The best thing about human psychology is probably how we manage to come up with some of the best and worst scenarios. It is also how deeply we can dive into anything and think about something truly unnerving. Well, some of these geniuses do write books about it too and they are called psychological thrillers. Oftentimes, psychological thrillers question everything you know or can even tackle your aspect of moral ambiguity.
Well, if you are a fan of things like this and you love reading such books, then this article was written for you. Finding a good psychological thriller is somewhat challenging because of the nature of the book. However, this article is basically a list of some of the best psychological thrillers so you won’t have to look further than this.
Furthermore, finding these novels can sometimes be a hassle, especially given how old they are. So, instead, you can look for their e-books that are very easily available. The only thing you should be concerned about is the internet connection to download or access the book online. Check out Xfinity internet plans if you are looking for a good plan.
On to the books!
Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment is a Russian novel written by Fyodor Dostoevsky and published in 1866. This novel is a well-known psychological thriller that follows the life of Rodion Raskolnikov. More specifically, it focuses on Rodion’s mental turmoil once he kills a pawnbroker woman for her money as he is going through a financial crisis. He has somehow convinced himself that some crimes are justifiable if they are done without being selfish.
After he kills her, however, all his theories and justifications for killing someone fly out the window. He feels extreme guilt and disgust and decides to confess his crime, which only makes things worse. As a punishment, he is sent to Siberia to do hard labor and is publicly humiliated as well. Aside from everything he is going through, he has to deal with internal thoughts and dilemmas in his head as well, which makes things even more difficult for him.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray was written by Oscar Wilde and published in 1890. This novel is recognized as a classic piece of gothic literature and it is most definitely an interesting read. Just like Crime and Punishment, The Picture of Dorian Gray explores the dark side of the protagonist and the emotional turmoil that it can cause. However, this novel takes a different turn than the former, leading to a different story and ending altogether.
The story follows Dorian Gray, a handsome young man, who also happens to be Basil Hallward’s muse. While Basil is painting a portrait of Dorian, Lord Henry Wotton is observing the portrait and gushes about Dorian’s looks. He casually comments that Dorian should wish his portrait to age, instead of himself, and this influences Dorian to wish so. His wish is granted as his portrait is the one that seems to be aging while he remains the same.
The Stranger is a psychological thriller written and published by Albert Camus and it tells the story of a man killing another man. However, it is the indifference that the man has after killing that is what is so interesting about this novel. The story follows Meursault and it starts as he learns of his mother’s death while she was residing in an old age home. When he attends his mother’s funeral, he does not show any remorse or grief, which doesn’t sit well with a lot of people.
Later in the story, when he kills somebody, it is exactly this indifference that gets him in trouble. He is incarcerated and sentenced to be publicly decapitated. Throughout everything that is going on, Meursault, not once, feels any remorse over any of his actions and seems to be perfectly content with his life. This novel explores what is going on in his mind during everything that is happening to him. If you are a fan of crime and punishment, this novel is all you need!
The Old Man and the Sea
Although most psychological thrillers are based on murder and crime, it is not true for all. This novel, The Old Man and the Sea, is a story about an old fisherman who has not been able to catch a fish in a really long time. As everyone around him starts to believe that he is unlucky, he sets out to catch a fish to prove that he is not unlucky. The book teaches you a lot about the power of perseverance and determination.
Written by Ernest Hemingway to the brilliance, The Old Man and the Sea is still considered one of the greatest pieces of literature. To this day, this book is being taught in schools and many films have also been adapted from this novel as well. It is definitely a very good and maybe even motivating read that should be on your list.
One Hundred Years of Solitude
One Hundred Years of Solitude written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a psychological thriller that tells the story of seven generations in the Buendia family and how they are living in Macondo, a town that was made entirely from scratch, in the literal sense. Unfortunately, as great as the town is meant to be, it is affected by plagues, the banana wars, and dictatorships as well.
The novel might be following a fictional family and a fictional town, however, the themes explored here are very real. From power struggles to the nature of humans and the emotions such as love, death, violence, and more, everything is very real.
On a Final Note…
Exploring the minds of people and even sometimes the author themselves is sure to be someone’s cup of tea. However, sometimes, these novels can be too much, and that’s why they are not for everyone. Some people like the fact that all of these questions are raised that are not normally talked about or considered taboo. And these books are also the perfect representation of there being a fine line between genius and insanity!