Monday, August 10, 2009

Listed: Favourite Male Characters

Courtney has been doing some lists over the past weeks and I thought I would jump on this one....because, seriously, what girlie bibliophile doesn't want to talk favourite fictional men?


Without further ado!

The list!

1.) Sherlock Holmes ---he needs no introduction. He is not at all how he is usually portrayed in film. He is, instead, young, spry, athletic and sharp. Oh! and he may loathe all of humanity but he loves Watson!

2.) Melrose Plant from Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series. Melrose leapt off the page at me when I first read him in "The Man with a Load of Mischief" ---e'er since I pine for the next Jury installment---especially the first obligatory scene in Long Pidd where Melrose is spotted at the Jack and Hammer: perhaps languidly reclining with his nose in Rimbaud. This Lou Reed-loving; emerald eyed; gold-rimmed bespecked wonder is an absolute fictional favourite!

3.) Stephen Maturin from the Aubrey and Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian.
Stephen is just so demmed interesting. So complex and so vulnerable. I sort of want to brush him up and put him in my pocket. Plus, I love that he plays the cello and that his heart "beats to quarters" every time he sees his one love , Diana Villiers

4.) Horatio Lyle from Catherine Webb's The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle, etc., Sort of a Horatio Lyle/ Doctor Who hybrid, Horatio sprung off of the page and into my heart within ten pages of his first, eponymous novel. I LOVE him! I love that a young adult series boasts an adult protagonist and I LOVE that he loves the children: his proteges Tess and Thomas. His repartee with Tess is one of the best bits of Webb's sparkling writing.

5.) Dr. Neil MacNeil from Catherine Marshall's Christy. Oh goodness. Neil MacNeil sets my heart all aflutter. A smart, rapier-witted Scottish doctor whose loyalty to his people keeps him sequestered amidst poverty and ignorance in the Great Smokies of Tennessee. Young, impressionable Christian school teacher Christy is given more than she bargained for in this stern agnostic. The two spar and battle and fight through one of the most palpable chemistries I have ever read.

6.) Sir Percival Blakeney --The Scarlet Pimpernel of Baroness Orczy's series.
Percy is a swashbuckling; sword-wielding; romantic. He loves stealing to France to slight the intelligence of Robespierre and his personal rival, Chauvelin. Indeed, he may just be the first costumed superhero: disguising himself as a fop to slip into France under guise of attractive clothes. From lavish balls at Lord Grenville's to imprisonment to banter with the Prince Regent himself, Percy is ready for anything. Perhaps what most endears me to him is his adoration of his wife Marguerite. He kisses the stones her feet have trod.

7.) Dean Priest --from the Emily Trilogy by LM Montgomery

Someone please tell me what he is doing in what are otherwise harmless kunstleroman novels? Hunchbacked, emerald eyed and honey-tongued, "Jarback" Priest is undoubtedly the most complex of Montgomery's heroes ( followed closely by Andrew Stuart of Jane of Lantern Hill and Barney Snaith of The Blue Castle). He saves Emily from death and then claims her life for his own. All the while, exorcising his inner Rochester and proving himself the most byronic of byronic heroes. Wracked with jealousy and with a tendence to oddly skulk in corners, Dean just gives me shivers and keeps me diving back for more. I wrote my thesis on Montgomery and Dean figured prominently; creeping into each paragraph, but also into my thoughts for a year consistently. Montgomery mentions a novel-in-embryo she thought might have been her crowning glory entitled "Priest Pond." Perchance Maud shelved the epic that would never be but kept dear Dean and slid him into some of her best work.

8.) Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities ( Dickens)

Sydney Carton is a drunk lawyer who wears his wig askew, who piddles around his office with Stryver long after closing time and who loves Lucie Manette with all of his heart. Sydney never quite lives up to his vast potential. Moreover, he knows it. Instead he bottles all heroism into one of the most shockingly redemptive acts in all of literature. A very big literary crush of mine.

( I made him a facebook account).

9.) Barney Snaith from Montgomery's Blue Castle.

Barney is sort of my leading man. I adore him. I just want to put him in my pocket. In many ways he embodies my ideal: well-read; sarcastic; adventurous; thoughtful; bookish and smart. Barney's independent and has a wonderful, quick humour. He is also the best companion a gal could have. He respects Valancy ( his leading lady) and treats her as an equal. They share one of the most romantic friendships I have ever read. I like that their romance blooms out of comradery: the preternatural kinship Maud often writes of. Barney also has dimples and just happens to be an author---triple word score!

10.) Joseph Gargery from Great Expectations

I am not in love with Joseph; nor do I find him a particuarly attractive hero. He is not, indeed, the hero of the tale at all. But, without Joe, there would be no Pip to star in the tale and to have great expectations realized. Joe is the salt-of-the-earth blacksmith who would give his right arm to make his young, orphaned brother-in-law happy. No matter how badly the rich Pip hurts and mistreats Joe, Joe always holds the forge door wide open.
Joe also boasts a tremendous respect and tolerance of women: even his treacherous wife, Mrs. Joe. The son of an abused mother and a drunken father, Joe vowed never to see a woman put in such a shameful position again. Thus, he bears a difficult marriage having saved his wife and her young brother from destitution.

Honourable Mentions:

Alan Woodcourt (Dickens' Bleak House)
Patrick Harper ( the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell)
Locke Lamora and Jean Tannent ( by Scott Lynch)
Horatio ( from Shakespeare's Hamlet)


Kailana said...

Horatio Lyle is great. I need to read more in that series... This post further points out that a lot of LM Montgomery has been sitting on my shelves unread for too long!

Court said...

I knew more than half of these were going to be on your list!

Oh, Horatio Lyle!! XD

Gina said...

I looked up Sydney Carton on Facebook and there were several groups. Which one's yours?