Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Favourite Literary Characters

Whilst reading Earth  Abides, I got to thinking about my favourite literary characters.  This of course will always be a moving target the more I read, but  it's been fun thinking about who they are and how much I enjoyed reading the novels they appeared in.

Most recently I added May Kasahara to this list from the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle as I loved her dark eccentricity, and Nick Andros from The Stand will always be listed here as I really took to this character and when  Stephen King killed him off I actually went into mourning.

Not all of my favourite characters are nice, take for instance Count Fosco from The Woman in White, a devilishly nasty man but quite a charmer with the ladies and what about Hatsumomo from Memoirs of a Geisha - one of the best antagonists I've had the pleasure to read about.  Plus there's also Tom Ripley the sociapath from The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia Highsmith made an excellent job of this character - you actually want him to get away with it!

There have been striking characters such as Alex from A Clockwork Orange, and John Egan from Carry Me Down.  Both very troubled souls though Alex is redeemed in the end.  I often think of John Egan and wonder how his life turned out - the novel never had a satisfactory ending so I'll never know.  I really liked him and felt so sorry for him, his inability to really connect with the world around him.

Then, there are the endearing characters.  Odd Thomas was one I really liked but he became over exposed by Koontz writing many awful sequels, but the original Odd Thomas however was a really lovely story. My all time favourite in this category would have to be the ever faithful friend of Frodo - Samwise Gamgee.  He was the biggest hero from The Lord of the Rings. 

And now in this top ten list I can add Isherwood Williams from Earth Abides.  Ish is an ordinary man surviving extraordinary times.  A man who will spend his life worrying about the survival of mankind, and the future of his 'tribe' and who finally realises that studious learning is not what will be important for his children and grandchildren but practical skills.  Rather than sitting back and going with the flow as other members of the 'tribe' do, he shows them how to make and use a bow and arrow and how to make fire.  He cared about what the future would bring and I really admire him for that.


  1. Thanks for a great blog post on interesting characters. This has given me an idea on what to do my blog over today! :) Great read!

  2. Thank you Jessica. Good luck with your writing, I had a look at your two novels on Amazon, and whilst they are not what I generally read I hope your book sales increase for you. Have you tried to promote them?