Author Topic: Evil Novelists  (Read 1570 times)

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Offline Fuzzy Necromancer

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Evil Novelists
« on: August 10, 2010, 08:44:16 PM »
No, this isn't necessarily about Stephenie Meyers.

This isn't a thread for discussing the writers of the worst books, or even sleazy plaguerizers. This is to discuss the novelists that, once you've read a book by them, make you feel tainted, and give you the sneaking suspicion that they are supernatural creatures come to earth to push humankind further into depravity and cruelty. Their informed heroes commit atrocities worse than comic book villains, and the authors make it clear that their heroes are morally right, and anyone who disagrees with them is evil.

For a while, I would have ranked Terry Goodkind up there, but that was before I heard about John Ringo's Paladin of Shadows series. Creepy wish-fulfillment combined with the character wangsting about refraining from being a rapist, and that's only because he uses a very carefully tailored definition of rapist. The ultimate case of somebody who wants their character to live out their own darkest fantasies, but still wants them to be morally unquestioned in doing so.
(Still, Terry Goodkind is the most evil novelist I've ever read the works of, personally).

Sometimes, a novel gives you insight into the writer's hidden mind. This stuff makes me want to remove said portion of the mind with gardening tools.


Who do you consider the most malevolent, the most wicked, and the most diabolical novelist you've ever encountered?
Love doesn't hurt. It kills.

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Offline mrbasehart

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Re: Evil Novelists
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 07:25:24 AM »
Richard Laymon is a horror writer who I've loved, but his work is such unremitting sleaze that you can't help feel a bit icky by the end of any of his books.  My favourite of his is probably Endless Night, which could never be turned into a movie, but is pretty awesome nonetheless.


Offline AmazingThor

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Re: Evil Novelists
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 10:51:47 AM »
James Wong (cracked.com contributor)'s novel John Dies at the End made me feel icky several times.


Moleman

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Re: Evil Novelists
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 02:42:15 PM »
Terry Goodkind

I knew when I saw the thread title that's what this was about.

So if I have read these books multiple times and continue to enjoy them does that make me evil too?  Just wondering.

One of the biggest criticisms of objectivism (which I don't fully agree with by the way) is that it pretty much considers any other  point of view wrong or in the cases of views like Marxism, evil.  Its understandable since basically they're saying "we're right and you're wrong so F you".  I get that.  But aren't you kind of doing the same thing by declaring that evil?  Aren't you looking at a different point of view and judging it?  And considering a few of Goodkind's books were best sellers and even spawned a TV series, does that mean that all those people that like these books are either too stupid to see the hidden evil, or are evil themselves like the author?

It just seems really low to judge so harshly like that because of a philosophy you disagree with in a book series no one forced you to read.  You sound really hateful.


Offline borg48

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Re: Evil Novelists
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2010, 04:51:07 AM »


Offline Fuzzy Necromancer

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Re: Evil Novelists
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2010, 12:11:09 PM »
Terry Goodkind

I knew when I saw the thread title that's what this was about.

So if I have read these books multiple times and continue to enjoy them does that make me evil too?  Just wondering.

One of the biggest criticisms of objectivism (which I don't fully agree with by the way) is that it pretty much considers any other  point of view wrong or in the cases of views like Marxism, evil.  Its understandable since basically they're saying "we're right and you're wrong so F you".  I get that.  But aren't you kind of doing the same thing by declaring that evil?  Aren't you looking at a different point of view and judging it?  And considering a few of Goodkind's books were best sellers and even spawned a TV series, does that mean that all those people that like these books are either too stupid to see the hidden evil, or are evil themselves like the author?

It just seems really low to judge so harshly like that because of a philosophy you disagree with in a book series no one forced you to read.  You sound really hateful.

I don't consider objectivism itself to be necessarily evil, and I don't consider every differing philosophical viewpoint evil. I don't consider everyone who reads a book I disagree with evil.

I do, however, consider some things immoral.  Terry Goodkind, in his novels, has asserted that genocide and frequent use of torture are not just justifiable but morally necessary. His philosophy, as outlined in his novels, is one I find actively endorses horrific acts with minimal justification, and he makes no bones about it.

If a person can be evil, and the system of values they wholeheartedly espouse in a novel can be taken as a measure of that, then it follows that there are evil novelists. Do you disagree with either of these assertions? If not, in what respect do you disagree with my assessment of Terry Goodkind, and are there any novelists you find morally objectionable?
Love doesn't hurt. It kills.

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Moleman

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Re: Evil Novelists
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2010, 03:26:56 PM »
Terry Goodkind, in his novels, has asserted that genocide and frequent use of torture are not just justifiable but morally necessary. His philosophy, as outlined in his novels, is one I find actively endorses horrific acts with minimal justification, and he makes no bones about it.

Given the situation in the book series, you have this unstoppable murderous genocidal force called The Imperial Order.  This force either converts you or kills you.  It cannot be stopped.  They are identified as the antagonists, the bad guys.  Its very clear that wanting to convert or kill is what bad guys do.  So then at some point the protagonists consider the option that they may have to kill all of the bad guys because that is the only way to stop them from committing such an evil act as killing people because they want to rid the world of something (magic) and will kill all people with a certain trait (those with magic) to accomplish that goal.  This is the heroes' PRIMARY MOTIVATION for wanting to stop the bad guys.  I don't know how things can be made any more clear.  If the author was suggesting that genocide is an ok thing to do, he wouldn't focus on that as being the main reason to stop the bad guys.

To take it even a step further, That's not what they do to defeat the Imperial Order anyway.  The issue was discussed as the only likely solution but in the end [SPOILER ALERT ] a new solution was presented allowing the Imperial Order to have their own world the way they want and they keep their world the way they want.  Nobody dies anymore.  I just can't fathom how merely "bringing it up" as an option constitutes supporting it in the midst of the enemy clearly being identified as the evil doers because they do that.  I don't know what else to say other than you've horribly misinterpreted one of the most essential lessons in the entire book series.

I think I know what you're getting at though when it comes to "evil authors"...Why would you choose to write about this stuff?  In all honesty, he's basically choosing to write hypothetical scenarios that look into the question "What's the darkest thing a person might have to do to accomplish something good"?  But it ultimately just comes down to whether you want to think about that or not.  Personally, I find that kind of thing fascinating simply because I DON'T think about that stuff often.  It makes me wonder whether I'd be capable to do what is necessary and what might be really undesirable to me in order to do the right thing.  I can't think of anything more selfless then doing something you find so reprehensible to accomplish something good.

If a person can be evil, and the system of values they wholeheartedly espouse in a novel can be taken as a measure of that, then it follows that there are evil novelists. Do you disagree with either of these assertions? If not, in what respect do you disagree with my assessment of Terry Goodkind, and are there any novelists you find morally objectionable?

Yes, I disagree on both counts.  You're taking a word with an absolute connotation but has a subjective definition.  To say what you're saying implies that you know exactly what is good and what is evil despite there being an unlimited amount of different interpretations that pretty much boil down to each individual's interpretation.  What makes you qualified to know?

From all of two posts (yeah,I know) it seems like your definition for evil is when people are being deceived to do something that is wrong in the guise that its right, which is why you also mention Stephanie Meyers.  She attempts to write about a seemingly average young girl but the story that's written creates a reality in which doing things like being distant, selfish, and uncaring seem to be OK and yield a positive result.  So if anyone, especially young teenage girls who haven't learned how to think yet, read these books, they may emulate this behavior and the world could be a worse place all because this author sees the world this way.

So in regards to Goodkind, you feel he's writing an adventure story with seemingly realistic human characters but they are set in a reality where killing, murder, genocide, torture are justified as being necessary.  I'm telling you that, yes they are indeed necessary in extreme circumstances and you aren't buying it.  Fine then.  The simple fact that we disagree on this proves that you can't up and declare anything as absolute good or evil unless you aren't putting me or anyone else that may disagree at an even playing field.


Offline Chaos

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Re: Evil Novelists
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2010, 07:52:53 PM »
Really, this whole thing was covered all the way back in the beginning of the series, in Wizard's First Rule. The ENTIRE point was that people don't believe themselves to be evil, they believe themselves to be in the right, and therefore their actions are justified. Darken Rahl does not think of himself as a bad guy, he thinks of himself as a savior, and presents himself that way to others to get what he wants.

The lesson is that evil wears many faces, and that just because someone TELLS you they are doing something because it is right, good, fair, or just... doesn't mean it is. You think you are right. But your enemy thinks that HE is right, too. Just because you think you are right, or good, don't assume that that makes you better than your enemy. You have to entertain the possibility that YOU are the one who is wrong. To fail to question yourself - that is the true road to evil.
"First there was Chaos, the vast immeasurable abyss, Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild." -Milton


knightsaber1

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Re: Evil Novelists
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2010, 12:01:59 PM »

Okay, VERY hard to beat that one. Still, after reading just part of Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk, I got the general feeling that he's probably one of the most maliciously cynical authors living today. He seems to me like the kind of guy who would not only tell a five-year-old there's no Santa Claus, but then show them ten hours of footage of dogs and cats in a Far East slaughterhouse -- followed by a tape of their parents having sex with ALL OF THE MONSTERS ARE REAL scrolling at the bottom in a continuous loop.