Novel Revenge

on October 5, 2014 in Misc

You may have noticed that the movie Gone Girl came out this last week.  It’s based on the bestseller that sold about half a billion copies.


I’m not giving anything away when I tell you that the story revolves around some pretty twisted revenge.  Not the Carrie-level, impulsive mayhem type, but some crazy payback nonetheless.

gone girl poster

I thought about Gone Girl and retribution/ revenge/ The Avengers (just kidding) a couple days ago when I learned that a lawyer I had an unpleasant legal encounter with a couple years ago, and who insulted me and pretty much called me a liar, has since gone through some hard times.  He might now be divorced and his professional life, which wasn’t exactly stellar to begin with, has slid even farther into obscurity.

God forgive me (and yes I do have spiritual beliefs), I was so happy about this news.

See, the thing is this involved a minor case of my being paid my medical deductible for an injury.  I also wanted an apology from the client.  Well, I received most of the payment but nothing else, and a part of me is still angry with the lawyer and his spineless client, and I’ve been angry with myself for not standing up for myself when I had the chance.

Sure, I should just forget the matter.  I know better than to wish misfortune on others because it’ll only come back on me (maybe that’s a superstition more than a belief, but I heed it).  Still, that memory sometimes drifts through me as if in search of a cathartic ending.  I really do believe that a sense of justice is hardwired into our genetic makeup.  We all have a sense of fairness and of right and wrong.  We want goodness to be rewarded and evil to be punished.

Okay, so this lawyer is not evil, just a mediocre twit.  And no, I most definitely do not want Gone Girl type of retribution.  But because he has had some misfortunes, most likely because he brought them on himself,  the world around me feels a little more balanced.

Maybe this is why books like Gone Girl or Carrie are so popular.  They’re over-the-top overreactions to injustices, real or imagined, that characters experience.  But if we’re not careful our sense of justice can turn psycho, which is entertaining in a movie or book but not so much fun in real life.

How about you?  Any tales of retribution or justice you’ve lived through and thought of turning into a novel?

Have a wonderful week.

8 Responses to “Novel Revenge”

  1. We don’t wish it on people, but there is satisfaction when someone gets his. And it is usually brought on by his own actions. It might not happen in this lifetime, but I think it happens at some point.

  2. Helena says:

    Alex – You’re right, I believe. We want satisfaction.

  3. Justice or schadenfreude? Hmm. But either way, I’m not spiritual like you. I think it’s perfectly okay to wish misfortune on a nasty person. The universe doesn’t care either way and there’s no such thing as karma (at least to me).

  4. I usually think I probably won’t see it, but that the person involved will need to answer for their actions and the results may not be sweet. So to satisfy my need for instant gratification, I either kill them in a book or I make them the killer who will have to pay the price of his/her actions.

  5. Helena says:

    Mike – Schadenfreude is a good description, but only toward the baddies, and for me he was a baddie.

  6. Helena says:

    Carol – I do that too! I have offed a couple of real-life jerks in my stories. Isn’t it fun?

  7. Schadenfreude! (Wow — spelled it right on the first try. I must have some experience with it…) Probably best not to dwell on another’s misfortune, but hey, what goes around comes around, right? Maybe he’ll get a clue and turn out a better person in the end. Trial by fire and all that. (Experienced there, too…)

  8. Helena says:

    Milo – He had such a high opinion of himself already, I don’t know if he’ll see the karma in his change of fortune. And I sure couldn’t spell schadenfreude.