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  • Writer's pictureNovel Nest

15 Ridiculously Good Books Told from the Villain's POV

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Have you read these books?


Step into the darker side of literature as we delve into the minds of some of fiction's most captivating villains. In this blog post, we present 15 remarkably compelling books that offer a unique perspective—the stories are narrated from the viewpoint of the antagonists themselves. Prepare to explore the depths of human darkness, experience twisted motivations, and encounter the complexities of evil through the eyes of these fascinating villains.


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1. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis:


Patrick Bateman, a wealthy and enigmatic young man in Manhattan, leads a double life as a sadistic serial killer. Ellis's disturbing and satirical novel delves into the mind of a deranged murderer, offering chilling insights into the darkest corners of the human psyche. As we journey with Bateman through his violent and hedonistic world, we are confronted with the stark reality of a man disconnected from empathy and consumed by his own dark desires.




2. Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots:


In this fresh take on superhero stories, Anna works as a henchperson for supervillains. As she gets entangled in the dangerous world of superheroes and villains, readers witness the ethical dilemmas and moral gray areas that blur the lines between good and evil. Walschots skillfully flips the narrative, showing that the villains are not always one-dimensional evildoers but individuals with their own motivations and grievances.




3. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov:


Humbert Humbert, the sophisticated and depraved protagonist, narrates this controversial and masterfully written novel. Nabokov skillfully weaves a tale of obsession, manipulation, and forbidden desire, challenging readers to confront the mind of a charming yet deeply disturbed villain. In Humbert's twisted perception, he justifies his inappropriate feelings for the young Lolita, blurring the lines between victim and perpetrator.




4. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind:


Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an olfactory genius, embarks on a twisted quest to create the perfect scent, leading him down a path of murder and depravity. Süskind's dark and evocative narrative explores the alluring yet horrifying nature of obsession and desire. Grenouille's ruthless pursuit of beauty exposes the unsettling lengths to which a villain will go to achieve their twisted goals.




5. The Collector by John Fowles:


Frederick Clegg, a socially awkward and disturbed man, captures and holds an art student, Miranda, as his prisoner. Fowles crafts a chilling psychological thriller that offers an unsettling glimpse into the mind of an unbalanced and obsessive antagonist. Through Clegg's delusional and possessive perspective, readers are forced to confront the terrifying depths of human obsession and the blurred boundaries between captor and captive.




6. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith:


Tom Ripley, a talented but amoral young man, becomes embroiled in a web of deception and murder as he impersonates and befriends the wealthy. Highsmith's psychological thriller immerses readers in the mind of a charismatic yet manipulative villain. Ripley's cunning and charming facade draw us in as we witness the unfolding of his deceitful and morally questionable journey.




7. You by Caroline Kepnes:


Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager, becomes dangerously obsessed with a woman named Beck, using social media to stalk and control her life. Kepnes's unsettling narrative forces readers to confront the unsettling truth of how social media can be used for sinister purposes. Through Joe's chilling narration, we are confronted with the dark side of technology and the lengths someone will go for love and possession.




8. Yellowface by R. F. Kuang:


In R.F. Kuang's gripping novel, "Yellowface," June Hayward seizes an opportunity after the death of literary darling Athena Liu. Claiming Athena's powerful novel about Chinese laborers as her own, June finds success but faces the consequences of her deceit. The story delves into themes of diversity, racism, and the dark side of social media in a timely and immersive narrative.




9. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence:


Jorg Ancrath, a ruthless and cunning prince, seeks vengeance and power in a post-apocalyptic world. Lawrence's gritty and dark fantasy novel invites readers into the mind of a merciless anti-hero as he seeks to conquer and dominate. Jorg's unapologetic brutality and cunning intellect make him a formidable and captivating villain whose journey keeps readers engrossed from start to finish.




10. These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever:


Set in 1970s Pittsburgh, the novel follows Paul and Julian, whose intense friendship leads them down a path of violence and revenge. Nemerever's character-driven narrative explores the descent into darkness and the consequences of unchecked rage. The story's gripping portrayal of the villains' motivations and the dark intensity of their relationship adds depth and complexity to their roles as antagonists.




11. The Night Lords trilogy by Aaron Dembski-Bowden:


In this Warhammer 40,000 series, the Night Lords are a legion of merciless and chaotic space marines. The books offer a thrilling and brutal perspective from the villain's side in a dark and war-torn universe. Dembski-Bowden masterfully portrays the complexities of these villainous characters, making them more than just one-dimensional evil entities, but rather beings with distinct motivations and backgrounds.




12. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë:


Heathcliff, the brooding and vengeful protagonist, seeks retribution and passion in this classic novel of love and obsession. Brontë's timeless tale allows readers to immerse themselves in the tormented mind of a haunting and complex villain. Heathcliff's tumultuous journey through love, loss, and revenge exposes the destructive power of unchecked emotions.




13. Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z Bright:


In this dark and gothic tale, a serial killer named Andrew Compton narrates his gruesome exploits. Bright's compelling and atmospheric novel provides an unflinching look into the mind of a remorseless murderer. Andrew's cold and calculated narration offers a chilling glimpse into the psyche of a character void of empathy and remorse.




14. Tampa by Alissa Nutting:


Celeste Price, a manipulative and predatory middle-school teacher, becomes entangled in a dangerous affair with one of her students. Nutting's provocative and daring novel offers an uncomfortable yet unflinching portrayal of a female sexual predator. Through Celeste's unsettling perspective, the author highlights the complexities of abuse of power and the dark allure of forbidden desire.




15. Vicious by VE Schwab:


In this gripping tale of superpowers and revenge, Victor Vale and Eli Cardale, once friends turned enemies, embark on a battle of wits and powers. Schwab's morally complex narrative blurs the lines between hero and villain, leaving readers questioning who truly wears the cape. As we witness the evolution of these morally ambiguous characters, we are challenged to reevaluate traditional notions of heroism and villainy.



Conclusion:


These 15 books provide a gripping and thought-provoking exploration of villainous perspectives, inviting readers to step outside the realm of traditional protagonists and witness the world through the eyes of those on the darker side of morality. Each narrative offers a unique and captivating experience, challenging our perceptions of good and evil and delving into the complexities of human nature. If you're ready to embrace the dark and explore the depths of the villainous psyche, these books are a must-read for your bookish adventures. Happy reading!

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