The Most Unhinged Fictional Characters Ever Written

Here’s what cooking today at Book Riot:

But what is unhinged? Let’s picture a door. One with no hinges. It’s detached; it’s hanging by, at best, a thread, and it’s disconnected from the frame that holds it up. Unhinged, to me, implies a disconnect from reality — the character has come unglued from the world, the norms that keep us all running as something of a functioning society. 

And I think there are two distinct categories of unhinged: the chaotic and the evil. 

All up and down my TikTok timeline, I saw people quoting different parts of Lamar’s four diss tracks, and, over the Cinco de Mayo holiday, so many videos were made of people dancing to “Not Like Us,” with its driving West Coast beat and quotable, heavy-hitting punchlines. News of the beef even reached the non-hip-hop mainstream, and everyone from The New York Times to The Guardian had something to say about it.

But what does this have to do with literature?

Well, if you belong to the camp that sees music lyrics as literature, the answer to that is obvious. 

You’ll find 1980s horror novels that haven’t stood the test of time, as well as a few that have become classics of the genre. Of course, as I’ve talked about before, just because a book didn’t age well doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it or that it should be removed from shelves. Rather, think of this as your primer to the scary, shocking, and sometimes enduring world of eighties horror novels as you look to explore the genre.

To get these numbers, we look at the USA Today overall top 10; Publishers Weekly overall top 10; The New York Times top 10, both Combined Print & E-Book Fiction and Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction lists; Amazon Charts top 10, both Fiction and Nonfiction; and Indie Bestsellers top 10, Fiction and Nonfiction, both Paperback and Hardcover. New additions to the list this week are bolded.

The new queer books out this week include an homage to 1950s lesbian pulp fiction, a young gay man’s steamy journey of self-discovery in 2000s New York City, two fathers-to-be on a road trip to their surrogate, an obsessive friendship between two women artists, short stories where “anonymous voices of queer native men converge amid violent eroticism,” a friends-to-rivals-to-lovers F/F bowling romance, an asexual love triangle involving a jealous haunted house, a queer sci-fi mystery that’s Knives Out in space with a Parasite twist, and more.

As far as book releases, today has a lot going on. There are releases by a few prolific writers, like Nora Roberts’s romantic suspense Mind Games; Vanessa Riley’s historical romance, A Gamble at Sunset; and Stephen King’s new collection of horror stories, You Like It Darker.

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