Saturday, March 23, 2019

Nine "unlikeable" protagonists in classic 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:
Richard Everett, Expensive People, Joyce Carol Oates, 1968

Richard Everett, repulsive child murderer, doesn’t want to be pitied. Expensive People is the fictional Richard’s confessional memoir that recollects the troubling details of his prosperous, suburban, 1960s childhood. It’s not just Richard who is unlikable here. He comes by his unpleasantness honestly enough, through the behavior modeled by his restless, selfish father and neglectful writer of a mother. His wry, witty, and often sarcastic tone is recognizable as that of a bitterly disappointed but clever man-child. Given the vulnerability of every young child, it should be a natural for the contemporary reader to pity Richard his early life, yet condemn his brutal actions. But it’s not so easy. Come for Oates’s suspense skills and superior hand with the grotesque, and stay for the alarming food porn.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Stranger Inside.

--Marshal Zeringue