It has been 32 years since I first read the epic battle between General Woundwort and the awesome Bigwig, and I don't think I've ever again been so thrilled by a piece of literature, I read Casino Royale, when I was 12. Joe Gargery in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations is so decent and so real that you always think you know him. Tolstoy's genius is to paint this unblinking portrait, which, rather than alienating, ends up seducing the reader. Balzac's heroic villain with many names is one of the greatest - wicked, inventive, brave, grimly witty, passionate and full of new aspects as he reappears in various novels. Anita Loos's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes takes the form of Lorelei's diary, which is full of her attempts to snag a rich man. His retreat cut off, heplunged into the River Tiber. Kari Buhl is an aristocrat who embodies his creator's ideal of decency, modesty, intelligence, and immense sensitivity to the feelings of others. Chosen by Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring). He turns out to be well-born, and marries the girl. One of their favorite characters is Frozone - a character who can control ice and water at will. Julien Sorel in Stendhal's The Red and the Black is clever, dashing, successful and completely amoral. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, and The Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield. At 34, when I read it last, Portnoy became this unashamedly honest Jewish American voice howling at history. We read their stories, look into their brains and see their thoughts, feel their emotions. Unlike most literary characters, you could imagine sharing a pint with him. Winnie the Pooh is not a better character than they are. You just can't help liking the amiable cad. I like Tintin's blandness, his blankness, his lack of depth; he is an empty page on which adventures can be drawn. What willpower! 2022 The Arena Media Brands, LLC and respective content providers on this website. The monstrous creation of Bret Easton Ellis's dark, dark satire American Psycho is - uniquely among fictional serial killers - a physical coward. Louisa Pollit in Christina Stead's The Man Who Loved Children is plain, passionate, brilliant and doomed, and a rare self-portrait of an artist as a young woman. Philip Marlowe, the private detective created by Raymond Chandler, is the most inspirational and influential character I have ever met. I admire his cheerful arrogance and independence. (LogOut/ Chosen by Alexandra Pringle, (editor-in-chief of Bloomsbury). We've got you covered with our map collection. These are just a few of the many different opinions on who is the most influential character in history. Many people have tried to answer this question, but it is not an easy one to answer. I don't think I'd get much sleep if I spent the night at his house. I read Proust's Remembrance of Things Past when I was on the dole. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the GooglePrivacy policyandTerms of serviceapply. She thinks she's an intellectual, but she's actually a dumb blonde. My favourite literary character is a toad, the comically cantankerous half of Arnold Lobel's amphibian duo, Frog and Toad. He now spends his time as a stay-at-home dad and husband to his wife, Mrs. Chosen by Pauline McLynn (comedian and author). The feisty, funny and above all unabashedly passionate Anne of Green Gables, by LM Montgomery. There are few such fabulous (in the true sense) sons in fiction as Haroun in Salman Rushdie's anti-censorship fairy story, Haroun and The Sea of Stories. One of these books is 1984 by George Orwell. The slow dismantling of his veneers, the ferocious way in which Roth chases to the truth of him, the terrified father, is devastating.

There is something appealing about a man who stows his stethoscope under his top hat. Chosen by Conn Iggulden (Emperor: The Field of Swords). Answering this question is not as easy as it seems. Frozone also has a sidekick named Mini-Me who is also an AI writer assistant that helps him generate content ideas for his blog posts and other writing projects. Sherlock Holmes is a deductive genius, using his analytic mind for the good. Chosen by Wendy Holden (The Wives of Bath). In spite of all the distracting temptations offered to Dick Diver in F Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night - happiness, success, wealth, glamour, the admiration of others - he realizes that he will only come into his own by becoming a charmless bore, an alcoholic, a lonely failure. Able to hold centre stage in plot, or work subtly in deep background. Modest to a degree, Watson does not bother us with facts about himself, since Sherlock Holmes is so much more important. By the end of the novel, he has, through "adventures in the flesh and spirit", fallen in love with life. Chosen by Francine Stock (the presenter of Front Row). De Charlus is a hilarious character who leads a kind of double life: he's a grand man in French society, but also a homosexual with a penchant for kitchen boys. The best fictional character is one that has been an iconic figure in their respective field. While the most read book is still Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, The Lord of the Rings is a close second. I see a lot of people agreed with me : ). What do you think, dear readers? By clicking Create my account you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to ourTerms of use,Cookie policyandPrivacy notice. It is her stoicism and determination that make me love her. Every time I read it I ache with nostalgia. He's not witty or charming, just honest and virtuous. Bond knew about all that intrigued me: cars, cocktails, guns, and most of all girls, Send us your favourites! Chosen by Marian Keyes (Sushi For Beginners). Change). Infoplease knows the value of having sources you can trust. Just put Lizzie next to Fanny Price ( Mansfield Park): Fanny will drone on about virtue; Lizzie will tell a joke. I can't pick just one, but at the Fictional People Awards Ceremony I hope they put me on a table with Mikhail Bulgakov's Devil and Robert Bolt's Thomas More, for their erudition and conversation. The best fiction book ever written is still a debatable topic. the results of our Whats yourfavorite novel? poll, 10 Cozy Mysteries for a Gentle Thrill (+ a Bonus! He signalled the end of automatic deference to our superiors. I remember reading Martin Amis's Money when I was about 18 and loving the thrillingly savage character of John Self. The Arena Media Brands, LLC and respective content providers to this website may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. (LogOut/ She is a rebel from the very first chapter of Thackeray's Vanity Fair. Just because we like characters, doesnt mean theyre always safe. Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in, Please refresh your browser to be logged in, The 100 favourite fictional characters as chosen by 100 literary, The 100 best fictional characters of all time, At least 20% off branded sports clothing at Very, Getaway Deals up to 15% off with Booking.com in July, Free UK delivery worth 5 on orders worth 60 - Debenhams promo code, Up to 70% off this week with AliExpress super value deals, 15% off tablets, phones, consoles, smartwatches - eBay voucher code, Compare broadband packages side by side to find the best deal for you, Compare cheap broadband deals from providers with fastest speed in your area, All you need to know about fibre broadband, Compare iPhone contract deals and get the best offer this July, Compare the best mobile phone deals from the top networks and brands. In Henry Fielding's novel, Tom is a foundling, discovered on a doorstep, falls in love with the beautiful Sophia and is robustly unfaithful only after much temptation. Nicer than I am by a long way. You hate, pity and admire her all at once. Heres how thefavoritecharacters stack up against the results of our Whats yourfavorite novel? poll (diagram courtesy of fellow Rioter Minh Le). This is because they tend to be more personal and set in the authors own world. James Clavell wrote a first-class alpha - the Tai-Pan. And, like Pip, I learnt to be ashamed of those good people that I loved and then bitterly ashamed of that shame. Chosen by Linda Grant (When I Lived in Modern Times). She is always plunging into such embarrassing mistakes - and yet they're the mistakes one longs to make oneself, like telling the tediously garrulous Miss Bates to shut up. Harry ("Rabbit") Angstrom, the serial hero of John Updike's Rabbit tetralogy, is the only protagonist I've grown old with - doomed, but indomitable and lovable. We watched him grow so much in The Hobbit!!! Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Needs some revision, Didnt read the other comments before I posted. Godwin Peak in George Gissing's Born in Exile is a humbly-born scientist and ferocious free-thinker. Where was Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennett? Chosen by John Walsh (The Falling Angels). He makes me cry. From the first page, in which he malingers in hospital with 'a pain in his liver' you feel you want to spend more time with this guy. Chosen by Elizabeth Noble (The Tenko Club). He remains ordinary, but we still cry for him. Fanny will disapprove; Lizzie will laugh out loud. . The Muskrat from the Moomin books by Tove Jansson for his severity and his soaring ambition to be an ascetic, which is so often thwarted by real life. Never requires a deus ex machina.

Fanny will praise the long sermons of her cousin, Edmund; Lizzie will make a provocative remark to Mr Darcy. Chosen by Diana Wynne Jones (Conrad's Fate). And he gets away with it. Ebeneezer, the grizzled old Guernsey narrator of GB Edwards's The Book of Ebenezer le Page, who talks us through 70 years of comings and goings on the tiny island he never leaves in salty, stream-of-consciousness patois. Essentially, you want to be Psmith: he doesn't care what he says; he gets the money; and he gets the girl. His only irritating habit is the way he refers to some of Holmes's cases without telling us the full story. My favourite character - and the sexiest man in literature - is Sir Lancelot in Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott". Morgan le Fay is my dream girl, Odysseus my hero guy, but the character I've really loved is Dr Seuss's the Cat in The Hat: a total anarchist getting away with it. Sandbox Learning is part of Sandbox & Co., a digital learning company. My favourite boy hero is definitely Elsa Morante's Arturo, from Arturo's Island. Jane Austen's Emma is so very human. Chosen by Julie Myerson (Something Might Happen). What is wonderful is the way she describes her life, her affair and her love for her husband in terms of all five senses. I would love to have a friend who wrote such interesting letters. It's barely decent, frankly, and it puts a smile on my face every time I read it. Learn more about the mythic conflict between the Argives and the Trojans. Thank you for signing up! Write to Readers' Favourites, Features, The Independent, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or features@independent.co.uk, Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism, By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists, {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}. Some say that Jesus was the most influential character of all time while others believe that Buddha was the most influential. He is drawn with hilariously euphemistic zest - all that stuff about his silver bugle and blazened baldric, and his helmet with its plume. Today's favourite literary character is Oskar Schell, aged 10, hero of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer. To read about him is to keep beguiling company. My favourite fictional character is a judge who appears on just a few pages of Leo Tolstoy's Resurrection. A character is a fictional person or animal who is the protagonist of a fictional story, such as a novel, film, play, comic book, television series. Chosen by Peter Florence (the director of the Hay Festival). Every year or so I re-read Philip Roth's Sabbath's Theater to spend time with the appalling Mickey Sabbath, the repulsive puppeteer who turned down the opportunity to join Jim Henson and make Muppets. Keep an eye on your inbox. But he's also a romantic. : Fighting Brokes How Hollywood Works:Television, Book Magazine's 100 Best Characters Since 1900, Daily Routines of Famous Writers: Writing in the Morning, Writing While Standing, and 30+ Year-Old Coffee Mugs, Fashion for Book Nerds: Kate Spade's Library-Themed Accessories, Modern Library's 100 Best Novels: The Board and the Reader's Lists. Chosen by Glen David Gold (Carter Beats the Devil), When my students ask me about making strong characters, I always point them towards Richard Adams' Watership Down, as there are 15 major players whose personalities are vivid and distinct, and they're all rabbits. And, bless her, she is truly ashamed when she does, because she is actually very nice. It's been a lifelong love affair between me and Gone With the Wind's Rhett Butler. Anne Elliot is the heroine of Jane Austen's last completed novel, Persuasion. ~Oscar Wilde, Book Magazines 100 Best Characters Since1900, What I Read in January: Gilead and All the Light We CannotSee. Harry Flashman, that fictional reprobate - wenching and dodging his way through the major military engagements of the 19th century - is funnier, more honest and certainly less harmful than many of the real brave fools whose paths he double-crosses. Chosen by William Sutcliffe (Are You Experienced? Joachim Ziemssen in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain is a soldier who never boasts, who wants to be heroic in battle and has to be heroic in the sickroom. The Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling taught me to love the music in words. Incredible. Chosen by Richard Beswick, (publishing director of Little, Brown/Abacus). He is clearly a friendly and honourable chap; his dog is loyal, his friends dependably amusing, his way of life both comfortable and interesting. His subversive attitudes lead to him being 'disappeared' by the nebulous authorities, Chosen by Michael Rosen (children's author), The portrayal of Catch-22's Milo Minderbender is a wonderful evocation of the crooks and spivs who surround any army of occupation. The way Henchard arranges his life just so, only to see it wrecked and ruined by Fate - it makes me howl with pathos. India & South Asia Political & Social Issues. Chosen by Sue Townsend (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole). The narrator of the book, she's engaging and - typically for a cat - regards herself as an important member of the expedition.She was the only casualty of the expedition and the book ends when they are about to shoot her because they couldn't take her across the ice. They are both intelligent, brooding, fatherless young men at odds with the world. We at the Riot love a good poll, and in our latest bout of curiosity, we asked you to name your threefavoriteliterarycharacters. He's probably first-equal with Max from Where the Wild Things Are, and the Cat in the Hat. Chosen by Scott Pack (buying manager at Waterstone's). When the book begins, she has had almost 10 years to regret her decision, yet she is not bitter. Antonia Shimerdas, the eponymous heroine of Willa Cather's My Antonia, isn't coquettish or witty like some other heroines I admire. Chosen by Candida Clark (The Mariner's Star). Chosen by Donna Leon (Blood from a Stone). We get as close to them as we do our loved ones, and that is something really, truly special. Chosen by Catherine Lockerbie, (director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival). I love Great Expectations' Miss Havisham because she won't remove that wedding dress, even as she recognises the random nature of her revenge. There's no funnier monster in modern literature than poor, doomed Humbert Humbert in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. In the movie "The Incredibles", the protagonist, Mr. Chosen by Rachel Cugnoni, (publishing director of Vintage). His true wickedness lies more in his opinions than in his deeds. Witty, sexy, sandy-haired Becky Sharp, whose impoverished background explains her hunger for rich men and high position. There should be a Jane Austen character in the bunch Mr. Knightly? When I was a teenager I had a thing for Pechorin, the central character of Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time. I love his optimism, waiting for the postal order that never comes; and his sticking a fat finger up at Mr Quelch. I love her. As he swam to safety, even the Tuscans cheered. Did yourfavorite make it? Chosen by Hanif Kureishi (The Buddha of Suburbia). One of the most famous literary characters is Sherlock Holmes. Chosen by Philippa Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl). Check out the top 20 below, and click here to see the full set of responses. Eep. Anna Karenina's Prince Stepan Arkadyevich Oblonsky is a hopeless philanderer and useless bureaucrat. Macaulay's Horatius, the saviour of Rome, fought off a vast invading Tuscan army, until his companions behind him had hacked down the bridge to the city. 679 Riot readers answered the call, selecting 681 uniquecharacters. I wouldn't mind him eating my kidneys as long as he fed me an excellent bottle of red wine beforehand. This great first line of Gnther Grass's The Tin Drum introduces my favourite character, Oskar Matzerath - a child, seemingly conscious from birth, who decides he doesn't want to deal with the adult world. Chosen by Dan Rhodes (Don't Tell Me the Truth About Love). Going to hell in his company would always be worth the ride. Every character in Stella Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm is a delight, but I identify most with bossy, nosy Flora. Chosen by Amanda Craig (Love in Idleness). (LogOut/ The 100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900, The 100 Best English-Language Novels of the 20th Century. In this article, we will explore what makes these two books so popular and how they are different from each other. My favourite? Uncle Matthew, from Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, is a work of comic genius and a delight. He is a hero of his time. In literature, there are many characters that have been created and have been well-loved by readers. Chosen by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials). These literary icons have been portrayed in movies, TV shows, and even cartoons. Chosen by Dr Chris Fletcher, (curator of literary manuscripts at the British Library). I love her need for order. Check ourencyclopedia for a gloss on thousands of topics from biographies to the table of elements.

Fiction books are a very subjective genre. Chosen by Maggie O'Farrell (The Distance Between Us). In The Trial, Kafka's master-trap is to make us accept that Josef K's point of view is objective, narrative fact. Harriet M Welsch, in Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, is a precocious 11-year-old New Yorker who is obsessed with spying. Philip Pirrip (Pip), of Great Expectations, gripped me at the earliest age. Dyson, in Michael Frayn's 1967 Fleet Street novel Towards the End of the Morning, is a hilarious creation. It can also be written in verse or script. Chosen by Geoff Dyer (Yoga for People Who Can't be Bothered). "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number, Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters, You must be over 18 years old to register. Elinor, in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, is one of those people who have a kind of undemonstrative integrity that leads them instinctively always to do the right thing.

Infoplease is a reference and learning site, combining the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary,an atlas and several almanacs loaded with facts. But is it possible that there are characters out there that are so good they surpass the limitations of personal preference and are just, well, the best? The character I most admire is the hero of Hugo van Hofmannsthal's social comedy The Difficult Man. When he's imprisoned at the end, your heart goes out to him. It's the most tragic tale of a man who did a great wrong (he sells his wife and daughter) and pays for it later. Where a lesser writer might have cracked, he delivered an incorruptible girl of five, triumphant in her "undestroyed freshness". Enid Blyton's Famous Fiver was the only character who seemed to feel the way I did about adventure, being "one of the lads" and the dullness of domestic duties. Funny, endearing and true. Chosen by Gill Coleridge (literary agent). But in this sly sexual thriller he takes centre stage, like a priapic puppet caught in his strings. The answer to this question depends on the type of story being told. For the charm of his intelligence, the quickness of his wit, the brilliance of his mimicry, the fastidiousness of his temperament, the soundness of his judgement, the excellence of his literary criticism, for his loathing of the world's opinion. They have also been translated into other languages and adapted into other mediums to make them more accessible for a larger audience. ), Can there be a more thrilling voice in fiction than Catch-22's Yossarian? Chosen by Di Speirs (executive producer of readings at the BBC). They have been loved by many and have made an impact on society. Wodehouse's hero is a wonderful example to anyone who takes it all a bit too seriously. His instincts are against social climbing, pseudo-intellectualism and the humdrum. Journalist as Everyman.

Chosen by Carole Welch (publisher at Sceptre). His druggie life is both gloriously detached and also more deeply engaged with the crime-ridden, class-divided, evil world of late-Victorian London.