Top 8 Books for Mr. Robot Fans

by Colleen White

Full disclosure, I was late to the Mr. Robot party.

But a rainy weekend and lack of items on the Netflix queue last month led to a full-on binge of the show, and 10 breathless hours  later, I found myself muttering wry observations under my breath and staring accusingly at my laptop screen.

I realize it is time for a break. Before launching into season 2, I need to unglue my eyes from the screen.*

Here I’ve assembled a list of my eight book picks to keep the weird, techy, drug-addled vibes going. Young Steve Buscemi look-alike not included.


If your favorite character is: Angela Moss, read…

The Circle by David Eggers

A young woman trying to work her way through a job in a tech world that’s a bit over her head… sound familiar? While The Circle can get a little heavy handed with the metaphors, it’s a great look a world where technology’s grip on society moves faster than humans can keep up with.


If your favorite character is: Mr. Robot, read…

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Charismatic, mysterious, determined to take down corporate America, bat-shit crazy…the list of similarities between Fight Club’s Tyler Durden and Mr. Robot could go on for pages. In fact, Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail has credited Fight Club as one of the major influences in the story and characters in the show.



If your favorite character is: Every other member of Mr. Robot’s crew, read…

The Informer by Liam O’Flaherty

The Informer
 is a tense and fascinating look at loyalty and betrayal in post-Civil War Ireland. The cast of characters is broad and the political purpose of the rebel groups is often lost in the personal needs and quarrels of the men and women involved, not unlike our poor (and poorly-developed) crew of hacker vigilantes following Mr. Robot’s lead.



If your favorite character is: Elliot under the influence, read…

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

irvine-welsh-trainspottingHungry for more first person narrative of a man totally lost in a drug addled stupor? Then look no further than Welsh, who mastered the dark, dry wit of a man on the edge through his characters in his 1993 novel.

Trainspotting isn’t pretty, but it shows the thoughts and motivations of a man who lurks on the edge of society and needs drugs to numb him enough to carry him through the discomfort of daily life.



If your favorite character is: Elliot not under the influence, read…

(R)evolution by PJ Manney

revolutionCaught between a rock and a hard-drive place, Manney’s nanotechnology genius, Peter, must befriend the enemy (an evil corporation, who else?) while working to stay two steps ahead to maintain control of his technology.

This book is hit or miss with readers, but Peter’s exposure to the dark underbelly of corporate greed and constant battles to control his own paranoia will resonate with Elliot fans.



If your favorite character is: Gideon Goddard, read…

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

digital-fortressOne of the few true “hacker” books on this list, Digital Fortress is a classic thriller by master of the genre, Dan Brown. The book focuses more on cryptography and code breaking than traditional hacking, but there’s enough tech-talk and danger by computer virus to satisfy any Mr. Robot fan.

Certainly poor Gideon could relate to the chaos wrought by hackers.



If your favorite character is: Darlene, read…

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

dragon-tattooThree novels, at least two film adaptations, and countless spinoffs later, and Larsson’s first novel still stands out as one of the best tech-thriller/crime stories written.

Darlene would find a lot in common with Lisbeth Salander, the brainy misanthrope whose brilliant computer skills and rebel streak allow her to exact vigilante justice on those who wrong her. I’m also always down to give a shout out to “challenging” female characters.



If your favorite character is: Tyrell Wellick, read…

Count Zero by William Gibson

count_zeroFirst of all, if Tyrell is your favorite character, let’s agree never to meet down a dark alley, you psycho.

That aside, Wellick, with his amoral power quest and lust for violence and sexual release, would find good company among the Maas Biolabs or Hosaka executives (or really anyone from Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy). The corporate scheming and ruthlessness will get the blood flowing for any Wellick fans out there.


*Note: I haven’t watch any of season 2 yet, so try to keep spoilers to a minimum. But if there are additional books that suit any new character traits, feel free to share!


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