Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Favorite Characters - Part the Second

I started a chronicle of my favorite characters last week, and I'm continuing that little journey today. And some new characters have made their way into the mix this past week. I'm certain you won't be that surprised.

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A two-fer here: Jamie and Claire from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I realize I started this whole thing with secondary characters, which would, in theory, make my fave character choices a little bit more diverse or off the beaten path. Screw that. I met Jamie and Claire this past week during my first reading of Outlander and they won me over. I had to include them here. Most of you probably know the reasons, so I'll just leave it at the pic. So funny.

Osceola (Ossie) Bigtree from Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. There are a lot of interesting, memorable characters in this book, but Ossie stuck out to me. There was most certainly a shroud of mystery around her--even moreso than the other characters--because she fancies herself a Spiritualist. Even runs away with a ghost. Ossie was absent for large portions of the book, but her enigma hung over much of the narrative. I wanted to learn more about her!

The "ghost" from The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. This was one of my very favorite books I read last year, and another chunky monkey that pulled me in completely -- to the point I wanted it to last much longer than it did. While it's never proven whether there's really a ghost haunting Hundreds Hall or if it's imagined by the nutty residents, it's a ripping good ride. That ghost sure has a sick sense of humor.

Dr. Annick Swenson from State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. What a biatch. Seriously. But she's oddly twisted and sympathetic and brilliant all at the same time. It's hard to say whether Dr. Swenson is a martyr or a purely villainous, selfish wench. Oy! I love characters I don't quite know what to do with.

The woman and Thorsteinn from "A Stone Woman" by A.S. Byatt. This is one of the most memorable stories from Little Black Book of Short Stories. Another couple of short story characters! Yay! "A Stone Woman" is really a haunting mythological tale tied to the oral tradition of Iceland. The nameless woman begins to turn to stone after her mother's death. Thorsteinn helps her find her way.

And there you have it! Some of my favorite characters, many of whom I've "met" in the last year of my reading. Going back over my reading and thinking about these characters brings back so many memorable, wonderful stories. I highly recommend each and every one.

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