The Greatest "Contemporary, Dark Humor, Fiction" Books Since 2000

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Contemporary books are a genre that focuses on stories set in the present day, often exploring current social, cultural, and political issues. These books are typically written in a modern style and often feature relatable characters dealing with real-life situations. Contemporary books can cover a wide range of topics, from romance and family drama to coming-of-age stories and thrillers. The genre is constantly evolving to reflect the changing world we live in, making it a popular choice for readers who want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and issues.

Dark Humor

Dark humor is a genre of literature that combines humor with themes and subjects that are typically considered taboo, morbid, or controversial. It often involves making light of serious or disturbing topics such as death, violence, and mental illness. Dark humor can be used to satirize societal norms and conventions, challenge the status quo, and provide a unique perspective on the human condition. Books in this category may be unsettling or uncomfortable to read, but they offer a unique and often thought-provoking perspective on the world around us.


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  1. 1. The Sellout by Paul Beatty

    This satirical novel follows the story of an African-American man living in a small, agrarian town on the outskirts of Los Angeles. After his father's death, he attempts to reinstate slavery and segregation in his town as a means of creating a sense of identity for himself and his community. The novel explores themes of racial identity and equality in America, challenging societal norms and expectations through its provocative narrative.

    The 1193rd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel by Ben Fountain

    The novel follows Billy Lynn, a 19-year-old soldier, who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. During the tour, they're honored at a Dallas Cowboys game, which exposes the commercialization and shallow appreciation of their sacrifices. Amidst the celebration, Billy grapples with his understanding of heroism, patriotism, family, and the stark contrast between the realities of war and America's perceptions.

    The 2415th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre

    The book revolves around the life of a 15-year-old boy, Vernon Little, living in a small town in Texas. After a horrific school shooting where his best friend kills 16 of their classmates before committing suicide, Vernon becomes the prime suspect. With the media and law enforcement on his tail, he attempts to escape to Mexico, resulting in a series of unfortunate events and dark comedic situations. The narrative is a biting satire of America's obsession with fame and the justice system.

    The 4844th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Do Everything in the Dark by Gary Indiana

    This book presents a disjointed narrative of a group of aging artists and intellectuals in New York City who are dealing with the aftermath of their youthful, hedonistic lives. As they grapple with issues of aging, depression, suicide, and the loss of their creative abilities, they find themselves trapped in a dark, cynical world, haunted by their pasts and facing an uncertain future. The novel offers a bleak but insightful look at the human condition, exploring themes of despair, regret, and the struggle to find meaning in life.

    The 5043rd Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

    The novel follows the life of a young, beautiful, and wealthy woman living in New York City who decides to enter a year of drug-induced sleep to escape her disillusionment with life and the world around her. Encouraged by her eccentric, unethical psychiatrist, she spends most of her time sleeping, waking only to eat, watch movies, and occasionally socialize with her best friend. The book explores themes of depression, alienation, and the search for meaning in a modern, materialistic society.

    The 5338th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

    In this darkly comedic novel, a nurse named Korede finds herself repeatedly cleaning up after her sister Ayoola, who has a disturbing habit of killing her boyfriends. As Ayoola's murderous tendencies escalate, Korede is torn between her loyalty to her sister and her growing concern for the next potential victim. As secrets unravel and tensions rise, the sisters' bond is put to the ultimate test, leading to a gripping and unexpected conclusion.

    The 6732nd Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem

    "Chronic City" is a novel by Jonathan Lethem that follows the life of Chase Insteadman, a former child actor who has become a socialite in Manhattan. The story takes place in a surreal version of New York City where a mysterious fog has settled over the city and strange events occur. Along with a cast of eccentric characters, including a cultural critic, a reclusive author, and a giant tiger, Chase navigates the complexities of love, friendship, and the meaning of reality in a world that seems to be constantly shifting.

    The 7944th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. The Accidental by Ali Smith

    The novel centers around a woman named Amber who unexpectedly arrives and disrupts the lives of the Smart family while they are on summer holiday in Norfolk. Each family member - Eve, a writer, Michael, a university professor, and their children Astrid and Magnus - experience unique interactions with Amber, causing them to question their own realities. The mysterious woman's influence forces the family to confront their secrets, insecurities, and the false narratives they've created about themselves.

    The 8129th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. Mailman by J. Robert Lennon

    The novel centers around the life of a seemingly ordinary mail carrier in a small American town, whose mundane existence belies a complex inner world filled with secrets, fantasies, and obsessions. As the protagonist navigates his daily routine, delivering letters and packages to the townspeople, he becomes increasingly entangled in their lives and personal affairs. His voyeuristic tendencies and the discovery of a mysterious undeliverable letter lead to a series of events that unravel his carefully constructed facade, exposing the dark undercurrents of suburban life and the fragile nature of personal identity.

    The 8527th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

    "Homesick for Another World" is a collection of short stories that explore the lives of various flawed and eccentric characters, each struggling with their own personal demons and insecurities. The narratives delve into the dark, often uncomfortable aspects of humanity, with themes of loneliness, self-loathing, and the desperate search for connection and meaning. The stories are set in a variety of locations, from small towns to big cities, and each presents a unique perspective on the human condition.

    The 9631st Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

    "The Glorious Heresies" is a darkly comedic novel set in post-recession Ireland, chronicling the interconnected lives of a cast of colorful characters. When a accidental murder takes place, the lives of a gangster, a prostitute, a teenage drug dealer, and a mother struggling to survive become entangled in a web of secrets and lies. As their paths converge, they are forced to confront the consequences of their actions and grapple with the complexities of love, redemption, and forgiveness in a gritty and unforgiving world.

    The 10711th Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

    "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" is a collection of nine short stories that delve into the lives of various characters, each grappling with their own unique struggles. The narratives range from a man dealing with the end of his marriage to a Viking raider longing for retirement, and each story is imbued with a dark humor and a keen insight into the human condition. The author's vivid and descriptive storytelling brings the characters and their predicaments to life, making for a compelling and thought-provoking read.

    The 10911th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.