The 5 best previously banned books you must read immediately.

There’s nothing better than settling down with a good book, but there’s an extra level of excitement added to the mix when the book has a salacious history.

Book banning is unfortunately an ancient practice that has been in place ever since words first began being scribbled over pages.

Happily, however, many of the books that were once banned in different corners of the world are now available to read once again.

Here are five of the best.

1.Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Lady Chatterley’s Lover was banned in Australia from the moment of its publication in 1928  right up until 1965.

The novel, penned by D.H. Lawrence, tells the story of a young married woman who embarks on an affair with her gamekeeper and was considered quite obscene at the time as it depicted scenes of a sexual nature along with adultery, commentary on the class system and the idea that a woman has her own desires and sexual needs.

It’s quite the captivating page turner.

2. Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho

Both the sale and purchase of the novel American Psycho were banned in the Australian state of Queensland at the time of publication. Now, however, the novel is available in public libraries and for sale to people 18 years and older.

While not an easy read, Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho is a captivating yet incredibly disturbing piece of writing. It follows Wall Street worker/psychopath Patrick Bateman’s adventures through rape, torture, cannibalism, murder and necrophilia.

3. George Orwell’s Animal Farm

Animal Farm is so much more than a book you may have been forced to read in school.

The brilliant allegory depicts the history of a revolution that went wrong, via farm animals, and is a clever piece of commentary on the corrupting influence of power.

George Orwell’s novella was first published in August 1945, yet when he first completed the book he found that no publisher would print it, due to its criticism of the USSR, an important ally of Britain in the War.


Once published, the book was banned in the USSR and other communist countries. In 2002, the novel was banned in the schools of the United Arab Emirates, because it contained text or images that goes against Islamic values, most notably the occurrence of an anthropomorphic, talking pig.

Animal Farm is still banned in North Korea and censored in Vietnam.

4. James Joyce’s Ulysses

You’ll find Ulysses, a modernist novel by Irish writer James Joyce, on pretty much every ‘Books You Should Read Before You Die” list .

The book was banned in the UK until 1936 while also challenged and temporarily banned in the US for its sexual content. In 1933 the ban was overturned in United States v. One Book Called Ulysses.

Ulysses was also banned in Australia from 1929 to 1937, then restricted to people over the age of 18 from 1941 to 1953.

It’s a challenging book to read, but very much worth the effort.

5. Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (yes, really).

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland , written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll and released in 1865, is one of the most whimsical and delightful stories you could ever devour. But not everyone has found the story of a young girl’s adventures through a magical realm quite so appealing.

The book was formerly banned in the province of Hunan, China, beginning in 1931, for its portrayal of anthropomorphised animals acting on the same level of complexity as human beings. The censor General Ho Chien believed that attributing human language to animals was an insult to humans.

The book is readily available in Australia, however, and one that every book-lover should have on their shelves.

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