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Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Discussion: Evil Abounds

We are creeping ever closer to Halloween, and although I have daily horror related posts on RA for All: Horror each day this month, I thought I would extend the conversation over here for today.

Last month, Publisher's Weekly had this great article by Koren Zailckas the debut author of Mother, Mother, in which she picked 11 of the greatest villains in literature.  Click here for her list.

First, we have Mother, Mother on order and it looks promisingly evil [I am on hold].  Click here for the full PW review.

Second, Zailckas' list is great, but please read her few intro paragraphs as well as her annotations for each book. I really liked what she had to say about villains in literature.  Even if you do not really like evil characters, her analysis will help you to help your patrons who do crave these awful villains

Third, Zailckas brings up a great discussion topic.  I know I have asked it before, but it's been a while.  So, who are your favorite villains in literature?

I read so much horror that my list would be a mile long, so I am going to start with a new villain.  Charlie Manx from Joe Hill's amazing NOS4A2 (which just came out in paperback).  Manx is so evil that Hill's father, Stephen King even included a mention of him in Doctor Sleep.

What about you?  For today's Monday Discussion, share the most evil character from books, movies, or TV with us here.

For past Monday Discussions, click here.


John BPL RA said...

That is an impressive list. I, too, have a long list of favorite villains, so to condense, here are my top five with brief explanations of ranking:

5. The Headless Horseman - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was the first story to deeply scare me as a child. The duel fears of the unknown and the supernatural have never been better used.

4. Professor Moriarty - Not only is he pure evil, he's something no other villain is: smarter than Sherlock Holmes.

3. The Vampire Lestat - The best (if not the most evil) vampire in literature.

2. Satan - Particularly as presented in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice. The only reason he isn't number one is because he is too often used as a symbol (theoretical or religious) of evil by authors rather than personified (in which case he is terrifying).

1. Dracula - All other literary vampires are based on him or the mythology resulting from his debut novel. None are better.

Carey Gibbons said...

I wish I had more time to think about this, but one of the worst villains I have come across is Rasalom from F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack books. He's supernatural and diabolical and feeds on suffering. Reprisal is one of the most horrifying books I've ever read.