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Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Discussion: Name Your Favorite Literary Villain

As you can see from the side bar, I am reading Joe Hill's NOS4A2, and LOVING it.

Over the weekend, I received my monthly Goodreads Newsletter and Joe Hill had this essay about some of his favorite horror villains.

Click through to read it.  The list includes BPL fav Gillian Flynn's Amazing Amy.

Also, next week, I will be introducing Bram Stoker winning author John Everson at the ARRT Genre Boot Camp, so I have bad guys on the mind.  I figured I should run with it for today's discussion and have us all list our favorite villains.

I will start.  I read a lot of twisted books, so I have many villains to chose from.  For today's purposes I decided I would limit myself to books I have read in the last couple of years that are in different genres from horror, so as to spread the wealth (so to speak). But if it is more horror you want, don't forget to visit the horror blog too.  For the villains listed here today, I have noted the genres and linked to my full reviews for more details:
  • The first villain that jumped into my mind was "The Past" in Stephen King's 11/22/63 [Science Fiction].  Click here to read my full review but here is the excerpt where I talk about "The Past":
    • "The Past", in capital letters, is a character here. It is the main villain actually, more than Oswald, and it is not until after the assassination is stopped that we see the full fury and evil "The Past" can throw at us. "The Past" is constantly after Jake and this adds a chilling and menacing aspect to the novel.
  • Ben in Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson [psychological suspense] is one villain I keep thinking about. The fact that our narrator has a limited memory, but her journal screams at her, "Don't Trust Ben," should give it away, but Watson does such a great job lulling us into trusting Ben, that we don't see it coming. Click here for details.
  • The villain who is finally revealed in Jo Nesbo's The Leopard, is pretty darn awful.  He is smart, violent, and creepy.  That book had me squirming. And since it is more of a traditional mystery, our villain meets a very fitting end. Details here.
  • The level of menace that pervades Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 is overwhelming. Villains abound, but there is one physical man who stalks our main characters.  It is not often that a true villain emerges in a literary fiction novel, but I would say this one qualifies. Details here.
So there are some suggestion of a few great villains. But I purposely left a lot of fabulously awful bad guys out of the discussion because I want to here from you.

For today's Monday Discussion, let me know your favorite villains and why you love to hate them.

For past Monday Discussions, click here.

1 comment:

John, Librarian At Dawn said...

What a difficult question! There are so many, particularly if you are a reader who prefers books that revolve around villains. I've given this a lot of thought. I almost chose the nameless, impossible to catch assassin from The Day Of The Jackal by Frederick Forsyth. But I must say Lestat from The Vampire Chronicles series by Anne Rice. His narrative is wrapped up in a personal search for meaning and self-worth that appeals to my love of philosophy. He is also better than other vampires as a character. I find him better than even Dracula.