The reason I wanted to write this post is because it's my favourite type of thing to read on other people's blogs. However I think I underestimated just how hard it would be.
First of all what's the criteria? Are we talking the characters we most relate to? The ones we'd love to know? Or the downright awful horrible characters that we'd hate if we knew but we love them anyway? Well I decided to go for all of the above.
In no particular order:
Cassandra, I Capture the Castle
One of my favourite narrators. 'I am sitting in the kitchen sink as I write this.' Ooh, that line almost takes me right back to that wonderful castle...
Need I give a reason? He's brilliant, in a word. I find people always make him out to be ruder, more arrogant and prouder than is strictly fair, especially in many of the various film/tv versions. Not to say that he isn't all those things; but it's the honesty, wit and intelligence that marks him out for me.
Behemoth, The Master and Margarita
'This one who is playing the fool is the cat Behemoth...' How could you not love a talking cat who studies chessboards through his opera glasses?
Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre
A bit premature I realise, having only started the book yesterday, but - I love her. She's the most brilliantly ballsy character, and at least where I'm up to in the novel, she seems to be the least jaded I've met in a long time. I do hope that doesn't change as I get further into the novel...
Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye
I love his suspicion of all these 'phonies' and I think there is something very authentic about his seemingly cocksure, charismatic character. (The alliteration was not intended!)
Levin, Anna Karenina
For his philosophical musings. I also feel like he is one of those rare characters in a book that you think may actually be a decent human being without being incredibly annoying.
Ratty, The Wind in the Willows
I say Ratty, but in fact I could have just as easily said Moley or Toad because the characterisation in that book is simply wonderful. But Ratty is just charming. 'Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing - about - in - boats.'
Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
I see him as the most knowledgable, kind, fair character of my literary acquaintance.
Mary Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
Bit of a weird one, admittedly, but I just love Mary Bennet. I don't understand why everyone gives her so much bad press. She's is clearly an awesome human being. I suppose I warm to her because I also prefer staying in to read to going out to parties, but I flatter myself that I'm not quite as bad as her. And even though her speeches are famed for being wonderfully ridiculous, I actually reckon that she does speak the truth most of the time.
The carefree philosophical wanderer. No intensions, no destination, only a harmonica.