Booking Through Thursday: Moustache-Twirling

Booking Through Thursday

Well, after last week’s record-breaking number of responses (92 last time I checked–an all-time BTT record), I was tempted to use this week’s question to ask what you all thought about Harry Potter 7–but since a decent proportion of you weren’t going to be reading it at all, that seemed unfair. So instead . . .

Who’s the worst fictional villain you can think of? As in, the one you hate the most, find the most evil, are happiest to see defeated? Not the cardboard, two-dimensional variety, but the most deliciously-written, most entertaining, best villain? Not necessarily the most “evil,” so much as the best-conceived on the part of the author…oh, you know what I mean!

There’s scads of good candidates, but since Iago was taken, I’ll go with Tulkinghorn from Bleak House. He destroys, or tries to destroy, lives dispassionately and for no better reason than the enjoyment he gets from having his victims in his power.

I’d say that Shakespeare’s Richard III meets the criteria for the most entertaining villain. Having read a surfeit of novels where Richard is all but beatified, I find his stage version rather refreshing!

9 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Moustache-Twirling”

  1. I have to admit I have not read either but have been putting classics on my TBRs this year.

  2. Richard III is my favorite Shakespearean play! I have so much more sympathy for him than Iago, even though his crimes might be even worse. Is that twisted?

  3. This is a cheat because it’s a film not a book, but I vote for Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham in the Kevin Costner Robin Hood film (Prince of Thieves?).

  4. Michelle Moran

    Oh, I second Carla’s nomination of Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham! I think Javert in Les Miserables is particularly frightening as well in that you can really imagine him as a living, breathing villain.

  5. Definitely a strong vote here for Alan Rickman’s Sheriff. He stole that movie right out from under Kevin Costner’s nose.

    As far as book villains go, I’ve always been partial to Emily Bronte’s Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. He does terrible things, but he he’s been so badly hurt that it’s hard to hate the guy too much.

  6. I know I’m late in replying but I watched the BBC version of Bleak House and I agree Tulkinghorn is mean, mean, mean.

    I’ll be reading Bleak House this fall with a group and I’m sure I’ll have that actor in my head. He was very convincing as an awful, awful person.

  7. Susan Higginbotham

    BBC did Bleak House back in the 1980’s as well, with Peter Vaughan as Tulkinghorn. He was great, and he also played Mr. Boffin in the 1990’s version of Our Mutual Friend. Talk about a contrast!

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