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Fictional characters you're supposed to like, but don't

Discussion in 'Book club' started by peggylu, May 13, 2016.

  1. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    I know he is a beloved character, I know he's a cultural icon, I know he's a National treasure, but I just don't like James Bond.

    There, I've said it. :(

    The books and films just make me YAWN...
  2. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Also don't like Bob Cratchit, grow a pair man!
    Flere-Imsaho likes this.
  3. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Love love love James Bond (films, not books).

    Heathcliff. I think he's an appalling excuse for a human being - a wife-beating, child-harming semi-psychopath. I don't like Cathy either. In fact, I don't like the book.

    All the characters in 'The English Patient'. After a few chapters I was actively planning their deaths down to the last person.
  4. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Anyone in DH Lawrence
    Kay Scarpetta

    Bond in the books - is he supposed to be likeable?
    kerensaann and peggylu like this.
  5. TheFamousEccles

    TheFamousEccles Occasional commenter

    Not especially nice tbh quite cold and a bit of a bast.... you know what.

    Bond of the Books is a very different chap to Bond of the Films.
    peggylu likes this.
  6. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    :DThanks for this 'laugh out loud' moment in my day. My son is now looking at me wondering how long it will be before he needs to start paying the clinic fees. :D
  7. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    I'm glad you've said this, I've tried really hard over the years to like this novel but I just can't like the characters or get my head around the darkness in the relationships.

    The supposed intensity of the love between Cathy and Heathcliff just comes across to me as immature, selfish, 'no one understands me' teenage type love. It never progreses into anything even resembling mature, deep love. Even as they experience wider life and get older when the get back in each other's company they just revert back to teenage levels of selfishness and base instinct.

    I apologise to all who class this as the gold standard of tortured love. WH makes me feel like I am staring at a piece of modern art that everyone else in the room sees a deeper meaning to but that just looks like a piece of 'tat' to my, obviously, philistine uncultured eyes. I think WH is the gothic novel equivalent of Tracey Emin's bed.
  8. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Maybe this is my problem. I did read a couple of Bond books many years ago and wasn't caught up in them. But, I admit my main exposure to the character is via film and from what you say perhaps a lot is lost in translation. The book Bond would probably be considered so sexist and un-PC now that he would be difficult for most women to actually like anyway.
  9. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Ditto. I read the whole book thinking 'if this is love, I'll stick to chocolate Hobnobs and Ready Steady Cook, thanks' (I was 14 and it was 1994).
    peggylu likes this.
  10. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Romeo needs a slap, agreed. Whiny man-child.
  11. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    I agree but usually let Romeo and Juliet off with their OTT'ness because of their respective ages.

    I can clearly remember being 12 and thinking I would surely die if the, similarly aged, object of my (very innocent) undying love continued to be oblivious or indifferent to my existence.
    kerensaann likes this.
  12. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I hate it too. I don't think there's anything remotely romantic about it.
    peggylu likes this.
  13. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I think the book Bond would probably be considered a rapist nowadays.
    kerensaann and peggylu like this.
  14. delenn

    delenn New commenter

    Oliver Twist- he is 2 dimensional and there are too many coincidences in his life.
    Emma by Jane Austen- I really want to slap her
    lanokia and peggylu like this.
  15. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I'm reading Emma at the moment. I think you're supposed to want to slap her.
    peggylu, Lara mfl 05 and sabrinakat like this.
  16. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Scoobydoo gives dogs a bad name.
    Lady Penelope is a stuck up tart that makes be feel sorry for Parker.
    Peter Pan is just a goody two shoes, not a REAL boy.
    Just practising a bit of 'bah humbug' ready for Christmas.
    peggylu likes this.
  17. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I think Jane Austen said about Emma that she wanted to write a book about an unlikeable heroine.

    There are probably loads for me, the first one that comes to mine is Angel Clare. I would say you're not supposed to like him either but my mother says otherwise.

    When I don't like the characters I don't care what happens to them so tend to give up on the book.
    peggylu and mindymole like this.
  18. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Scrooge could be one I like who I'm not supposed to. The George C Scott film version made me feel very sympathetic towards him.
    peggylu likes this.
  19. NewToTeachingOldToMaths

    NewToTeachingOldToMaths Lead commenter

    I prefer to look on it as the EastEnders of the early 17th century. You don't expect an EastEnders story line to be remotely credible, or the characters to be anything other than grotesquely overstated exaggerations.

    What's true of the popular drama of the 20th / 21st centuries is probably equally true of the popular drama of the 16th / 17th centuries. Shakespeare wasn't trying to write "literature"; he (or they?) was trying to sell tickets because bums on theatre seats = hot meals in actors' bellies.

    Now I'm going to admit that I don't really like Portia ... and however much I'm not supposed to, I have always had a grudging admiration for Shylock.
  20. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I agree. In many ways he is worse than Alec D'Urbeville - you would know what you were getting with D'Urbeville but Clare is a hypocrite.
    peggylu and sparkleghirl like this.

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