Your library card is your friend

Miss Snark-

My query was rejected upon the reasoning that (among other things, such as it probably being too long) the protagonist was not admirable or sympathetic enough for readers to like or care about him.

Now I have to wonder; what makes a reader care for the protagonist? It is based upon the fact that s/he is a 'good person' (ergo, in some strange pattern of thought, equalling him to be the 'good guy'). Must there be complete definition of good guy/bad guy? Must the protagonist ride a white horse and the antagonist a black? Is this saying that current readers reject real people, as of course, none of us are really the 'good guy' in a novel sense. Do we look for stock characters? If one desires their novel to be somewhat true, or at least not feel completely fictional and unreachable, should they use these cookie-cutter characters? I believe they should not, there should be a touch of reality, no matter how much mysticism/fantasy/aliens/other worlds &c. there is in the novel. But is it mandate for the reader to love the main character? Is that the purpose of the novel? to become best friends forever with whoever the author chooses to tell the story from? Could we not find friendship and sympathy, admiration and loyalty to another? Is that too much to ask from a reader?

And is 226,000 words far too long?


Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Hit Man

Paradise Lost



Anonymous said...

If a reader has no reason to like a character and no way to identify with them, why would they care what happens to them within the story, or indeed, read the story at all?

Characters don’t have to be the cliché’ good stereotype. Anyone who reads, well, anything, should realise this. They do have to be interesting, engaging and ultimately forgivable.

Anonymous said...

How did you get from your main character not being "admirable and sympathetic" to "look for stock characters"?

I can't stand stock characters; I certainly don't find them admirable or sympathetic, so I don't see why you've decided that only cookie-cutter characters could possibly make the reader love them.

I have never met anyone admirable who was a perfect human being. Trying to be a good person in the face of one's worse impulses is one of the things I find most admirable, in fact. And sympathetic only means that I can sympathise with them; that means I should see something of my life in theirs, and hey - I am not a knight on a white horse myself.

It sounds like you're setting up a straw man argument to support your inner belief that the agent/editor shouldn't have rejected you. S/he didn't tell you to use stock characters, so stop complaining about how wrong it is to be told to use stock characters.

And yes, 226 000 words is too long. That's two books, both of which are pushing the upper limits of what people will accept for a fantasy (I am assuming you wrote either a fantasy or science fiction book, based on your comments). Prune that monster back and even then, you'll probably have to split it into a pair of books, rather than trying to sell it as one book. The good news is that fantasy is open to not only long books, but series books.

Jane Doe said...

Nitwittery at its best.

overdog said...

Ooh, Grendel. A delicious book: funny, sad, smart. A flawed protagonist we love and with whom we sympathize.

The question is a good one. I love a flawed main character. What I need, in order to remain interested, is a character whose humanity shines through the flaws. Someone who's just a jerk for no reason isn't interesting.

Okay, Grendel's not human, but even though he eats people, he's so desperate for acceptance that you can't help but love him, as though he were some pimply adolescent in rebellion rathern than a monster at lunch.

The Unpretentious Writer said...

Not always...

In 'Wicked', I couldn't empathize with -any- of the characters, let alone the protagonist. Maguire was wonderful at creating characters with realistic personality and character flaws, so much so, that what kept me hooked and turning pages at a furious rate was wondering the ultimate fate of the book's world.

That's what any writer should go for...keeping a reader addicted to the book even if they can't stand the protagonist.

heidi said...

Just because a character is well drawn as a "real" person does not automatically make them sympathetic or even likable.

Think about all the real people you know in real life that you don't like.

A character doesn't have to be "good" to be sympathetic. But they do have to have something about their character that resonates with your readers.

WordVer: Yogi gives

Anonymous said...

Dexter (based on the book Miss Snark mentioned) is premiering on Showtime with Michael C. Hall as Dexter. It sounded like a great premise.

GutterBall said...

I'm terribly fond of anti-heroes. Just look at Richard B. Riddick in Pitch Black. Not only is he Vin Diesel, but he totally shot that movie to cult classic status.

Anti-heroes. The guys you love to hate. Great stuff.

And thank you for the link to Grendel. I was just talking about this book with a friend but didn't have a link on hand to send her. Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

There are so many good books in which the protagonist is despicable. As Meat Loves Salt comes to mind at the moment. It's not a matter of good guys and bad guys. It's a matter of the reader caring. Anti-heroes only work if the reader wants them to succeed despite themselves, or perhaps wants them to fail but the failure will hurt. The reader doesn't have to like the protagonist, but some part of him must love the protagonist.

xiqay said...

Oh Miss Snark,
How succinct! and funny.

To the snarkling with the question. I want to read a book where I like the main character. I get enough of unlikeable characters in real life. I don't mind reading to escape reality, I enjoy it. I don't mind having characters be better than real people, I find it refreshing and sometimes inspiring.

Likeable does not mean cookie-cutter, in my experience. I like lots of different things at different times, in different combinations. And I like characters who have some imperfections (not perfect Nancy Drew/Mary Sue types).

Call me boring if you like. But I do read a lot. And I buy books. just fyi.

I suspect you like your main character, who may share some of your traits or those of someone you love. The criticism hurts because it seems personal. It's not. It's about your character as written on the page. Not the real person whom you love.

Try again.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes "not identifying with the characters" indicates a writing (prose) issue, or a starting-in-the-wrong-place issue, not just that the characters are unbelieveable in and of themselves. Take a good look at Rachel Vater's blog. She talks about this a lot. Get your reader hooked immediately by starting with action that is emotionally filtered by the main character, and give him/her some sympathetic traits right up front. Describing the scenery, waking up in the morning, or providing lots of internal monologue or backstory do NOT cause a reader to connect with/fall in love with the main character.

And yes, your book is too long. Strip away any world-building that doesn't directly forward the plot/affect the characters (no, you do NOT need to explain every detail of your universe for a reader to get it). Cut any unnessary plot sidetracks. And after that, maybe even split it into more than one book.

blaironaleash said...

'They do have to be interesting, engaging and ultimately forgivable.'

Isn't there some hugely famous scifi novel with a rapist protagonist?

I wouldn't say any of the main characters in The Secret History were exactly admirable or forgivable, though the narrator is somewhat sympathetic.

Tyler Durden/unnamed narrator in Fight Club - do you cheer him on or do you watch/read in fascinated horror?

The letter was petulant. But I don't think there are many hard and fast rules in writing. (That said, I had a short story rejected because the narrator was a sociopathic shit - I think the editor put it more politely but that was the gist. Hell, I liked him that way!)

And hang on a minute - AMERICAN PSYCHO?!!!

CabSav said...

Give me a morally correct character I can't identify with and I'll stop reading your book after the first couple of chapters.

'Good' doesn't automatically equate to 'likeable', and as The Unpretentious Writer said, a book can be so good you'll keep reading even if you don't like the main character. If you do this, I'll finish the book, I'll admire you as a writer, but I probably won't pick up your second book.

Give me a 'good'--as in great, I love him/her, even if he is a bad guy--character, then you have also sold me your second book, sight unseen.

Anonymous said...

May I recommend "We need to talk about Kevin"? The character of the mother is brilliantly well written - a terribly flawed but very real human being. Even when she's saying and doing awful things (and being completely deluded/dishonest about her own motives) you can still empathise with her. The same is true of "Notes on a scandal".

Anonymous said...

Just as your email to Ms. Snark should have been pruned by well over half, so must your manuscript. You are in love with your own "words". I, too, think you are defending a manuscript you believe shoudln't have been rejected. 226,000 words?? You MUST know the answer to THAT question. And, of course, no one goes looking for stock characters. Do you? Why would we? When Ms. Snark eventually decides to throw in the towel, emails such as this will be why.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark,
In my previous reply to to this email, I an pretty sure I rferred to you as MS. Snark. I KNOW you aren't!!! Please edit & correct. It was the post that mentioned that the original emailer should have pruned hi letter to you by well over half. I am SO sorry - coffee hadn't kicked in...

-c- said...

Another thing to remember, it's very important that the reader identify with how the AUTHOR feels about the main character. You can have a deeply flawed main character, but if you the author are writing in such a way that you are implying that those flaws are great, the reader will be turned off. If your attitude is to expose those flaws, then all of the sudden the character becomes much more interesting.

Think Lolita. Now imagine H.H. lived happily ever after with Lolita, the author implying their love really was good and beautiful after all. What a horrible book that would be.

Linda Adams said...

The reader needs to be willing to invest time (and anywhere from $7 to $25) in a book. If they don't like a character in chapter one, they're not going to bother. The character doesn't need to be a white hat good guy--but they do need to be someone the reader is willing to invest in. Otherwise you'll never get the reader past the first chapter.

Likable doesn't mean perfect, and in fact, a perfect character would be one dimensional and boring. Rather, start thinking about how you introduce the character and how he reacts to the situations presented to him. In my first novel (appropriately trashed), the main character was unlikable. She came across as whiny--and that was because of the types of scenes I was putting her in because I needed her to do what the plot needed, rather than letting the plot and the characters work their way together.

And when agents are looking for 90K books, yours is definitely way, way too long. It'll say to a lot of them that either you haven't edited it or you haven't finished rewriting it.

Kimber An said...

Get thee to a writer's group, as well as the library. If you've written a 266,000 word novel, there must be something to it. Sometimes it just takes a lot of Slash & Burn, Weed & Polish first to figure out how to present so a reader will be sucked into it. Fellow writers are excellent critique partners if you can grow a thick skin and be helpful to them in return. Mine are worth their weight in gold! Good luck.

Kim said...

In Gone With the Wind, Scarlett is vain, petty, selfish, self-serving - oh, the list goes on and on...

The reader roots for her because some of her motivations are aren't quite so rotten - like trying to save Tara. Sure, she steals her sister's fiance, but it's to save their home.

I don't think the protagonist needs to be a jolly good, everybody-loves-him character, but a reader does have to care WHY s/he is the way she is, and why they do the things they do.

No one is all good or all evil - even the worst people in history must have had SOME redeeming quality, and some of the greatest must've had flaws as well. Incorporate the good and the bad and you'll have a fleshed out character that readers will root for - and that's what you want.

And yes - your manuscript is waaay too long. Get out the scissors and hack away, but save the material for a sequel, or a trilogy (depending on the genre)

Chumplet said...

If the protagonist was one hundred per cent perfect, handsome, beautiful and likeable, he or she would have no flaws, and therefore very little chance of conflict in the story.

C'mon, they must have some traits that make the reader want to slap some sense into them, or there wouldn't be a plot.

On the other hand, if the character doesn't have at least one trait that inspires admiration, the reader would have a difficult time supporting him throughout the story.

Go for some balance, then prune the crap out of the MS so the reader can actually see the character.

BuffySquirrel said...

There was an advert running on British tv for a while that went something like this:

"The protagonist has to be likeable--"

with a second speaker cutting in, saying,

"NO! We have to like them!"

There's the essential distinction.

Shame it was only revealed in a crappy advert, really.

Heidi Frost said...

I think this means the main character needs to have more internal conflict, and an internal conflict we as readers can identify with. My favorite example of an antihero I love to read is Nick Naylor in "Thank you for Smoking", both the movie and the book.

That's something the movie actually tries harder to do - give the main character more of an internal, personal conflict.

Bella Stander said...

anonymous #5 said:
"providing lots of internal monologue or backstory do NOT cause a reader to connect with/fall in love with the main character"

It ain't necessarily so: there's Humbert Humbert of LOLITA--not that you're supposed to fall in love with him (shudder). In his marvelous LECTURES ON LITERATURE (one of my touchstones), Nabokov said that the purpose of reading a novel isn't to identify with the main character.

In addition to the unworthies cited above, there's THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, Raskolnikov in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT and any number of others.

otterb said...

You might want to look at the discussion over at the deep genre blog www.deepgenre.com , on September 7 (sorry, don't know how to give a direct link). The consensus there seemed to be that it was vital for characters to be interesting, less so for them to be likeable.

That said, I find my personal taste leans more toward likeable these days. As one of the anonymi said, I like characters who strive to be good in the face of flaws or evil circumstance. Don't like those who strive to be self-righteous.

Inkwolf said...

At a time when my online forum moderation duties prominently involve trying to referee a furious online war between fans of Severus Snape (nasty sarcastic Harry Potter teacher) and fans of the Marauders (spoiled gang of bullies who picked on him as a child) and when the fantasy book I recommend to everyone has an unattractive, power-hungry boy and a fairly weasely Djinn (Amulet of Samarkand) as the protagonists, I can only assume that the day of the dysfuntional protagonist is here. Try to write your nasty dude so that people can like him. :p

Carrie said...

First you mentioned Dante's Inferno and I read it just after teaching a class on it. Now? You mention Grendel and Paradise Lost. Just finished teaching Beowulf, and Paradise Lost is next. Can't wait to see if you will put up a link for Gulliver's Travels--that's on the docket after Paradise Lost.

not Anonymous said...

blaironaleash said...

"Isn't there some hugely famous scifi novel with a rapist protagonist?"

There is a well known fantasy series--The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever.

Anonymous said...

What a lot of good sense in the comments!

Characters need to engage us enough to keep us reading: that doesn't mean that they're necessarily 'good', but that we are intrigued enough by their actions and motivations to want to know more. Since we may resist them, apparently unsympathetic characters probably have to be even more original in their conception and development than obviously endearing ones.

We must care about what will happen to them at the end, or we won't keep reading, but that needn't mean them finding their one true love: it can just as well mean reading furiously in the hope that the wicked villain gets his richly-deserved comeuppance.

And yes, it's pretty devastating when someone whose opinion matters says they don't like, or - worse - aren't interested in, a character you love. You need some long deep breaths and several days or weeks before you can examine yourself and decide if there's something in what they say.

Jocasta said...

The German movie Downfall, about Hitler's last days and suicide in his bunker shown through the eyes of his secretary, was so well done that it nearly made me wish at the end that Germany hadn't lost the war (strong emphasis on NEARLY though...) So I guess that it's not the chacters' morality that matters, it's the way the story is told... applies to movies as well as to books. Nobody's perfect and so-called moral perfection is not only a bore, it's also bound to be fake, but readers must be able to identify with the humanity or lack of humanity of a character to keep turning the pages.

beth said...

Anon #2 said: And yes, 226 000 words is too long. That's two books, both of which are pushing the upper limits of what people will accept for a fantasy

I've read 100K books that, due to bloat, were 40K too long, and half-a-million-word books that were just the right length, because they were pure story.

So I'm not sure how anyone can dismiss a 226,000-word story as too long without having read it first.

And there are plenty of fantasies published these days that are longer than 226K.

stephanie said...

226,000 words!

December Quinn said...

What about Scarlett O'Hara? A lot of people find her unlikeable..but she's compelling and I think most of us identify with her at least a little bit.

Maya said...

It boils down to why do you write?

If you're writing to get published, you need to pay attention to the industry. Even a cursory reading of Miss Snark's previous blogs (or any other agent's blog) would have told you that 226,000 words goes way beyond too long.

Either you haven't done your homework or you chose to ignore the advice.

Now you're wanting to defend your manuscript against what was an inevitable rejection (although with what sounds like very specific feedback).

You need to decide if you really want to be published or not. If you're writing for yourself, keep on doing what you're doing . . . and look for a vanity press. Otherwise, you need to find a critique group that will help you sort out the issues you're struggling with.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Not liking the main character is why I stopped reading the Anita Blake books. I still love the supporting cast, so a year or so after it comes out I'll check them out of the library. But a nice loveable supporting cast is not worth my $25.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I don't have to like the character, although that helps, but the character's motivations and personality and actions have to have some kind of internal integrity.

Read Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko novels (Gorky Park was the first) for an example of letting the reader "feel" the character without over-explaining and over-describing. I just finished his Wolves Eat Dogs. Fine book.

Kimber An said...

Tom Clancy might get away with getting a 266,000 word novel published, but not an unknown, unpublished author. Study all the agents' and editors' blogs you can to learn more.

Jeb said...

Great discussion on Character!

The poor nitwit/author does seem to be trying hard to justify the protagonist, and thus their faith in the 'rightness' of their manuscript (ergo the 'wrongness' of the rejection).

It can take a while to fall out of love with our main character, but that's what must happen if we're to write them as real, interesting human-scale characters instead of as an exercise in scantly disguised self-justification.

One of the main character flaws I come across often in neophyte manuscripts is the confusing of 'sympathetic' characters with 'pitiable' ones. I could go on a long rant about the frequently-seen protagonist who is burdened with enough past trauma and present trouble to keep a whole social agency working full time. But no.

A person or character we feel sorry for isn't going to evoke the same response in readers as one who is trying to do a good job at life, love, friendship and balancing their checking account despite one or two all-too-human failings.

The first is a victim, the second a survivor. Victims are depressing to be around, no matter how sorry we feel about their misfortunes. We are genuinely able to root for the survivors; they're seemingly ordinary people caught up in extraordinary situations, acting and reacting with some of the inherent dignity and savvy we hope we'd have in a similar circumstance.

(Or maybe not. The more stereotypical chick-lit and thrillers I've opened lately seem to be almost victim-porn. Maybe they're tapping into a latent cultural streak of de-Sade-ism?)

Just as when meeting a new person in real life, we form our first impressions of characters in the first few moments of exposure. That first impression is all the author has to make us curious. If the first impression is 'whiny, self-obsessed brat', I'm going to close the book. Lots of first-person openings strikes me this way. If the impression is Nancy Drew - prettily perfect in every way - I'm gone. If the hugely traumatic personal history is info-dumped on me in the first five pages....

There are a lot of ways to turn off readers' (and agents' and editors') interest in our main character. Conversely, there is no secret formula for sparking that interest. It's a trial-and-error process, involving lots of writing and honest feedback and rewriting. I've recently started work on Novel #5, and I think I'm finally able to write a short opening scene that works to establish the impression I want readers to have of my main character.

Our first novel only FEELS like a winner because it's such a huge accomplishment to finish one at all. The next stage is to finish one with which some OTHER person will be equally fascinated.

Anonymous said...

i would suggest you take a look at Limyaael's livejournal. It's mostly advice aimed at fantasy/sci-fi writers, but some of it is universal. While I don't agree with all that she says, it will certainly make you think.

Maprilynne said...

It's not necessarily the length of the novel because as many people have said, some fabulous authors pull off books that long and do it beautifully. But when an agent looks at a query that was probably as word-heavy as this letter to Miss Snark and pairs it with the enormous word count, it is only common sense to say that 100,000 of those words are going to be fluff.

kis said...

You want a book where every character is flawed and it's hard to find a good guy, try Stephen R Donaldson's Gap series (sci fi), or Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana (fantasy). They're full of people who do the right thing for cynical reasons, and the wrong thing for purely human ones. They're also excellently written and in Tigana's case, likely longer than recommended.

GutterBall said...

Not liking the main character is why I stopped reading the Anita Blake books.

Excellent example, Michele Lee. Anita Blake peaked when she had to choose between staying a "good" person and maybe not finding her loved ones in time or becoming a "bad" person and torturing another character to find out where her loved ones were.

After that agonizing inner conflict, the series mostly degenerated into increasingly graphic sex with only a few spikes back into real conflict.

Up until that point, we readers had a character we could identify with, even though we didn't always like her. After...well, I hate to say it, but most of us didn't care anymore. Not because the pinnacle had been reached--every rock-climber knows there's always a higher peak if you're brave enough to try it--but because she never approached that level of fascinating conflict again.

And I, for one, got really tired of Richard. Kick that whiny jerk to the curb!

blaironaleash said...

not Anonymous said...
blaironaleash said...

"Isn't there some hugely famous scifi novel with a rapist protagonist?"

There is a well known fantasy series--The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever.


Don't think that was it, but interesting addition.

Anonymous said...

I'm so with you, sister. I mean it. I too am sick to death at the number of what you refer to as "stock characters." When I try to base a charcter on that idea; it never works. I try to do the whole good overcomes evil thing and always end up with a screwed work. You said it. People are not always good, or bad then end up good, or whatever a cardboard society wishes them to be. I am with you. Get real. I sit here typing this and my own work is full of this shit. The same shit you are talking about. Maybe that's my problem. Thanks for the insight.

Georgia Girl

Elektra said...

The Count of Monte Cristo was also one sick puppy.

Inkwolf said...

You can actually have a villain who is the protagonist and a hero/antagonist as the secondary character. Have you ever seen the French films, Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring?

Cesar Soubeyran is a flower farmer. He wants to expand the farm and have something better to leave to his son, but he needs more water for that, and wants to buy the neighboring farm which has a good spring. Unfortunately, it has been inherited by a man from the city who plans to stay there and take up farming. Cesar hides the spring from the owner and, while pretending to be helpful, does everything he can to sabotage the newcomer in the hope that he will give up and sell the land.

The films are made from Cesar's point of view, and though he is definitely not a likeable or sympathetic character, he is fascinating in his dirty scheming, and the suspense keeps you watching.

Even in the end, after all he has done, it's still possible to feel compassion for Cesar, who has done far more harm to himself than to his enemy. (In fact, I've been told that the original US releases had a happier ending made for them.)

Really, some of us LIKE characters we have to work to understand, but there has to be something there, some passion to latch on to. Cesar was devoted to his son. Darth Vader was hunting for his son, and his lost self. Becky Sharp was a rebel against society determined to climb up from her unenviable social position by any means necessary. Artemis Fowl struggles to attain a semblance of normality in his life.

If you look at all those characters (and probably most anti-heroes), they have one thing in common: they all have a burning, passionate obsession, which is what drives them to do the insane, revolting, and sometimes evil things they do.

Without that passion, an unpleasant character doesn't have much chance of overcoming our dislike.

My opinion, anyway.

Anonymous said...

You've convinced yourself that your novel was rejected because your protagonist was just too real and the dumbed-down publishing industry couldn't cope with that.

It's not true. It's more probable that the opposite was true: your character wasn't real enough to engage the reader.

Don't do yourself or your book the disservice of continuing to convince yourself that your characterisation is just too good for anyone to appreciate. You've worked hard on this book. Don't waste that work by refusing to take the next step. Figure out how your characterisation falls short of the standard set by published books you admire. Then do your best to fix it.

Anonymous said...

Eleven questions out of thirteen sentences. WTF?

archer said...

My query was rejected upon the reasoning that (among other things, such as it probably being too long) the protagonist was not admirable or sympathetic enough for readers to like or care about him.

Virtually anything written by Evelyn Waugh is about a collection of snooty rich people with stunted limbic systems--that is, they have the emotional affect of reptiles. A Handful of Dust is like that. Who cares? It's wildly fun to read. And who the hell can possibly identify with the quasi-Christ McMurphy, or his schizophrenic narrator, Chief Broom? Just to name two very successful books.

And on the other hand--though I know you've heard this before--admirable sympathetic main characters are boring. Who really cares about smarmy Oliver Twist? "Oh PLEASE sir do not force me to steal." Right. It's Fagin and Sykes we want more of. The kid who lost his dad in Stephen King's From A Buick Eight works, but he's a bore--I like book's drunks and girlfriend-beaters and hard cases and the day-to-day details of police work. The monsters that come out of the car are pretty good, too.

Tell your rejector to go read something. Okay, don't. But query on.

Sherry Thomas said...

I think the hugely famous SF book with the rapist protagonist is THE STARS MY DESTINATION by Alfred Bester.

Nasty hero, at least in the beginning. Fascinating read.

M.E Ellis said...

It is possible to feel for a horrible MC too. They don't have to be a good guy. If you write it well you can find yourself liking even the most heinous person.


no one special said...

I thought people were joking about not knowing the Sci-Fi novel with the rapist. I can't hold my tongue any longer.

Its A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Famous in this case actually meaning famous. As in Stanley Kubrick made a movie out of it famous.

Anonymous said...

Dear OP,
If you were able to squeeze out 220K words about this character, there must be something you find compelling about the character. There is a chance, though, that how you think of the character is not how it is coming across on the page. Make sure what you think is compelling about your character is actually appearing in your story.

There is a quote I can't quite remember about how every novel is perfect until the first sentence is written.

Anonymous said...

R. A. Salvatore's "War of the Spider Queen."

Another in the list of those already submitted

Pennyoz said...

And did Prada really design for the devil?
Some muvvers do have'm!

Class factotum said...


The Count of Monte Cristo was not sick! He was an innocent man framed and sent to prison who later got revenge on those hurt him. I was cheering for him the whole way and I didn't feel one bit guilty about it. The bad guys got what they deserved.

The ones I felt guilty rooting for are the protagonist in Crime and Punishment and Luke in Cool Hand Luke.

blaironaleash said...

'no one special said...
I thought people were joking about not knowing the Sci-Fi novel with the rapist. I can't hold my tongue any longer.

Its A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Famous in this case actually meaning famous. As in Stanley Kubrick made a movie out of it famous.'

Nah. It was the Bester one.

Anonymous said...

No one special:

I couldn't see how no one had mentioned A Clockwork Orange yet either.

I've never heard of the one by Bester, so I wouldn't call it famous.