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Some of Bev's Favorite Quotes...



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Frustrating Characters


Top Ten Tuesday is an original bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new top ten topic is posted for followers to write about. This week we are asked to list the Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters.  I'm not sure I'm going to get ten, but here goes....

1. Maurice in The Green Man by Kingsley Amis: Maurice is a self-absorbed, boozing womanizer who just happens to also be a hypochondriac who never learns anything from anything during the whole story.
 
2. Portnoy in Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth:  Portnoy goes on and on (and on and on and...) about growing up Jewish and what the pressures of his home life have done to him.  The reader is left feeling that Portnoy will never get beyond the furtive fumbling in the bathroom or the frantic wranglings in the bedroom.
 
3. Emma Woodhouse in Emma by Jane Austen:  It didn't help that I disliked Emma from the very first sentence: "Emma Woodhouse, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." How nice for her. How jolly to have everything going your own way. And, as we get to know Emma, how nice to be so assured of one's own interpretation of the world to be sure that one is always right and knows best for one's friends. And to somehow not learn anything for about 400 pages no matter how many times one is wrong.
 
4. Laurence "Tubby" Passmore in Therapy by David Lodge. Another self-absorbed male character.  This one seems to have it all. The good life. He may be almost bald and shaped like a pear, but he writes for a TV sitcom that keeps the money "rolling in like [he's] discovered oil in the backyard." He's got a beautiful house in Rummidge, the car of his dreams, a flat in London, a sexy wife with a healthy libido, and a platonic mistress with whom he can discuss anything and everything. So what's wrong? He Doesn't Know. (This becomes the little theme chant for the book.) And by the end of the book--We Don't Care.
 
5. Louis de Pointe du Lac in Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice:   Louis is a big whiny-pants--200 years worth. Geez. Get over the whole depression thing already. You're a vampire. Maybe you didn't wanna be, but you are. Suck it up (ha!) and get on with your non-life. 
 
 6. Tristram Shandy in Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:  Tristram cannot finish a thought to save his life.  He starts story after story after story and, yes, maybe finishes them....like half a book or more later.  Sterne is the grand-daddy of all the stream of consciousness writers and I had a hard time wading through Tristram's stream....

7. Henry Cavendish in The School of Night by Louis Bayard: Cavendish is a bit of a loser.  And he didn't win me over as the underdog who will make good--the man down-on-his-luck who deserves better, so cheer him on!  I really didn't care if he and his friends decoded the map and found the treasure or not.  And....when they finally do decode the map...well, let me just say that it's all a bit of a let-down. 


That's it for characters I came up with on my own.  Have to say I agree whole-heartedly with the frustrations voiced by Lindsey over at Babies, Books & Beyond with Scarlett O'Hara and her unreasonable attachment to Ashley and inability to recognize that Rhett is the man for her.  And also Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.  Yes, yes. And, again, yes.

4 comments:

Ryan said...

I like Louis, but he does tend to get on my nerves towards the end of the series.

Red said...

"'Emma Woodhouse, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.' How nice for her." I skipped over this TTT because I couldn't come up with enough frustrating characters but this is perfect. Plus as soon as I read your comment I started laughing.

Bev Hankins said...

Ryan: I think I came to Vampire too late. Louis just annoys the crap out of me in my 40s.

Red: Yeah, I'm kindof proud of that review. Not that everyone agrees with me....

Becky said...

Nooooooo, I love Louis and his whinging lol. Poor guy. He is so tragic. Here's Ours