Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.This week it’s a Halloween themed freebie so I’ve decided to look at some of my favourite villains. We all love a baddie after all.
I’ve not been too enthusiastic about the last few TTT themes so I had a break for a couple of weeks (which roughly coincided with my more general break from reading and blogging). Top Ten Literary Villains is quite a good reintroduction to the meme as I love a good scoundrel. They’re often much more interesting than the heroes.
1, Mrs Danvers in Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Mrs D was the first character I thought of when I started this list. Bitter, deranged and spiteful, she lurks in the shadows and sets sly traps to humiliate her new and inexperienced young mistress. Cross her at your peril.
2, The gentleman with the thistledown hair in Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susannah Clarke. I bloody love this book and thistledown is the perfect fantasy villain. He presents himself as a sort of magical benefactor to the downtrodden but it’s all a horrifying deception.
3, Count Fosco in The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins. Fosco switches from a charming but eccentric friend to an evil monster so easily. Oh the betrayal!
4, Pinkie in Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. The image of the 17 year old gangster prowling the pier with his razor blade and a bottle of vitriol has always stayed with me. You should read this book. It’s awesome. Watch the film too while you’re at it.
5, Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. I know the ‘arch nemesis’ representation of Moriarty is kind of a film/TV by-product but I love it. You know you’ve made it in life when you’ve gained yourself an arch nemesis. I wish I had one.
6, Big Brother in 1984 by George Orwell. Big Brother is watching you.
7, Kevin in We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Is Kevin naturally ‘evil’ or is it all just a reaction to his mum’s obvious indifference? Either way, he’s a chilling character and their relationship is kind of fascinating.
8, Delores Umbridge in the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. Voldemort? Malfoy? Snape? Pffft.
9, The Headmaster in The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Cross. The demon headmaster is going to take over the world using an army of children he’s hypnotised to do his bidding. Really, what could be more terrifying?
10, Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. One of the things I like about this novel is the fact that you’re never really sure who the real monster is. Victor? Or the being he creates and abandons? I know which side I’m on.