(Original Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish)
Ten Characters You Just Didn't Click With
This one is a little tough. I don’t finish books I don’t like, which most often means characters I don’t believe or can’t become invested in. I don’t hold with the idea that characters necessarily have to be likable or relatable, but they do have to have a hold over me somehow. This list is a mixed bag of characters that generally failed to make me care about their outcome, whether I actually liked the book or not.
Pretty much any of Richard Yates’ dead-eyed suburbanites in Revolutionary Road. I think it’s a great book, but the “horror” of the closing passages was somewhat lost on me as I knew nothing good could ever come of the characters Yates had created.
Ceony Twill from Charlie Hormberg’s Paper Magician Trilogy. I never made it past the first book, mostly because none of the characters felt like they had more than two dimensions, and as Ceony is the “heroine,” her failure to engage me is the most egregious.
Grady from Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys. He is supposed to be funny in a pathetic sort of way. That incident with the dog was not funny.
George, the narrator of K.W. Jeeter’s Infernal Devices. Wow, really bloody boring. I couldn’t care less if he got out of his “difficulties” or not.
Henry and Claire from The Time Traveller’s Wife. This novel NEEDS you to give a crap about their relationship. I could not.
Gwenhwyfar from The Mists of Avalon. I got the impression that Bradley wanted you to pity Gwen for being a political pawn and being trapped in feminine expectations, but I mostly just wanted to strangle her.
Any Candace Bushnell heroine.
Catherine Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights. I will never understand what drives people to identify with Cathy and argue about her being a great tragic heroine. She and Heathcliff deserved each other, and that is not a good thing.
Edith from Anita Brookner’s Hotel du Lac. Her story is set in the 1980s but she feels like a throwback to the 1910s and I constantly wanted to slap her and tell her to grow a spine. She drifted through the book, with pretty much zero resolution and no change in herself or her life.
Madeleine, Mitchell, and Leonard from Eugenide’s The Marriage Plot. I liked the book well enough, but I never cared much for the outcome, and Mitchell was especially contrived as a device to rupture the expectations of the marriage plot.