Brilliant Baddies

13 books with great anti-heroes

Everybody loves a hero, but an anti-hero is a tricky creature. Though their behaviour may repulse us, in the hands of a skilled storyteller, we often find ourselves rooting for them and, perhaps, even liking them, despite the terrible things they do. Below are some characters who made an indelible impression, though perhaps not in the best way. Who are some of your favourite anti-heroes? Give them a shout in the comments below!

Fight Club cover

3. Fight Club

Chuck Palahniuk
Clockwork Orange cover

4. A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess

5. A Snowball in Hell.

Christopher Brookmyre
Lucifer cover

6. I, Lucifer

Glen Duncan
dangerous liaisons cover

7. Dangerous Liaisons

Choderlos de Laclos
Elric of Melniboné cover

8. Elric of Melniboné

Michael Moorcock
The Prince cover

9. The Prince

Niccolo Machiavelli
Filth cover

10. Filth

Irvine Welsh
Talented Mr Ripley cover

11. The Talented Mr. Ripley

Patricia Highsmith
Vanity Fair cover

12. Vanity Fair

William Makepeace Thackeray

List created by

Brianne Moore

Brianne is a website editor with Scottish Book Trust

Tags: evil, lying