Yes, I know that all fiction is in one genre or another. But we only have so much space in the subject line. Having more space here, I’ll define my terms: I’m looking for evil characters in what booksellers might call mainstream contemporary fiction (i.e., set no later than 1920). No detective novels, no fantasy epics, no science fiction, no comic books; Darkseid, Sauron, and the cast of the *Godfather * need not apply.
Here’s my first nomination: Tradd St. Croix from The Lords of Discipline, who
Desperate to prove that he’s not not a homosexual (as many of his fellow military college cadets suspect him of being), knocks up a girl and then abandons her while describing her as his “friend” and pretending to be too delicate to describe their lovemaking to his roommates;
Joins a secret society–“The Ten”–at his college that is dedicated to keeping boys like him from graduating, though he knows the only reason he was allowed to remain in school so long is because of his family connection;
Betrays the trust of his best friend–Will McLean, the narrator–by spying on Will as he works to keep the Ten from running out the school’s first black cadet;
Betrays his friend Dante Pignetti to the Ten and contributing to Pig’s expulsion on an honor violation and his subsequent suicide;
Pretends throughout to be a good friend to his roommates though he is actually a craven, traitorous piece of shit.
Utter scum, he is.
Anybody else got a nominee?