Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Eleven of horror fiction's vilest villains

J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison is the author of the humorous fantasy adventure Fish Wielder and, more recently, Demon Freaks. One of his eleven top vile villains in fiction, as shared at the the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog:
Hyde from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stephenson

As long as we’re on the topic of unwholesome desires, I’d best mention Mr. Hyde, the evil alter ego of Dr. Henry Jekyll. While Dr. Jekyll seems to be a kind, friendly, jovial guy, he’s actually spent most of his life trying to repress vile urges and evil impulses.

Being a smart scientist type, he eventually hits on a plan that will allow him to indulge his dark desires without getting caught. He creates a serum that transforms him from mild mannered Dr. Jekyll into the brutish, hideous Mr. Hyde. Edward Hyde is the embodiment of everything bad about the good doctor. He has no compassion or remorse and feels no guilt about pursuing his unwholesome, lustful instincts—even when they drive him to violence and murder. Of course, the fly in the ointment is that once Hyde gets a taste of freedom, he doesn’t want to be repressed again.

It’s not long before Hyde starts becoming stronger and the good Dr. can’t help transforming even without taking his potion. A definite cautionary tale about the monster lurking inside every civilized person and a timely message for the holiday season.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde also appears on Chris Howard's top five list of addictive books featuring sci-fi drugs, Steve Toutonghi's list of six top books that expand our mental horizons, Irvine Welsh's list of six favorite books that explore human duality, the Huffington Post's list of classic works that are all under 200 pages, Koren Zailckas's top 11 list of favorite evil characters, Stuart Evers's list of the top ten homes in literature, H.M. Castor's top ten list of dark and haunted heroes and heroines and John Mullan's list of ten of the best butlers in literature, and among Yann Martel's six favorite books. It is one of Ali Shaw's top ten transformation stories and Nicholas Frankel's five best pieces of decadent writing from the nineteenth century.

--Marshal Zeringue