Monday, August 1, 2011

Five best psychos in fiction

Mary Horlock is an authority on contemporary art who has worked at the Tate Britain and Tate Liverpool, and curated the Turner Prize for contemporary art. She spent her childhood in Guernsey, and lives in London.

Her novel The Book of Lies is now out from Harper Perennial.

For the Wall Street Journal, Horlock came up with a five best list of novels with psychos, obsessives and other loons.

One title on the list:
Casino Royale
by Ian Fleming (1953)

In 'Casino Royale,' the first novel in the now famous 007 franchise, Ian Fleming gave us a James Bond who is a far cry from the lovable rogue who has long graced cinema screens. Fleming's Bond is much more brutal, he chain-smokes, he is deeply ambivalent about his "00" status and he is shockingly misogynistic—"These blithering women.... Why the hell couldn't they stay at home and mind their pots and pans and stick to their frocks and gossip and leave men's work to men?" In spite of himself, Bond falls for his partner, Vesper Lynd, speculating how his eventual seduction of her would carry "the sweet tang of rape." Charming! And once the seduction is complete, things get even darker.
Read about the other psychos on the list.

Casino Royale also made John Mullan's list of ten of the best floggings in fiction, Meg Rosoff's top 10 adult books for teenagers list, and Peter Millar's critic's chart of top spy books.

--Marshal Zeringue