Book-ending my novel

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Barbara

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Following on from a brilliant Huddle (thank you so much @AgentPete), I need your help, my lovely Litopians. I'm trying to compare my novel to similar works. It's a dark thriller, but it's sprinkled with humour. The MC turns into an unlikable character as the story unfolds. Basically, he crashes. He's trying to save his wife from being killed but in the process he self-destructs and turns into everything he hates. He works for MI5 and he's a compulsive gambler. It's not a spy novel but it's a story about a man on a downward spiral who ends up finding his nightmare. At the end, he will be beyond redemption.

Any suggestions? Similar books or authors?

Much TIA.

By the way, I highly recommend participating in a Huddle. You'll get excellent advice and input from Pete as well as a group of Litopians. Invaluable. Best thing since the invention of books.
 
Ok, full disclosure I HAVEN’T watched it so am totally ready to be corrected and admonished cos, y’know, it’s meant to be the best TV since I don’t know, Pebble Mill at One, but could your MC’s journey / decent be similar / likened to the guy in Breaking Bad?

And yes, I really need to do a huddle!
 
could your MC’s journey / decent be similar / likened to the guy in Breaking Bad

I haven't seen it either but I'd second this. My brother-in-law loved Breaking Bad and has tried to get me to watch it; it's a school teacher who becomes a drug dealer through a bad sequence of events. And it's meant to be funny. Of course, I stand to be corrected too!

But you need a book, I know Agent Pete recommended this. I haven't read a lot of thrillers, Karin Slaughter is one that comes to mind - The Good Daughter, but it's not dark. But maybe she has a dark one? She's a few books I believe. Also maybe try a trip to the bookstore or library and look around Stephen King. He's an outlier so you couldn't use him, but maybe by reading blurbs around him, you'll get an idea.

Your comp titles shouldn't be more than 3 years old, so that helps narrow things down.

Totally agree about the Huddle, invaluable!!
 
This is a major headache for me. When Pete asked me for comparisons in a past Huddle, I said The horror of Midnight Express wrapped in the romance of Cabaret. Now they are films from the 70s but his eyes showed instant recognition and he seemed to like the comment. I am totally lost for current comparable books and when I posted my synopsis here and asked if anyone could help no one could. The point is if you cannot think of current books then older well know films/TV can be informative. If an agent finds your letter interesting for whatever reason and if he takes you on he will be better able to tell the publisher which shelf it should sit on.
 
Ok, full disclosure I HAVEN’T watched it so am totally ready to be corrected and admonished cos, y’know, it’s meant to be the best TV since I don’t know, Pebble Mill at One, but could your MC’s journey / decent be similar / likened to the guy in Breaking Bad?

And yes, I really need to do a huddle!
@Andy D, I haven't seen them either but one of my friends mentioned Breaking Bad a while ago when I told her what I'm writing about. I need to watch some TV.
 
Another thing you might do is look at books recently published by agents/publishers who interest you.

"The same but different." Isn't that what all the booksellers are looking for?
 
"The same but different." Isn't that what all the booksellers are looking for?
That's kind of my theory too. :)

I've been going through Amazon and Waterstone's thriller lists... alas.... But I'll now look at agents/publisher's book lists. Good idea, thank you.
 
Have you read any of Mick Herron's Slough House series? His group of messed-up spies are demoted to the house for various infractions of protocol, which sounds similar to the dynamic of your story, as they don't really change their ways.

I agree with Paul. But although Herron's characters are flawed and don't so much bend the rules as drive through them, the tone is wry -- and very funny in places -- rather than dark.

I can think of dark -- the Nordics do very dark -- but usually if the MC is bad, s/he starts off that way.

Maybe American Psycho...? (I must declare I never got right to the end, it so revolted me.) The Great Gatsby's got a descent, but it's more of a disintegration, a falling apart.

There are historical precedents: James Hogg's Justified Sinner, and I'm sure there are stories in Edgar Allan Poe, though I'd be hard pressed to remember which, and they shade into horror from thriller.

What you've got is different. That's why this is difficult. Maybe that's your USP.
 
Can I just interject: what on earth have you been doing with your lives?! Breaking Bad is one of the top two TV dramas ever, I would say. And best of all, its 5 series form a perfect narrative arc. Go forth, and enjoy!
I second that! Five seasons, five acts of perfect tragedy. It's properly Shakespearean. Seriously.
Guess what I'll be doing next weekend...
 
I will add my vote to those recommending Breaking Bad!

I also thought of "The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell, which I read recently and is incredible. It's about a Jesuit priest who visits an alien civilisation on a new planet. His best intentions go horribly wrong and lead to disaster and evil. It's sort of sci-fi with a spiritual element.
 
What about something like (and this is more a hook than bookmarking, so I digress), 'English Breaking Bad with the Russian mob' or similar?
 
I second that! Five seasons, five acts of perfect tragedy. It's properly Shakespearean. Seriously.

Now, if only my brother-in-law said that, I would have persisted, lol :) Sold.

Thanks everyone, you inadvertently just grew my TBR list :)
 
British Breaking Bad...brilliant idea. Though I stopped watching after the tortoise...you know. Any novel with a Faustian pact-with- the- devil, hero on a road to hell theme.
 
Can I just interject: what on earth have you been doing with your lives?! Breaking Bad is one of the top two TV dramas ever, I would say. And best of all, its 5 series form a perfect narrative arc. Go forth, and enjoy!
Agree 100%—Breaking Bad is exceptional! (I’m jealous that you all get to experience it for the first time!)
 
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