Sunday, April 24, 2011

Discussion: Do you have a literary soft spot?

I have a soft spot for antiheros. I will, inevitably, read any book I hear of that has an antihero in it. I may not end up loving the book once it is read, but chances are, you say "antihero," I will jump to read what it is you are talking about. 

One of the reasons I love antiheros so much is because (in my opinion) they are characters that seem to be very hard for authors to do well (they are either done really well or just fail miserably), so when there is a well done antihero, it's like brain candy to me. Well written antiheros tend to be very  three dimensional. Authors give these characters a lot of thought, where they may not need to give quite as much thought and depth to characters who are strictly good or bad morally. 

Another reason I love these characters so much is because, in my view, antiheros tend to reflect the real world more than characters that are strictly "good" or "evil." I don't, personally, believe that strict "good" or "evil" exists in our world. Everything seems to take on varying  shades of gray based on perception, and antiheros seem to reflect that reality more than other morally persuaded characters would. 

Thus, antiheros are one of my literary soft spots. I am almost always guaranteed to read a book with an antihero in it, and enjoy it in some measure because of what I stated above. 

Do you have a literary soft spot and if so, what is it? 

8 comments:

  1. I think it has to be anti-heroes as well as they have the unpredictability about them, the can say, shoot and kill a kid but rescue a kitten. I partly suspect this is why Ash is so popular from the Evil Dead films.

    Other than that depending what mood Im in to be honest, I like a tale that takes me on a journey and provided I get that happy buzz at the end I'm pretty contented. The only two things that I find unacceptable are shock value tactics (be it the characters basically falling on each other for no discernable reason or detailed death sequences such as American Pyscho) and poorly designed lead characters. Thats something that really gets on my wick.

    Other than that, if the book has a touch of nostalgia built in (and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline does have that in abundence,) then I'm a pretty happy bunny.

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  2. I've a soft-spot for antiheroes as well. and thieves, and pirates, and in general anyone with a fluid sense of morality.

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  3. Werewolves, shapeshifters, and other such transformations (The Hulk, The Bloodynine, etc.)

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  4. For me, it is the young underprivileged, misunderstood child who grows to become the hero. It is cliche and has been done a thousand times, yet still, when written well, I find myself drawn in. For example, Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar & Modesitt's Recluce stories get me every time. It is like literary Carrot Cake.

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  5. Plain good or bad characters are boring. I have a soft-spot for characters who follow their path whatever it will cost like Rorschach from Watchmen. antiheroes are most welcomed too.

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  6. I also just realized I'm a sucker for libraries. Any book that has major scenes taking place in a library, archives, university. . . Imma gonna read it.

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  7. I'm with redhead on the libraries. My other big soft spot is for the sort of books where we follow our protagonist through his education towards becoming what he's going to be, such as many of hte Valdemar books, Kvothe in Name of the Wind, Yelena in Poison Study etc. I just love those :-)

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  8. I have a soft spot for cocky heroes who really are as brilliant as they think they are. And I like it when a girl sidekick turns out to be the love interest after all. :)

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