Psycho-/Sociopath books

Discussion in 'General Fiction' started by Aphantos, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Aphantos

    Aphantos New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Was wondering if there were any good books that follow psycho- or sociopathic characters, without trying to make the reader feel disgusted with the character.
    And prefferably not through the view of a detective or alike.

    (Note: Not scientific books of what traits mark a psycho- or socipaths, have no interest in those.)
     
  2. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,838
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell (won tons of prizes including the Prix Goncourt since it was originally published in French in 2006); my top book of the 00-09 decade so far
     
  3. Barefoot

    Barefoot Wanderer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    American Psycho is right up there.
     
  4. Chuffalump

    Chuffalump A chuffing heffalump

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not sure if it's exactly what you are looking for but Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman follows the struggle of an 'evil genius' as he tried to take over the world.
     
  5. Aurian

    Aurian Dragon Lady

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am Not a Serial Killer was a fun read.
     
  6. Aphantos

    Aphantos New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the tips, I'll be sure to check them out :)
     
  7. Sfinx

    Sfinx Life's a riddle

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Also highly recommended and very much in sync with your requirements:

    Stone, by Adam Roberts.

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.
     
  8. Hitmouse

    Hitmouse Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Black Dahlia Elmore Leonard
    The Final Programme Michael Moorcock
    Most of JG Ballard's lead characters
    Blood Meridien Cormac McCarthy

    TV and film are particularly good for this sort of thing:
    Dexter (the TV series) Dexter
    The Sopranos (TV) Tony Soprano and others
    The Wire (TV) various characters
    Deadwood (TV) Ian McShane et al
    Taxi Driver (film) Travis Bickle
    No Country for Old Men
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  9. algernoninc

    algernoninc It never entered my mind

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    2,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Third Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders is one of my favorites. It has the POV of a serial killer, alternating with the one of the detective.
     
  10. DurzoBlint

    DurzoBlint http://tinyurl.com/363ogv

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,612
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perfect example, didn't care for the book but it is what you are looking for.
     
  11. BreakLater

    BreakLater On time and sober!

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    0
    The best book from the point of view of a sociopath that I've ever read was definitely The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. It's first person and you really get inside the head of a messed-up youth who believes he can prophesy the future by torturing insects. And that's just the tip of the iceberg with this kid's delusions. The book really moves and I couldn't put it down.
     
  12. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    2,513
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not Leonard. It's by James Ellroy.

    The novel by Cormac McCarthy is excellent.

    There's also,
    Psycho by Robert Bloch
    The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
    Finishing Touches by Thomas Tessier
    The Face that Must Die by Ramsey Campbell
    Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
    Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

    (As I recall, the last three have fairly extensive sections told from the point of view of the psycho-/sociopath.)


    Randy M.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
  13. SugarFolk

    SugarFolk New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I second that. The story's quite disturbing at times, yet really moving too. It's really one of a kind.
     
  14. algernoninc

    algernoninc It never entered my mind

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    2,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm surprised nobody mentioned yet The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and its sequels by Stieg Larsson.
    It features one of the most interesting functional paranoid / anti-social heroines I've read about, and in the first book a serial killer that I will not spoil the identity of.
     
  15. B5B7

    B5B7 Earthman1

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Two books that immediately come to my mind, both excellent in my view, are Theodore Sturgeon's 'Some of Your Blood' and Adrian Mitchell's 'The Bodyguard'.
     
  16. Aphantos

    Aphantos New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm Swedish, so I've already watched the movies, damn they were good. I hope the American version is at least nearly as good (Tough challenge). :)
     
  17. chokipokilo

    chokipokilo Unreasonable reasoner

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anyone know any books that specifically follow the process of someone gradually becoming insane. I read "From the Corner of His Eye" (Koontz) and really enjoyed that aspect of the book (though not much else).

    In a similar vein, what about books where one character is deliberately driving another insane?

    I really like to see the process.
     
  18. newfiesailor

    newfiesailor Northlander

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    0
    "The Mermaids Singing" by the TV show, "Wire in the Blood" author, Val McDermid. Her early novels really do a fine job of profiling serial killers and she doesn't shy away from the nasty stuff. This is the one where the serial killer has a fascination with medieval torture implements.:eek:

    I second Lawrence Sanders "The Third Deadly Sin". A brilliant twist on the serial killer, profiling genre; way before The Silence of the Lambs fascination kicked it into high gear.

    American Psycho is definitely a descent into madness. Alternately shocking and hilarious, it's an original. I loved it for it's brazen nastiness and no holds barred, foul mouthed language.

    But I think Thomas Harris's Red Dragon is the finest example of a story told from a serial killer's point of view. Shows his multiple and layered personality, with a really twisted connection to a fictional character. My favourite crime novel. The movie "Manhunter" wasn't bad either with the always creepy Tom Noonan playing Francis Dolarhyde and William Petersen (CSI's Grissom) chasing him down. Better than the remake with Edward Norton.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  19. Carlyle Clark

    Carlyle Clark Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    The DEXTER TV series is based on a series of books by Jeff Lindsay starting with DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER--seems a great place to start.
     
  20. msaerfen

    msaerfen Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about Perfume by Patrick Suskind? Not your regular serial killer but a serial killer nevertheless. Great book, great story,fascinating concept. Very different from any other book mentioned here but well worth reading.