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14 Books You Will Never Believe Are Banned Abroad

Looks like the US is not the only one fond of red tape...

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2. American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis

Where: Queensland, Australia

When: 1991

Why: Ellis' novel was considered by many to bee too graphically violent and profane for public consumption. Even in the rest of Australia and New Zealand, only shrink-wrapped copies are available for people above 18.

4. Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk

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Where: China

When: 1999

Why: China thought that the novel's description of how to make explosive devices would prove harmful.

5. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

upload.wikimedia.org

Where: Ireland, Turkey

When: 1953, 1973 (respectively)

Why: Steinbeck's glorification of the working poor was thought by many to threaten capitalism, and considered by some countries as "propaganda."

6. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

content.artofmanliness.com

Where: South Africa

When: 1955

Why: Deemed "obscene" by the South African Apartheid government when it was banned, the novel's themes of rebellion were considered harmful to the regime.

8. Animal Farm - George Orwell

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Where: Cuba, North Korea

When: 1945

Why: Orwell's none-too-subtle critique of Communism unsurprisingly landed his novel on the banned books list for Cuba and North Korea.

11. Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi

wordpress.com

Where: Iran

When: 2004

Why: Satrapi's coming-of-age story about a girl growing up under an oppressive Islamic regime in Iran earned the ire of Iran officials.

13. The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie

50ayear.com

Where: Iran, Venezuela, Singapore, India, and 10 other countries

When: 1988

Why: Perhaps the most famous banned book controversy, Rushdie's novel earned him death threats and condemnation from many countries for its negative portrayal of Islam.

14. The Zahir - Paulo Coelho

studentry.sg

Where: Iran

When: 2005

Why: While the Iranian government has offered no official reason for its banning of Coelho's novel, the Culture of Ministry is allegedly very afraid of "the increasing popularity of Paulo Coelho." The novel is thought by some to be critical of Islam.