Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - or Top Five on Wednesday!



Visit The Broke and the Bookish blog (click the pic) to participate, weekly!

I was hosting a TLC Tours stop yesterday for The Iguana Tree by Michel Stone, so I thought I'd post my Top Ten Favorite Characters today instead! But then I started writing, and I'm pretty passionate about these characters, so I wrote more than I anticipated. Instead, I've decided to focus on five of my favorite characters and I'll deliver another five later this week or early next. Keep an eye out!

Now, I knowwww everyone thinks I'm gonna stick Estella at the top of the list. And I'm tempted. I mean really and truly tempted. BUT, I'm going to resist the urge and tell you about some of my favorite characters who are not necessarily central characters. These folks really deserve some time in the spotlight as peripheral characters can sometimes be even more memorable than our protagonists. 


Miss Havisham from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens -- Isn't this a stunning image? Helena Bonham Carter will play the enigmatic and iconic nut job in Mike Newell's adaptation of the famous Dickens novel. I can never get enough of the rotting dress and the room and the falling-in estate. I love it all. I don't know that another character (besides Estella, and they go hand-in-hand) has ever struck my imagination in quite the same way.


Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens -- This is a name I see far too little in my blog surfing. One of Dickens' most memorable characters, Carton was an attorney and a lush. A more or less throw-away human being until he did a "far, far better thing" than this reader expected him to do! I will always think of Carton as Ronald Colman played the role in the 1935 film adaptation. Thanks to my high school English teacher, Dr. Partin, for making us watch this film. 

 
Ysabeau from A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness -- Having just finished the book, I haven't even written up my review! However, in thinking back over it, I'm sure many readers would immediately jump to the bookish Diana or the super-hawt vampire, Matthew. BUT, I'm going with Ysabeau, Matthew's vampire "mother." She was a far more multifaceted and interesting character for me. She was angry, bitter, prejudiced, but also underwent a change to maternal. A complicated one, that Ysabeau. 


Nessarose, The Imminent Thropp of Munchinkinland from Wicked by Gregory Maguire -- What a beast, this one. It's funny how Nessarose becomes such an antagonist. She's one-side in her religious and political views, she's beautiful but deformed. She's a mixture of religion and rigidity. I just wanted to kick her in the face, but she's such an interesting foil to Elphaba. She is quite a memorable character. 


Arnold Friend from the short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have you Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates -- I couldn't leave out a short story! Come on! And if you've been here for a minute, you'll remember that I gush about this selection at every available opportunity. Arnold Friend is truly a creepy, weird, disturbing character. He's damaged somehow, though the ambiguity of the story can only leave us looking for answers. I have my own, but you'll have to read the story to figure out what Arnold Friend has in his boots. Trust me, just do it. :) Oh, and why are you looking at a Bob Dylan pic? Because Friend looked an awful lot like him in description and Oates was influenced by a Dylan song in writing this story.

Who are some of your lesser-sung favorite characters???

17 comments:

  1. MUST read Wicked and A Discovery of Witches during our summer break!! MUST!

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    1. Wicked is one of the most glorious books I've ever read. The detail, the world building, the intrigue. OH MY! And now I'm reading Outlander and I feel the same way about it. Lovely, lovely books!

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  2. Love your choice of Ysabeau - and totally agree - she was such a complex, but strong & supportive character. One of my favorite characters in recent books is Thea from Mistress of Rome - she really held it down despite a LOT of rough circumstances.

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    1. Wasn't she??? Matthew and Diana are written with very broad (dull) strokes. Ysabeau was on fire though!

      I'll have to check out Mistress of Rome.

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  3. Oh, I agree with a lot of your choices, especially Ysabeau and Miss Havisham. I love characters that are unique and have that extra little sparkle in them, and even if they are supporting characters, they can end up becoming favorites. Great list today. I can't wait to see part II!

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    1. Exactly! Protagonists are often so purely good and antagonists so purely bad. There's some very interesting middle-ground to be explored.

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  4. Great post! I am glad you enjoyed A Discovery of Witches. I pre-ordered the sequel. :)

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    1. Kelly, I requested it on NetGalley, though I doubt it'll come through. I'll buy it if I have to despite my mixed feelings. I realized after I finished reading A Discovery of Witches that I have mixed feelings. lol

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  5. I only know one of those characters!

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    1. Kathy, now I need to know which one!

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  6. Completely agree with Nessarose and Miss Havisham (and probably the others had I read them). Miss Havisham, especially, never really leaves you as a character. I thought Gillian Anderson did a brilliant job in the recent BBC remake. Really need to read Discovery of Witches!

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    1. Brooke, I did not watch the BBC remake! I have every intention and then totally flaked out and forgot. Will have to see if I can dig it up on YouTube or somewhere else.

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  7. I need to read Discovery of Witches and Wicked!

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    1. Kathleen, yes ya do! Both very engrossing.

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  8. I wanted to love Wicked, I really did, but I thought it was a bit boring :(

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    1. Sam, I really liked the political intrigue and the intricacy of the world building. But I can see how one might need to be in the right mood, or how it just wouldn't work for everyone. It took me off guard -- I went into it thinking I would definitely NOT like it. Surprise!

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  9. Ooh, I love this - singing the praises of the lesser-sung characters! My brain is too fried to think of who I would add to your list, so I'll have to mull it over.

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