Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Those Hateful Creatures

It's difficult to make me really dislike a character in a book; characters don't make or break a story for me.  I'm typically a live-and-let-live sort of gal (I blame liking/disliking a book on other things).  However.  There are a few (and if I stretch it, perhaps a few more) that are especially grating to me.  And so, in honor of Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish, here's what I came up with:

1. Owen Meany.  I apologize to the fans, but this little kid was so irritating I wanted to smack him.  I don't care if he was awkward, intelligent, prophetic, or determined. Just PLEASE STOP SCREECHING AND YELLING AT ME.  I have never hated Caps Lock more.  Grrr.

2. Peter Pan.  Oh man, I'm stepping on toes all over the place, aren't I?  And really, I don't have a thing against unique boys...just out of control haughtiness or arrogance.

3. The stinkin' fish in The Old Man and the Sea.  Oh that he had sprained his ankle in the first dance! (Sorry, all this frustration needed to be counteracted by some Jane Austen commiseration.)  I hated this in high school, and that feeling has stayed with me.  Someday I'll have to re-read it to give it another chance, but for now I am content wishing that the fish had given up the ghost after the first go around.

4. Miss Garnder, Francie Nolan's English teacher in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  She actually had me fuming and shaking with anger.  I had to set down the book and vent.  (See the end of my review for the part I'm referring to.)

5. The narrator in Atonement.  I know, this is akin to disliking Mr. Ian McEwan's very person.  And I do apologize, but I did not enjoy the twist in this book.  I felt used and abused as a reader.  I think the movie was actually better (gasp!).

6. The narrator in The Scarlet Letter.  I'm really not trying to pick on authors or narrators, but since I'm at it I may as well mention this one too.  The way the storyteller kept intruding took me off guard and made me uncomfortable.  I'm not like that with everything...but this narrator kind of ruined the story for me.

7. Pretty much every single person in I Know This Much is True.  If anything, this book made me appreciate that the people in my life are not so messed up.


I can't think of any more!  Although I am sure there are some floating around out there.  What about you?  Can you come up with 10?  Do characters stand out to you in general?


  1. The characters are very important to me, but like you, not as much as the overall feeling I get from the book. I disliked all the characters in Wuthering Heights (especially Joseph) and yet I still liked the book. !!! I have more than ten characters I hate, so I should probably really do a post:)

  2. I agree with Atonement. Man, I hate that book!!!

  3. BookQuoter--yes! do a post! I'd love to read which characters get your blood boiling. :)

    Vicky--glad to hear I'm not alone! Those are some hours I wish I could reclaim.

  4. I never understood why everyone liked Peter Pan so much...he did always seem rather full of himself, didn't he?

    A Tapestry of Words

  5. I LOVE Peter Pan! Shows how different everybody's taste is :)


    Sorry! Couldn't help myself. :D

  7. Danya and Daisy--so funny! see, that's why we need to have tons of books to choose from, so we can all be happy. :)

    Andi, I'M SO GLAD SOMEONE ELSE FELT THAT WAY! It may have been the loudest book I've ever read. :)

  8. Thank you for mentioning Atonement! That book did not do it for me. I just couldn't relate to a character who would ruin someone's life the way she did.

  9. I have to comment on "Atonement." Personally, I think Ian McEwan has a serious screw loose. I have read several of his novels, and I'll not read another. I was completely devastated by "Atonement," and not in a good way. Whilst well written, it was a 'mean' novel, and I don't need that in my life any more. Others may like to read him, but I'll be taking a pass. There are so many deeper novels that I want to read in my allotted time left that I shan't be wasting it on McEwan's. Just my two-cents. I love your blogging here; keep up the great work! Cheers! Chris

  10. Owen Meany is the only Irving book I couldn't finish! God he was irritating!

    I have Atonement but I haven't read it yet! Have to see how I go!

  11. I am totally with you on Peter Pan. In fact, most of the characters in that book drive me nuts. And speaking of annoying narrators, when I read Alice in Wonderland as an adult I spent the entire book irritated by the narrator. Oh, that patronizing tone! Drives me CRAZY.

  12. thebookstop--talk about pure selfishness, huh? pretty crazy.

    Chris--that's it exactly! I felt like it mocked the relationship between reader and writer. 'Mean' is a good way to put it.

    Bree--it's the only Irving book I've started, now I'm afraid to try anything else...Owen Meany is the favorite book of 3 of my friends!

    Emily--I didn't mention Alice because I thought I was already stepping on too many toes. :D It wasn't a favorite of mine either.

  13. I love how you chose narrators and a fish on your list! Although, I liked The Old Man and the Sea I understand what you mean about that fish! Really great post and I'm sure you'll be adding dislikable characters in no time at all. If anything, perhaps, this meme has us all thinking about them. lol! :)


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