Saturday, March 23, 2019

Nine "unlikeable" protagonists in literature

Laura Benedict is the Edgar- and ITW Thriller Award- nominated author of seven novels of suspense, including the newly released The Stranger Inside. On the lighter side of mystery, Benedict wrote Small Town Trouble, a cozy crime novel, for the Familiar Legacy series. Her Bliss House gothic trilogy includes: The Abandoned Heart, Charlotte’s Story (Booklist starred review), and Bliss House. Her short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and in numerous anthologies like Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads, The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers, and St. Louis Noir. A native of Cincinnati, she lives in Southern Illinois with her family.

At CrimeReads Benedict tagged nine favorite "unlikeable" protagonists in literature, including:
Lester Ballard, Child of God, Cormac McCarthy, 1973

Cormac McCarthy’s second novel has limited appeal for readers who don’t appreciate his early work, which could be described as brutal and intense, with a side of poetic horror. Lester Ballard, deprived of his family and falsely accused of rape, is cast out of society, which has never been comfortable with his violent strangeness. He slides into inexcusable depravity, becoming a necrophilic serial killer who eventually retreats to a cave with his corpses. They don’t get less likable than Lester. The novel’s intensity, broad vision of Ballard’s tragic existence in our world, and tight focus on his descent make it unique and strangely beautiful.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Child of God is among Glenn Skwerer's ten top real-life monsters in fiction.

The Page 69 Test: The Stranger Inside.

--Marshal Zeringue