They are sleazy, obsessed, murderous and just plain rotten, but we love them anyway! The Baddies are the ones who interest us the most in fiction. We shiver, we shake, and we just can’t believe how bad they can really be, and damned if we’ll put down that book just as we get to the part where they’re behaving at their worst!
Below is the Ten Rotten Bastards of Fiction. Before you email me, I did NOT include Moriarty of Sherlock Holmes fame. I always believed he was an opium-induced vision of Holmes. Just my opinion…
Long John Silver – Treasure Island
He’s like the eccentric uncle of villains. Sure, Silver is sneaky and sly, but that’s what we love about him. Admit it, you rooted for him to escape at the end, don’t you?
Mrs Danvers – Rebecca
She is the housekeeper from hell! Her obsession with Rebecca drives her to make life more than miserable for the new mistress of Manderley. At the book’s end, she’s just another crispy critter, or is she?
Hannibal Lecter – Red Dragon
It’s a hard road for Hannibal. To be a gentleman and a cannibal, what a tough act to balance, but this anthropophagous villain manages it with a threatening charm. Be sure to count your fingers after he bends over your hand to kiss them.
Sauron – The Lord of the Rings
“The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on a pit, a window into nothing.” Oh, will that unsleeping Eye ever stop watching us? For weeks I had nightmares, how about you?
Bill Sikes – Oliver Twist
I hated him right off, but when he kicked the ugly dog who adored him, well, that was it for me. Boo! Hiss! He deserved his bad end.
Annie Wilkes – Misery
You don’t want her as your Number One Fan!
Frederick Clegg – The Collector
This guy is creepy. He’d be a good match for Annie Wilkes. He “collects” a beautiful woman like she is a butterfly for his collection, then pins her with his love until her death. Love may be strange but Clegg is stranger!
Police Inspector Javert – Les Miserables
One thing that villains seem to have in common is obsession. He is inflexible and cruel, and one way or the other, he is determined to be the source of Valjean’s downfall.
Count Dracula – Dracula
A cousin of Hannibal Lector, for sure. He wants your blood. Throughout the years, he’s been transformed into a cottage industry of movies, books, etc. So, we should consider him the Bill Gates of Villains.
The Clown – IT
This Baddie really creeped me out. It spoiled circuses forever for me because every clown I saw had sharp, sharp teeth. Thank you, Stephen King!
Did I forget your favorite Rotten Bastard of Fiction? Be sure to let me know via comments.