Robert Louis Stevenson


The Tension of the Likable Unlikable

Treasure Island!!!
by Sara Levine
Europa Editions, 2012
172 pages / $15.00 Buy from Powells

I love unlikable characters. In the fictional world, I want bad people to get away with doing bad things. I want the serial killer to slip into the night or live happily never after. One of the reasons I love American Psycho so much is the methodical and unwavering way Ellis portrays Patrick Bateman as an unrepentant psychopath who is as interested in the right restaurant reservation as he is in committing sadistic acts. It’s all very unpleasant (or it isn’t) but the writing is such that it is easy to be as fascinated as you might be repulsed.

I love finding writers who can hold the reader in that complicated tension where you like the unlikable character.


February 10th, 2012 / 1:00 pm

biochemistry made 11 cats

1. Cathy Day said, “Why not write in the classroom and workshop outside the classroom?” (It’s about time to write a traditional-workshop-structure-is-dead post, but not now. Later.)

1. After 130 years they dig up a Robert Louis Stevenson novel. (No, Tess Gallagher did not find it in a sock drawer.) Stevenson abandoned it. So people ‘finish’ it for the dead author, publish it. Same old story.

1. Best books on Nuclear accidents/fears/history.

1. Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East.

11. Visual artists rarely feel the need to explain the artifact. Writers often do. Why is that?

Author Spotlight & Random / 14 Comments
March 20th, 2011 / 4:45 pm