Skip to comments.100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900
Posted on 02/22/2009 6:17:28 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
List at link. I couldn't get it to C&P properly.
Do you have a favorite character from fiction? Who is it and why?
From the list I really like
The Cat in the Hat
Simon Templar from Leslie Charteris’ “The Saint” novels. My all-time favorite because he reminds me of... me!
Nevermind the TV show or the movie — “The Saint” of literature lore beats ‘em all hollow!
Kind of odd that Tolkein didn’t show up, wouldn’t be my choice, but still.
Leto Atreides II: "The child who refuses to travel in the fathers harness, this is the symbol of mans most unique capability.
I do not have to be what my father was. I do not have to obey my fathers rules or even believe everything he believed.
It is my strength as a human that I can make my own choices of what to believe what not to believe, of what to be and what not to be."
"Radicals always see matters in terms which are too simpleblack and white, good and evil, them and us.
By addressing complex matters in that way, they rip open a passage for chaos.
The art of government as you call it, is the mastery of chaos."
Any list that doesn’t include Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, and Galadriel doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously *VBG*
Seriously, there are some good choices on that list, but also plenty of shallow narcissists on a fruitless searches for meaning or moral direction in life - the kind of characters that leftest literary critics love to celebrate.
Good one - mine would include characters from Thomas Pynchon, doesn’t matter which one really - there are lots.
John Blackthorne form James Clavell’s novel “Shogun”. My second would be Frodo Baggins from “The Lord Of The Rings.”
Little Lulu. She was cute, strong, funny and smart, and a huge influence on me as a kid. Even as an adult. Little Lulu wins, hands down. Regrettably, I inadvertently modeled my life around Witch Hazel...
1 - Jay Gatsby, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
2 - Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, 1951
3 - Humbert Humbert, Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955
4 - Leopold Bloom, Ulysses, James Joyce, 1922
5 - Rabbit Angstrom, Rabbit, Run, John Updike, 1960
6 - Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1902
7 - Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960
8 - Molly Bloom, Ulysses, James Joyce, 1922
9 - Stephen Dedalus, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce, 1916
10 - Lily Bart, The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton, 1905
11- Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote, 1958
12 - Gregor Samsa, The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, 1915
13 - The Invisible Man, Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison, 1952
14 - Lolita, Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955
15 - Aureliano Buendia, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1967
16 - Clarissa Dalloway, Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf, 1925
17 - Ignatius Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole, 1980
18 - George Smiley, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John LeCarre, 1974
19 - Mrs. Ramsay, To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf, 1927
20 - Bigger Thomas, Native Son, Richard Wright, 1940
21 - Nick Adams, In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway, 1925
22 - Yossarian, Catch-22, Joseph Heller, 1961
23 - Scarlett O'Hara, Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936
24 - Scout Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960
25 - Philip Marlowe, The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler, 1939
26 - Kurtz, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, 1902
27 - Stevens, The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro, 1989
28 - Cosimo Piovasco di Rondo, The Baron in the Trees, Italo Calvino, 1957
29 -Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne, 1926
30 - Oskar Matzerath, The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass, 1959
31 - Hazel Motes, Wise Blood, Flannery O'Connor, 1952
32 - Alex Portnoy, Portnoy's Complaint, Philip Roth, 1969
33 - Binx Bolling, The Moviegoer, Walker Percy, 1961
34 - Sebastian Flyte, Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh, 1945
35 - Jeeves, My Man Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse, 1919
36 - Eugene Henderson, Henderson the Rain King, Saul Bellow, 1959
37 - Marcel, Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust, 1913-1927
38 - Toad, The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame, 1908
39 - The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss, 1955
40 - Peter Pan, The Little White Bird, J.M. Barrie, 1902
41 - Augustus McCrae, Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry, 1985
42 - Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett, 1930
43 - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy, 1985
44 - Willie Stark, All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren, 1946
45 - Stephen Maturin, Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian, 1969
46 - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 1943
47 - Santiago, The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway, 1952
48 - Jean Brodie, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark, 1961
49 - The Whiskey Priest, The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene, 1940
50 - Neddy Merrill, The Swimmer, John Cheever, 1964
51 - Sula Peace, Sula, Toni Morrison, 1973
52 - Meursault, The Stranger, Albert Camus, 1942
53 - Jake Barnes, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway, 1926
54 - Phoebe Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, 1951
55 - Janie Crawford, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston, 1937
56 - Antonia Shimerda, My Antonia, Willa Cather, 1918
57 - Grendel, Grendel, John Gardner, 1971
58 - Gulley Jimson, The Horse's Mouth, Joyce Cary, 1944
59 - Big Brother, 1984, George Orwell, 1949
60 - Tom Ripley, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith, 1955
61 - Seymour Glass, Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger, 1953
62 - Dean Moriarty, On the Road, Jack Kerouac, 1957
63 - Charlotte, Charlotte's Web, E.B. White, 1952
64 - T.S. Garp, The World According to Garp, John Irving, 1978
65 - Nick and Nora Charles, The Thin Man, Dashiell Hammett, 1934
66 - James Bond, Casino Royale, Ian Fleming, 1953
67 - Mr. Bridge, Mrs. Bridge, Evan S. Connell, 1959
68 - Geoffrey Firmin, Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry, 1947
69 - Benjy, The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner, 1929
70 - Charles Kinbote, Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov, 1962
71 - Mary Katherine Blackwood, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson, 1962
72 - Charles Ryder, Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh, 1945
73 - Claudine, Claudine at School, Colette, 1900
74 - Florentino Ariza, Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1985
75 - George Follansbee Babbitt, Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis, 1922
76 - Christopher Tietjens, Parade's End, Ford Madox Ford, 1924-28
77 - Frankie Addams, The Member of the Wedding, Carson McCullers, 1946
78 - The Dog of Tears, Blindness, Jose Saramago, 1995
79 - Tarzan, Tarzan of the Apes, Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1914
80 - Nathan Zuckerman, My Life As a Man, Philip Roth, 1979
81 - Arthur "Boo" Radley, To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960
82 - Henry Chinaski, Post Office, Charles Bukowski, 1971
83 - Joseph K. The Trial, Franz Kafka, 1925
84 - Yuri Zhivago, Dr. Zhivago, Boris Pasternak, 1957
85 - Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling, 1998
86 - Hana, The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje, 1992
87 - Margaret Schlegel, Howards End, E.M. Forster, 1910
88 - Jim Dixon, Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis, 1954
89 - Maurice Bendrix, The End of the Affair, Graham Greene, 1951
90 - Lennie Small, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, 1937
91 - Mr. Biswas, A House for Mr. Biswas, V.S. Naipaul, 1961
92 - Alden Pyle, The Quiet American, Graham Greene, 1955
93 - Kimball "Kim" O'Hara, Kim, Rudyard Kipling, 1901
94 - Newland Archer, The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton, 1920
95 - Clyde Griffiths, An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser, 1925
96 - Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne, 1926
97 - Quentin Compson, The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner, 1929
98 - Charlie Marlow, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, 1902
99 - Celie, The Color Purple, Alice Walker, 1982
100 - Augie March, The Adventures of Augie March, Saul Bellow 1953
Haven’t checked the list, but if Jack Aubrey isn’t there, toss it.
A much better list than expected. I was about to protest that they missed T.S. Garp (John Irving’s “World According to Garp”) but noticed that he was listed at #64.
Given that Stephen Maturin was listed, it’s only fair that Jack Aubrey also be listed.
Finally for those of us who enjoy detective novels, I was encouraged that Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe were included. But where’s Spenser, Harry Bosch and John Rebus?
As a fan of Spade and Marlowe I’m not sure I could say much about how they differ. Given a college essay question “Spade and Marlowe: Compare and Contrast” - I think I’d have to leave the page blank LOL.
As a “kindred spirit”, I would add Anne Shirley, of Anne of Green Gables. And for the fun of it: Nancy Drew. Loved reading those as a kid.
Saw several old friends on there already, though.
I can go with the Pigster!
What say you - O’ Goddess Diana?
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