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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Canadian on List of Top 20 Evil Characters

Via The Guardian online news:

"Villains are the more convincing and interesting characters," says Rodney Troubridge, a key adult buyer at Waterstone's who helped compile the list. "In fiction a villain is usually more convincing than a hero, although it seems to be easier to write about a hero in non-fiction. A writer has to really use their imagination to create a villain and I think readers react to that effort."
According to Waterstone's, several different strands can be identified within the titles picked out. Books which help the reader understand the nature of evil by putting them right in the centre of it, such as Thomas Keneally's Schindler's Ark or Gil Courtemanche's A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, can be uncomfortable reads but have a lasting impact on the reader. "

The Waterstone's villains and anti-heroes library list:

1. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov; The devil goes down to Moscow.
2. Perfume by Patrick Suskind; A vile crime carried out by an eloquent criminal makes for moral confusion.
3. Lord of the Flies by William Golding; The thin line between human reason and animal instinct is crossed.
4. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk; Much nastier than the film. A cocktail of hatred, anger and destruction.
5. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess; The ultimate novel of teenage delinquency.
6. Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally; The best and worst of human nature is exposed.
7. A Sunday at the Pool by Gil Courtemanche; Takes the reader right to the heart of the genocide in Rwanda.
8. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson; Drugs, excess and paranoia. Everything we want from our anti-heroes.
9. Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre; An anti-hero for the Michael Moore generation?
10. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov; Disturbing and incendiary subject matter - but who is the real innocent in this story?
11. The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart; What happens when you replace human reasoning with a throw of the dice?
12. The Color Purple by Alice Walker; Exposing the brutal reality of life in the American south between the wars.
13. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; The definitive novel about racism, making us question our own views and morals.
14. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis; Spend time with a witty, attractive serial killer.
15. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald; Behind the chocolate-box exterior, we think Gatsby shows all the signs of a real anti-hero. When it comes to consumerism run rife, he gives Patrick Bateman a run for his money.
16. The Collector by John Fowles; Collecting butterflies is bad enough, but art students?
17. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger; Every teenager's favourite anti-hero.
18. The Secret History by Donna Tartt; One of the most gripping stories ever, leaving the reader feeling implicated at the end.
19. On The Road by Jack Kerouac; Two anti-heroes for the price of one in this classic of the Beat generation.
20. The Outsider by Albert Camus; A random act of violence puts the values of society under an uncomfortable microscope.


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