Monday, December 19, 2011

Top ten dark & haunted heroes and heroines

H.M. Castor is the author of more than forty books--fiction and non-fiction; VIII, her first novel for teenagers, was published this year.

One of her top ten dark and haunted heroes and heroines, as told to the Guardian:
The Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

A thrilling page-turner written in 1782 entirely in letter form! By a soldier who only wrote one novel and incidentally happened to invent the artillery shell! Yes, unlikely but true. Valmont is the lizard-like, cynical and amoral hero who, along with his ex-lover, delights in ruining others' reputations for sport: he seduces women and abandons them. Then, against all his own rules, Valmont seems to fall in love. He treats the woman cruelly, but appears haunted by what he has done – even to the point of giving up on life. However, Laclos never makes it entirely clear whether this is yet another charade. The fantastic 1988 film (with John Malkovich, Glenn Close, and a very young Keanu Reeves and Uma Thurman) gives a more definite romantic ending. Read the book and decide for yourself if Valmont really loses his heart.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Valmont is also on John Mullan's list of ten of the best lotharios in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue