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The scum's or villain's long road of transformation was tentatively set to the world: The abandonment of the educated youth's wife (Completed) The hidden.
Table of contents

Brady is vile, weak, and wounded—and ultimately, a ticking time bomb that Detective Hodges must race to stop.


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During a bracing home-invasion sequence, one of the very first things we and our heroine Chyna Sheperd witness Vess do is pause his rampage to eat a spider. It feels like a cliche to include Hannibal Lector, but it would also be inappropriate not to. Here he is. Through masterful writing and perfectly timed character beats, simple conversations through security bars become high-wire suspense set-pieces. And Lector himself is a towering and unforgettable presence, sophisticated, brilliant, and still cruel enough to talk a fellow inmate into swallowing his own tongue.

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One of my all-time favorite films also features one of my all-time favorite villains: the quietly scary Darcy, brought to life by a wildly cast-against-type Patrick Stewart. At first, he even appears to be a welcome voice of reason, offering to negotiate with our desperate and terrified heroes, promising to ensure their safety, and never once raising his voice. Advertisers: Contact Us. Article continues after advertisement. Yarwood Award. Sullen and annoying!

Keeps his first wife locked in the attic! Thinks he can marry a nice girl like Jane anyway! Gaslights her constantly! Roz, Charis, and Tony, however, use their mutual hurt and hatred to form a friendship—and unpack the many lies and revisions of herself Zenia has offered to each of them. Oddly, for all her inscrutable evil, Zenia is what drives this book: she is impossibly, fantastically bad. She is pure theater, pure plot. She is Richard III with breast implants. She is Iago in a miniskirt. She manipulates and exploits all the vanities and childhood scars of her friends wounds left by neglectful mothers, an abusive uncle, absent dads ; she grabs at intimacies and worms her way into their comfortable lives, then starts swinging a pickax.

Introducing the villain

She mobilizes all the wily and beguiling art of seduction and ingratiation, which she has been able to use on men, and she directs it at women as well. She is an autoimmune disorder. She is viral, self-mutating, opportunistic the narrative discusses her in conjunction with AIDS, salmonella and warts. A cynical, manipulative, intelligent beauty with many artistic talents and a premium can-do attitude at her disposal.

Oh, Henry—brooding, brilliant, bone-tired Henry. His villainy is in his carefulness, his coldness, his self-preservation at all costs.

Diary of a Villain

We can just make dinosaurs! There is no foreseeable problem with this. We can totally handle it.

Arturo, Geek Love , Katherine Dunn. Frankenstein who decided he had to play God and build a creature in his own image without thought to the possible ramifications! Shelley treats him as a tragic figure, but that only makes him a much more interesting villain.

The Heroic Villain (Heroic Villain, book 1) by Charles Dean

Made iconic by Anthony Hopkins, of course, but made brilliant and terrifying—a serial killing psychiatrist cannibal, come on—by Thomas Harris. Still, it puts him in rare company. Did you think the villain was the whale? The villainess of choice for every man who has ever claimed his wife made him do it. Even this makes me shiver:. Out, damned spot!

85 thoughts on “The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System”

What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? It may be the devious villagers who trick the poor etymologist into the sand pit, but it is the sand itself that is the main antagonist in this slim and wonderful novel. The sand that keeps coming, and must be shoveled back. The sand that constantly threatens to swallow everything: first the man, then the woman, then the village—though one assumes the villagers would replace him before that happened. The Wheelers may have thought the suburbs were to blame for all their problems, but I meant it to be implicit in the text that that was their delusion, their problem, not mine.

I meant it more as an indictment of American life in the s. Because during the fifties there was a general lust for conformity all over this country, by no means only in the suburbs—a kind of blind, desperate clinging to safety and security at any price, as exemplified politically in the Eisenhower administration and the Joe McCarthy witch-hunts.

How to Write Antagonists and Villains

Anyway, a great many Americans were deeply disturbed by all that—felt it to be an outright betrayal of our best and bravest revolutionary spirit—and that was the spirit I tried to embody in the character of April Wheeler. I meant the title to suggest that the revolutionary road of had come to something very much like a dead end in the fifties.

You could also argue that the British Aristocracy is the villain in the Patrick Melrose books, but. David is definitely worse if slightly less all-encompassing. Tom Ripley, The Talented Mr. Ripley , Patricia Highsmith. You feel his pain as he tries to insinuate himself into the life of the man he so admires and perhaps loves , and as he is first welcomed and then pushed away.


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Less so when he murders his beloved and assumes his identity—but somehow, as you read, you find yourself holding your breath around every corner, hoping he will escape yet again. Rufus Weylin, Kindred , Octavia Butler. That said, the real antagonist in this novel might actually be the unknown and unexplained force that keeps transporting Dana from her good life in California to a Maryland slave plantation in Big Nurse rules the patients of the asylum ward with an iron fist. She is addicted to order and power, and can be quite cruel in commanding it.

In comes McMurphy, our hero, who wants to undercut her. He does undercut her, in fact, a number of times—but when he goes too far, she has him lobotomized. The end! Nor is this a book with no villain, because the pulsing sense of injustice is too great. It is the whole thing, every aspect, of the American prison system—meant to catch you and bleed you and keep you and bring you back—that is the true villain in this novel and often, in real life.

He is desperately unhappy; he considers himself a god. Luckily, we get to spend almost the entire novel within his twisting brain.