Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ten top real-life monsters in fiction

Glenn Skwerer is a psychiatrist who lives and practices in the Boston area. He was inspired by reading August Kubizek’s memoir, The Young Hitler I Knew, to look more closely at the psychology of the friendship between Kubizek and Hitler, and to recast it entirely as fiction. The Tristan Chord is his first book.

One of Skwerer's top ten "interesting and complex fictional portraits of monstrous characters from real life," as shared at the Guardian:
Child of God by Cormac McCarthy

The character of Lester Ballard in this novel was inspired by an actual killer, whom McCarthy refused to name, in the Appalachian hill country of Tennessee. At 27, Ballard is living alone in an abandoned house, scavenging and stealing. When he finds a young woman dead in her car, he takes her corpse home, has sex with it, and begins building a stolen wardrobe for it. He then shoots and kills another woman, adopts her corpse – and so on. He is so isolated, so ill at ease in the world, so impulse-ridden, he can only find intimacy with a corpse. Ballard is monstrous, and pitiful. As one might expect, this is not an easy book to read.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue