Does It Make You Bad?

Ok so does it make you bad to actually root for the Bad Guy/Girl in a book instead of the hero/heroine?

I have found a few times that in reading a book the “bad” character was such a better character that I ended up rooting for them.


Grand Admiral Thrawn in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn triology

I loved that character

What say you? Any bad characters you root for?

I seem to root for vic-k an awful lot…

Absolutely reprehensible!

I remember rooting for Thrawn as well when I read that series. I have to admit that was a rather long time ago though.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Severian, from The Book of the New Sun series. Beneath his densely narrated and autobiographical personal mythology, it is often easy to forget that this is not only a man who tortures and murders people for coin, but someone who takes professional and even artistic pride in exacting pain and terror everywhere he goes. He doesn’t take sadistic delight flaying people alive, but instead considers it in a rather off-hand yet methodical manner, the way in which a dentist might coldly extract a tooth from a writhing victim, and then go out for lobster with the family later that evening. But this would also be a dentist that writes haunting and at times beautiful prose about the extraction of teeth, and then digresses to spend twenty pages upon the description of some fanciful adventure, until the reader once again forgets that if they were ever to sit opposite his metaphorical desk, the only sympathy he would hold for them was in the sharpness of his instruments, and the practised perfection of his posture before the deciding impact.

And then there is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille

Angus Thermopyle (eventually).
Ugh! The first book of the Gap series was one of the bleakest, blackest, reads of misery and deprivation I’ve read. If I didn’t own the entire series (long story involving books from a series gifted out of order and prior experience of Stephen Donaldson’s cliffhanger endings of mid-series books) I’m not sure I would have read the rest. Glad I did.

I was OK with vic-k until the details of his protest outfit. Some lines should not not be crossed, even in prose. Especially in prose - imagination can go places where the real world shies away… :open_mouth: