Saturday, January 30, 2010

Good vs. Evil

I've got the classic plot of good vs. evil on the mind, for a couple of reasons. I just finished reading Dan Wells' I Am Not a Serial Killer, which lived up to the billing on its book jacket and was a "sickly disturbing, darkly-comic thriller." It is very well-written (or should I say Wells-written?) and I woke up still thinking about it this morning. Without giving details away, it was a good reminder that the battle of good vs. evil takes place within all of us, and it can be a struggle to keep the balance.

Another reason I've been pondering this is, Lost returns for its final season next week. (Sorry to bring up Lost again, but if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a little obsessed by it. I promise not to discuss it here after today...or at least until the final episode airs.) ***Spoiler alert, if you haven't seen season five of Lost*** But, in last season's finale we met the oft-referenced Jacob (white shirt), who, up to that point, had been perceived as evil, and were introduced to a gentleman who is apparently his rival (black shirt), both fighting for control of the island. We learned that black shirt took possession of the deceased body of the noble, but odd, John Locke, leading us to wonder who the "good guy" in this scenario really is, and how their battle will affect the lives and destinies of our favorite Losties.

I love the good vs. evil plot, especially when a writer manages to make it not too straightforward and predictable. I've had an idea for a novel brewing in my head for a long time that uses this plot, with the angle of how we can be our own worst enemies. Reading I Am Not a Serial Killer has inspired me to move forward with it after I finish my current project. If anyone has recommendations of well-written, or lame, books of this nature, please share.


  1. I've heard lots of praise for Dan's book. I definitely need to add it to my list.

  2. Dan's book is pretty fabulous. He not only makes me think about human nature and choice but his words are poetry in and of themselves.

    A good book series that makes you think about good and evil is The Engineer Trilogy by K.J. Parker. I warn you, it's not a light read. But it definitely makes you think.

  3. I skipped the Lost spoiler, but I totally think the struggle of Good vs Evil is an essential to good plots and when the good and the evil are inside the character then it is even more interesting.

    I really liked Dan's book. I love his phrasing and his writing and I am secretly looking forward to Mr. Monster (sequel to Not a Serial Killer) BUT he certainly hasn't converted me to the horror genre. I don't think anything could.