Posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012 by Robyn_Bookworm
Everyone’s favorite serial killer is back for another season. If you haven’t yet encountered the infamous Dexter, check out the first six seasons on dvd here. Also, be sure you read the book that started it all. Can’t get enough Dexter? Here are some more twisted anti-heroes that you will love to hate and hate to love.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter introduces us to the “good-guy serial killer” and the obsessive rules he creates to set himself apart from typical murderers. Dexter's #1 rule is that he only kills other killers. The vehemence he feels towards those he hunts make it difficult not to root for him. It makes for a rather unsettling read when you find yourself hoping that Dexter will literally get away with murder.
Anthony Burgess’ anti-hero, Alex, is one of the most disturbing characters I have ever encountered in literature. To be honest, this might have something to do with Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation, which I still can’t watch without closing my eyes, but the character’s criminal tendencies are explored in chilling detail in Burgess’ novel. Yet despite my revulsion for Alex, I can’t help rooting for him, since the “reform tactics” offered by his government are even more disturbing.
Tom Ripley is a sociopath on every level. Unhappy with his own life and personality, he constantly creates and recreates his identity. Murder is just another tool in his manipulative arsenal. Ripley is such a talented liar that at times neither the reader nor Ripley himself can tell fact from fiction; but his obsessive personality is infectious, and readers will find it difficult to turn away.
Released earlier this year, I Hunt Killers has quickly become a popular read. It introduces us to Jasper Dent, the son of an infamous serial killer whose dad often brought him along for the ride. Years later, when Jazz himself is accused of a new string of murders, he must use his father’s morbid lessons to clear his name.
I will admit it; I have a massive crush on Dorian. I know I shouldn’t like him; he is a perverse, arrogant, and violent narcissist who literally sold his soul to maintain his good looks. But despite all of this, he has undeniable charm and wit which makes him very difficult to hate. Furthermore, Oscar Wilde’s brilliant writing forces you to imagine Dorian’s portrait with your own perception of evil,, thus the novel becomes a chilling reflection of your own inner demons.
Who are some of your favorite literary anti-heroes? Leave a comment and let us know.
Tagged: A Clockwork Orange, Book Blog, Burgess, Anthony, Conduct of Life, Criminals, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Highsmith, Patricia, I Hunt Killers, Lindsay, Jeff, Lyga, Barry, Serial Murderers, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Wilde, Oscar, Campbell News, Classic Literature, Fiction, Horror, Mystery