The Greatest "Dark Humor, Fiction, Contemporary, Social & Cultural 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 313 '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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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.



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.

Social & Cultural Fiction

Social & Cultural Fiction is a literary category that encompasses novels and stories that delve into the complexities of society and culture, exploring themes such as class, race, gender, and identity within specific social contexts. These narratives often provide a lens through which readers can examine the intricacies of human relationships and the impact of cultural norms and societal structures on individuals and communities. By offering a fictional yet reflective portrayal of real-world social dynamics, this genre invites readers to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse experiences that shape our world. Authors in this category frequently use their characters and settings to comment on contemporary issues, challenge prevailing ideologies, and provoke thought about the possibility of social change, making Social & Cultural Fiction a powerful tool for empathy and a mirror for the ever-evolving human condition.

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Reading Statistics

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  1. 1. 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 5442nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. 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 6853rd Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. 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 8919th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. 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 9574th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. 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 9659th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. 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 9888th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. 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 10865th 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.