50 best cult books

Update: Is this list still relevant? Let’s see … Jack Kerouac, Aldous Huxley, JD Salinger, L Ron Hubbard. Yep, still relevant.


(Originally published Apr 28, 2008)

Huh, and I’ve only read 11 of these books. Time to get to work.



Cult books are somehow, intangibly, different from simple bestsellers … though many of them are that. The Carpetbaggers was a bestseller; Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was a cult.

They are different from books that have big new ideas … though many of them are that. On The Origin of Species changed history; but Thus Spoke Zarathustra was a cult.

They are different from How-To books … though many of them are that. The Highway Code is a How-To book; Baby and Child Care was a cult. These are books that became personally important to their readers: that changed the way they lived, or the way they thought about how they lived.

Source: 50 best cult books – Telegraph


One Response to “50 best cult books

  • I’ll admit to 23, but I was just looking for the naughty bits for some.
    Two or three of some others I sort of flipped through to look at the pictures (a surprising number of these titles were famous for the B&W and colour plates inserted in the middle of them).
    The reviewers are totally off the mark for some of the reviews. I suspect they aren’t old enough to understand (for example) “Fear of Flying.”