Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Love, But Other People Don’t

Image via The Broke and the Bookish

In this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, it’s all about the haters. Which literary characters do you love, but other readers don’t–or vice versa?

I think that this is a great topic, because I’ve always gravitated toward characters with an edge, whether they’re bad boys in romance novels or super villains in comic books. Nobody likes a goody-two-shoes, after all!

My top ten list features men, women, and the occasional dragon or anti-christ who have betrayed–even murdered–those closest to them. However, all in my mind have redeemable qualities and justifications for their actions. Call them awful, selfish, ruthless, or evil, but you certainly can’t call them one-dimensional!

Carey Mulligan as Daisy (Image via Wikipedia)

So-Called “Selfish” Women

1. Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. Edna Pontellier from The Awakening by Kate Chopin
3. Medea from Medea by Euripides

Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff (Image via Wikipedia)

Debatable “Leading” Men

4. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
5. Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
6. Meursault from The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Malfoys with Bellatrix (Image via Harry Potter Wiki)

Villains Better Than Heroes

7. The Malfoys from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
8. Smaug from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
9. Lady Macbeth from Macbeth by William Shakespeare
10. Satan from Paradise Lost by John Milton

Literary Things that Grind My Gears

It’s no shock that hating on something gets more attention than loving it. Between the hipster sentiment of enjoying something ironically to the concept of the ‘anti-fan,’ we’ve created an entire culture based on opposing the things around us. Heck, I’ve even benefitted from it, given that my rant on why I hate Nicholas Sparks continues to gain the most amount of traffic on Book Club Babe.

So why fight it when you can join it? A little complaining can be therapeutic after all, so here are two things in the literary world going on this month that are grinding my gears!

Amen, Meme Generator!

The plight of the white male writer. There’s nothing quite as obnoxious as a white man who does not recognize his privilege in society. Many blogs are criticizing Kevin Morris, an entertainment attorney, for lamenting that before he got published, he was rejected many times and had to self-publish his book on Amazon. His book White Man’s Problems (ugh) discusses how hard it is for white men to get the credit they deserve now that women and people of color are dominating the cultural narrative. Hang on a second while I play the world’s smallest violin.

Oh, woe is the white man!

Not to worry, though, because Morris was fortunate enough to have a co-creator of “South Park” as a client who was able to hook him up with a publisher. Thank goodness there were other white men to help a white man out!

So let’s just completely ignore the fact that women often use gender-ambiguous pen names to increase readership, lest they get unceremoniously shoved into the infantilizing “women’s fiction” genre full of pink, fluffy covers. And let’s just bypass that in 2012, there were only three out of 124 authors on the NYT bestsellers list that were people of color, none of which were African-American. No, what the literary world needs more of is white men, of course!

Book vlog trolling. Anyone who has read YouTube comments knows that that’s where common decency goes to die. One poor girl named Katie who posted videos of book reviews was harassed so badly by mouth-breathers from 4chan forums that she decided to take down her entire channel. They mocked her personality, appearance, and sexuality so incessantly that she felt “disgusted” and “violated.”

As someone who has recently posted my own book vlogs on YouTube, I sympathize with Katie completely. My channel may not have enough of a spotlight on it to attract these gnats, but trolling book vloggers has to be a new low. If your hobby involves verbally assaulting people on the Internet–especially innocent, introverted bookworms–then you have a sad, pitiful life, and I hope you spend the rest of it stepping on Legos.

And this might be my new favorite gif!

So what’s grinding your gears right now? Feel free to let loose, because as Taylor Swift said, us haters are gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate today!