Friday, December 09, 2022

Eight novels featuring schemers and opportunists

Elyse Friedman was born in Toronto, where she still lives. She is a critically acclaimed author, screenwriter, poet, and playwright who has written four novels (The Opportunist; The Answer to Everything; Then Again; Waking Beauty), a book of short fiction (Long Story Short, a Novella & Stories), and a collection of poems (Know Your Monkey).

Friedman's work has been short-listed for the Trillium Book Award, Toronto Book Award, ReLit Award and Tom Hendry Award. Her short story "The Soother" won the gold National Magazine Award for Fiction, and she has twice won the TIFF-CBC Films Screenwriter Award.

At Electric Lit Friedman tagged eight "novels about conniving characters plotting for power, sex, revenge, riches," including:
The Switch by Elmore Leonard

The bad guys in Elmore Leonard novels range from slightly adorable to absolutely terrifying. In The Switch, we have two of the former and one of the latter. Louis and Ordell are low-level criminals who kidnap the wife of Frank Dawson, a rich and shady businessman. Richard is the dangerously stupid, heavily-armed neo-Nazi with a convenient place to stash Mickey, the businessman’s wife, until he forks over the ransom. The fly in the ointment: hubby has no intention of paying. Frank filed for divorce from Mickey a few days before she was kidnapped, and he has a buxom young mistress who he hopes to marry when the kidnappers conveniently make it easy for him to do so. The fun is in watching Mickey self-actualize and go from meek housewife/kidnapping victim to full on opportunist when she learns the truth about her asshole of a husband.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue