over my shoulder for people who might possibly come to kill me.
- A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), George R.R. Martin. I mean, I love Tyrion Lannister and I dream of Jon Snow, but is the risk of getting my skin flayed and my head chopped off worth the risk? This one is definitely one that I wouldn’t want to inhabit very long. Maybe if it was just before the events of the first book. Or maybe even after the war. If they all survive, that is.
- The Shining, Stephen King. I wasn’t a big fan of the book, but to think that a crazy psycho could be chasing me around an empty hotel in the middle of the Colorado mountains is definitely not my cup of tea.
- The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins. Come on now, what twisted place allows children into an arena and the only way they can get out again is if they kill everybody else? Can any of us see the glory in that?
- The 5th Wave, Rick Yancey. Alien infestation. Disease ridden, no electricity, phones, or cars. The possibility of your neighbor being the host to an alien. Learning to shoot people to defend yourself. Ravaging for food, all your family members gone. No safe place to go and no one to trust. Um, no thanks.
- Divergent, Veronica Roth. I don’t know about this one. It seems pretty peaceful at first. Then all of a sudden, factions accuse other factions and blood is shed. This is kinda scary because it can happen to us to in real life. The life you thought you knew isn’t no longer there. So maybe we’re already living it. Thoughts?
- The Madman’s Daughter, Megan Shepherd. I don’t know if you’d call this a world, but the world in which Juliet Moreau’s father creates on an island is downright scary in a disturbing kind of way. Because a man who experiments on animals to make them walk, talk, and think like humans while retaining their animal-ish behaviors and mannerisms is nothing less than macabre.
- Fear Street, R.L. Stine. I didn’t read any of these books until recently, but they’re still terrifying. I don’t want to meet monsters and people with magical powers. At least, not in the way he depicts them.
- Gated, Amy Christine Parker. Sometimes real life can be just as terrifying. In this book, we meet a girl who’s parents have taken up with a cult leader. She’d been in it since she was about two, so this is just another way of life until she begins to suspect that not everything is as it seems. I know this happens in real life, but I’d rather not place myself there, thanks.
- The Maze Runner, James Dashner. Who else wants to be dumped in a big mysterious maze with a bunch of other strange kids and in order to survive you have to run the maze? On top of that, you’ve got mysterious creatures trying to kill you. No thanks.
What are some books that you’ve read that depict places you’re glad are fiction?