Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Greene writes a dark and disturbing novel. His characters are like caricatures, almost funny, yet sinister. He uses youth and innocence to demonstrate the ease of which one can manipulate the young, innocent and the vulnerable. He explores man’s relationship with religion, and demonstrates that even the morals of organised religion is unable to control the darkness of man’s nature. He uses irony effectively in the development of his characters, and uses ignorance as an effective tool to demonstrate how we justify actions and beliefs.
This is highly recommended, if uncomfortable to read
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Wow, unbelievably lyrical and still an edgy read. It shocks all the senses. The first person narrative exposes his thought processes, his darkness and conflicting emotions (parenting, love and lust) desire, over protectiveness, jealousy and ultimately, love. Beautifully written, demonstrating that anyone can be a monster. The reader experiences a range of thoughts and emotions and at points can empathise with the protagonist. It is written is such a compelling and ‘compassionate’ manner for Lolita that one is left with the idea that one should not be judging the protagonist. Ultimately, there is a sense of naivety within the narrator. It demonstrates the worst in mankind, that is selfishness.