Novels about revenge
September 4, 2013 9:51 AM   Subscribe

I feel like reading books about people getting revenge, either for themselves or on behalf of other people. The revenge can be successful or pyrrhic. However, at no point should animals be harmed in any way. I also do not want sexual violence as part of the revenge. The first season of Revenge is a good example, or most of the series Leverage, but I'd prefer it to be a book, and ideally fiction.
posted by jeather to Media & Arts (38 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Count of Monte Cristo.
posted by greenmagnet at 9:56 AM on September 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


The Count of Monte Cristo, then, since that's what Revenge is based upon.

Depending on whether or not you sympathize with a sociopathic cannibal, the Hannibal/Silence of the Lambs series is pretty vengeful.
posted by elizardbits at 9:57 AM on September 4, 2013


Best Served Cold was pretty good. Abercrombie could use an editor, and christ that cover is terrible . . ..
posted by Think_Long at 9:58 AM on September 4, 2013


Wuthering Heights features a revenge plot that stretches across generations.
posted by invitapriore at 10:02 AM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Life And Loves Of A She-Devil is all revenge and I don't recall any animals or sexual violence.
posted by The Whelk at 10:06 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was going to chime in with the Count of Monte Cristo as well. On top of it being a revenge story, it's actually quite a fantastic novel of its own right.
posted by vernondalhart at 10:06 AM on September 4, 2013


Dangerous Liaisons. There is sex, but I don't recall sexual violence as such.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:12 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've read The Count of Monte Cristo.
posted by jeather at 10:13 AM on September 4, 2013


Some popular ones in case you missed them:

Gone Girl
The Steig Larssen Millenium trilogy (though definitely has some sexual based revenge although not against women).
Carrie
posted by magnetsphere at 10:22 AM on September 4, 2013


Great Expectations? That's sort of like revenge-by-proxy (Miss Havisham getting her revenge by manipulating the actions of two kids towards each other).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:27 AM on September 4, 2013


World of Wonders by Robertson Davies
posted by perhapses at 10:28 AM on September 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco is about the most despicable protagonist ever, who is involved in several of the most despicable events in European history and who exacts revenge pretty much all the time.
posted by The World Famous at 10:32 AM on September 4, 2013


Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (and only that one, the first of the series) deals with revenge. There are hardly even any animals in the book, and there is no sexual violence.
posted by Maladroid at 10:34 AM on September 4, 2013


Princess Bride. You know,... "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."... that is the best revenge quest ever, and it is much better explained and detailed in the book than the movie.

Plus, the book is just great.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:35 AM on September 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Paper Towns by John Green.
posted by mikepop at 10:36 AM on September 4, 2013


The Alfred Bester novel The Stars My Destination is an SF novel loosely based on The Count of Monte Cristo, but I couldn't call it a retelling of the story. The book is sometimes called "Tiger, Tiger" outside the US. Gully Foyle is the main character, and he is marooned in space when a rocket comes near enough to rescue him... and doesn't. But it is close enough for him to spot its name, and seek out its owner. This is classic mid-1950s SF, not hard SF. The rockets and space stations stuff is backdrop, while society has been irreparably altered by the new ability for people to be trained to teleport themselves to any location they know or can guess well enough. For that reason, some of the social mores of Napoleonic France have been restored.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:36 AM on September 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Mickey Spillane's I, the Jury. (I don't remember animals in it, but couldn't swear before you, the jury.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:42 AM on September 4, 2013


OMG, Sunburnt, I just had the little rhyme from TSmD running through my head the other day. LOVE that book. Can't believe it didn't occur to me here.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:44 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon is what you're looking to read. It's a fun read, the main character has to completely reinvent herself to bring down the people who wronged her...very similar to Revenge.
posted by jacindahb at 10:45 AM on September 4, 2013


Came in here to suggest The Count of Monte Cristo, The Millenium trilogy, and a blast from the past, If Tomorrow Comes. And yes, yes, yes - others got to all three of those. Hadn't thought of The Princess Bride that way, but that's loads of fun too.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:02 AM on September 4, 2013


12 Angry Men. Without any spoilers, that one guy needs just to deal with it.
posted by Gungho at 11:14 AM on September 4, 2013


Jeffrey Archer's Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less.
posted by Cuke at 11:48 AM on September 4, 2013


Stephen Fry's The Stars' Tennis Balls is an homage to Count of Monte Cristo.
posted by randomination at 12:14 PM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Full Dark, No Stars
-Stephen King

Read the second story.
posted by Kruger5 at 12:21 PM on September 4, 2013


How about Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry?
posted by daisyk at 12:25 PM on September 4, 2013


I also do not want sexual violence as part of the revenge.

What about revenge for sexual violence--women revenging against perpetrators of sexual assault in their past?
posted by epanalepsis at 12:44 PM on September 4, 2013


There's now a book out called Schooled by Revenge by Jesse Lasky--a staff writer on the Revenge show--that fits your qualifications. It features other students of Takeda's.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:38 PM on September 4, 2013


Oh yeah, and Olivia Goldsmith's The First Wives Club and Young Wives.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:48 PM on September 4, 2013


Another Stephen King story: Battleground (a short story from the Night Shift collection).
posted by 1367 at 3:28 PM on September 4, 2013


The Prince of Tides has the theme of revenge interspersed throughout.
posted by perpetualstroll at 5:10 PM on September 4, 2013


The Upstart by Piers Paul Read. The Burning Air by Erin Kelly.
posted by BibiRose at 6:34 PM on September 4, 2013


The first Parker novel, The Hunter, is definitely a revenge novel. Parker is a professional thief who is betrayed, shot, and left for dead by his wife and criminal partners. He survives and recovers and goes hunting for his betrayers.

Many of the other novels in the series involve revenge to some degree or another - sometimes Parker is the target, sometimes other characters, sometimes "straight" citizens get entangled with Parker and his accomplices as a means of seeking revenge on other "straight" citizens.

The books were written by Donald Westlake under the pen-name Richard Stark, and they're considered "hard-boiled" classics.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:35 PM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Millenium trilogy is absolutely filled with sexual violence and the first book in particular specifically has sexualised revenge. Strongly disrecommend.

Nthing the Parker Novel, The Stars My Destination.

Goodreads: Popular revenge novels

Wikipedia: Novels about revenge

Ranker: Revenge books list

The literature network: what novels have revenge as the main theme?
posted by smoke at 8:17 PM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Euripedes' Medea.
posted by vasi at 8:19 PM on September 4, 2013


Enduring Love is not about revenge, per se, but it has a similar subject matter: initial violent event triggers obsessive behavior.
posted by FiveSecondRule at 10:15 PM on September 4, 2013


The Lies of Locke Lamora. The novel isn't *about* the revenge, as such - I mean, the revenge just follows from the plot, not the other way around, but it's awesome.
posted by Skyanth at 3:00 AM on September 5, 2013


Freda Bright's Masques is about revenge for sexual violence, but has no sexually violent revenge.
posted by the latin mouse at 11:33 AM on September 5, 2013


Tess of the d'Urbevilles. Subtitle: Vengeance is Mine, and I Shall Repay.
posted by medusa at 7:18 PM on September 5, 2013


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