3 + 1 good books about bad people

3 works of fiction + 1 work of nonfiction about a particular subject

I love books about characters that are kind of bad. I think that what attracts me to these books as a reader is how the author makes a character that we should hate endearing. Some authors do it better than others, and there are levels of bad guys, but it is always nice to be able to see the world from a perspective you hopefully will never have to adopt as your own.

1. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

gone girl

Without giving anything away, Gone Girl is the perfect book about a bad character that the reader will love to hate. A fast-paced novel that you will not be able to put down, Gone Girl will be on your mind long after you’ve finished.

2. The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith

The-Talented-Mr-RipleyPatricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley is far creepier than the movie version. Highsmith provides a far deeper psychological profile of Ripley than any film could, making him so much more frightening. The first in a series of five novels, this book introduces the iconic and thoroughly creepy character.

3. (Don Juan) El Burlador de Sevilla, Tirso de Molina

trickster burladorThe original Don Juan appears in Tirso de Molina’s 1630 play, “The Trickster of Seville.” In it, Don Juan is a libertine, rapist, lothario, and altogether horrible person. Don Juan seduces and often forces himself upon unsuspecting women, trusting that if he repents before he dies, he won’t go to hell. On the other hand, Don Juan’s vulnerability and “humanity” prevents the reader—and women—from hating him completely.

+ 1 Killing Pablo, Mark Bowden

Killing-Pablo-9780743517904As a Colombian who lived through the entire Pablo Escobar ordeal, I picked up Bowden’s book as soon as it came out. I must admit that I did so expecting to find the common misconceptions of my country’s culture and politics that permeate reports about Colombia in American media and portrayals of Colombia and Colombians in film and television…And I was blown away with how thoroughly Bowden understood- the man “got” us in a way I don’t even think we understood ourselves at the time. The book reads like a novel, revealing facts about Pablo Escobar, his life and death that were little known to even those of us who lived through it. This book does not romanticize Escobar (as several recent books do), and portrays him as the criminal that he was.

Other 3+ 1 Lists:

The Ocean