Banned Book Club

Join Our Banned Book Club!

book burning

Greetings Power Cutters!

I’ll be honest, I have only recently discovered #BannedBooksWeek, and was surprised to discover it’s been around since 1982! But I did some digging and found that book banning goes back centuries, and the reasons are all too familiar. John Milton’s Aeropagitica, written in 1644 and banned until 1695, was a passionate defence of free speech and critique of censorship. Milton was a bit of a rebel politically, and a royal proclamation was issued in 1660 calling for the suppression and burning of two of his previous works. Almost 400 years later, the irony continues as academics and writers advocating for free speech follow the same fate, having their work censored or banned. It might have given Milton a degree of satisfaction in knowing his work was banned for posing a threat to the establishment. However, some books are banned for the most ridiculous reasons.

3 Craziest Book Bans

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – banned by the South African Government during the Apartheid era because of the word ‘Black’ in the title.

Little Red Riding Hood – was banned in 1990 by two Californian school boards because Red had a bottle of wine in her basket.

Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs – California again. Banned because Tarzan and Jane were cavorting out of wedlock in the treetops.

Leave Agatha Christie Alone! Don’t Mess With Ian Fleming!

Books shouldn’t be banned and they shouldn’t be retrospectively censored. All art is a reflection of a moment in time, which is inextricably fixed in its identity. Attempts to alter a book will only destroy its balance and essence. Books written now are products of this world and this life, and play a vital part in deconstructing society for us. Future attempts to carve them into something more aligned with our descendants’ way of thinking would miss the point entirely.

Banned Book Club

last exit to brooklyn

With this in mind, what better time to launch our Banned Book Club than the end of Banned Books Week? Every month we’ll be reading a banned book from the 20th century. Get in touch if you have any suggestions.

We’re going to kick things off with Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964) by Hubert Selby Jr. Like any good book club, we’d love to know what your thoughts are. Do you love it, hate it, DNF? Here are some Banned Book Club questions to consider:

What scene has stuck with you the most?

What did you think of the writing?

Should it have been banned?

If you are keen to read more cult classics from the 1960s, check out our mini-guide to essential music, books and movies of the decade.

If you have enjoyed reading this post, please support us to keep our Banned Book Club going.

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