Top Ten Tuesday – Get yer own book!

top ten tuesday
WARNING: This weeks post contains spoilers, particularly for Rebecca!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their OWN Book. I think most books would be interesting told from another character’s viewpoint, but these are the ones I’d be most interested in reading.

  1. Rebecca DeWinter from Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The unseen titular character, from Daphne Du Maurier’s classic novel could more than hold her own in a spin –off book. Maybe a prequel? A stunning beauty, who appeared to be the perfect society wife, was actually a cruel promiscuous liar, taunting her husband with her various affairs, faking a pregnancy and eventually driving her husband to shoot her so she doesn’t die of cancer. Mrs Danvers can stand aside; Rebecca DeWinter is the true villain of this tale and the most interesting character!

2. Lolita from Lolita by Nabokov
The fact that we never get to hear anything from Lolita’s point of view in Nabokov’s novel makes her all the more intriguing. Is she a shallow and manipulative young girl, using the men around her to get what she wants, or a confused, lonely victim of all the adults who are supposed to protect her? An attempt has been made in the critically mauled Lo’s Diary to give her a voice, but it reimagined the events of the book. How great would it be to hear the same book from Lolita’s point of view?

3. Miss Havisham from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Ah, Miss Havisham. That wedding dress, the banquet, those stopped clocks. Miss Havisham is less a character and more a walking manifestation of the pain of grief and the ravages of time. Her character is supposedly based on an Australian woman who left the wedding feast on the table and the door ajar in case her fiancee should return and her story is an intriguing one that captures the imagination.

4. Lucky from Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
While there is probably no point in hoping for back story in a play by Beckett, Lucky is one of the most intriguing characters in theatre. He speaks only 2 lines in the whole play, the trick being that one of those lines is over 700 words of gibberish. Why is he slave to Pozzo? Why can he only think when a hat is placed on his head? Why Lucky?

5. Kevin from We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The central question in We Need to Talk About Kevin is this. Is Kevin born evil which makes his mother unable to love him? Or does Kevin become evil because of a lack of love from his mother? Only Kevin can answer that and I for one, would love to read what he has to say.


6. Melquíades from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
It takes a great character to stand out in a book covering seven generations of the one family, but the gypsy Melquíades has no problem doing so. He travels the world all year round, coming to Macondo once a year with the marvels he has discovered. He dies twice but still returns to guide the generations of the family whose lives he has foretold in prophecy. Yep, he’s a pretty cool guy.

7. Sick Boy from Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Of all the addicts in Trainspotting, Sick Boy is the one who seems to be using heroin as a lifestyle choice rather than due to addiction and when his mate Renton tries to kick the drug, Sick Boy does it too, just to show he can. He’s amoral, charming and cool and he knows a lot about Sean Connery but who can say how much the death of his daughter influenced his later scams?

8. Gertrude from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Everything in Hamlet is Gertrude’s fault. She kicks off the entire story by marrying her brother in law shortly after her husband’s death and we never hear any reasoning for her choices. What do we make of her? Domineering, incestuous mother or victim of the men around her? I’d be intrigued to hear about the State of Denmark from her point of view.

9. Julian Morrow The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This enigmatic, charismatic and brilliantly intelligent teacher of ancient Greek comes across less like a professor and more like a cult leader to his hand-picked students. He is like a pastiche of the perfect university teacher – unconventional and cosmopolitan, friend of the famous (the Sitwell’s and Marilyn Monroe) and high priest of learning.

‘I hope we’re all ready to leave the phenomenal world and enter into the sublime?’

I know I am.

10. Sylvie Todd from Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
I found Sylvie to be quite an intriguing character throughout Life After Life, but it wasn’t until the end that I realised quite how interesting she might be. Is Sylvie time travelling as well as her daughter Ursula? All it takes is one little line in the final chapters of the book to make us rethink her entire character. ‘One must be prepared’.

Is there any character you would like to get their own book? Or a book you think would be improved by being from another viewpoint?

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36 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Get yer own book!

  1. I completely agree with Miss Havisham — she was one of the most interesting characters in that book and I definitely wanted more of her back story. Rebecca is a good one as well [Although, lots of spoilers in that description!]

    This is a really interesting topic. Great list you’ve compiled here!

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  2. This is an awesome idea – wish I could think up ten characters, but I think you’ve picked some of the best in literature. I like your thoughts on Trainspotting – because, as Renton tells us, “Something died inside Sick Boy that day…” I thought he became harder, meaner, cared less about women – anyone in fact. Although he’s pretty mercenary in Skagboys, if you’ve read that…I was trying to think of characters, and considered Gatsby as a possibility, but he’s such a cipher, you’ve very little to even begin with. (And I’d like to hear from Kevin too!)

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    • Exactly! I always liked the fact that Sick Boy was a little removed from it all and we never saw a real person. I haven’t read Skagboys yet although it is in the 746, maybe I should read it again soon now that they are all in my head!
      Gatsby is a brilliant choice I think! Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I love the characters you chose for your list! And, it’s one of the more interesting topics they’ve had for Top Ten lately, but nothing comes to mind when I try to think of any characters I would like to see in their own book. I’d have to go scour my bookshelves. It must have been hard work for you to come up with these! I was forgetting about that line from Sylvie Todd!
    Ok, how about Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities? We never do find out what happens in his life to make him such a loser.

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  4. If you want to read more about Rebecca and Miss Havisham, you should read Rebecca’s Tale and Havisham. Though, Havisham is a little boring, Rebecca’s Tale is sublime. I’ve read that one at least 3 times.

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  5. Agree I would love to read Rebecca’s story…. and maybe Mrs Tilney from Northanger Abbey too, I always got the feeling Catherine’s imagination wasn’t completely without reason on her demise

    Great topic! 🙂

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  6. I love your title! Kevin made my list too, but part of me would be intimidated and afraid to be inside that character’s head. What if his thoughts and actions STILL don’t make sense? Do we want that question answered, as then it ruins the purpose for the original book? So many questions! I never thought of Sylvie time-travelling too, it would be interesting if she did, but I would have thought at certain points throughout the story that she would have been more understanding of her daughter then, but definitely an interesting character to get into the head of.

    My TTT: http://confessionsofabookgeek.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/top-ten-tuesday-characters-i-wish-would-get-their-own-book/

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  7. Great list! I’d love to hear from Rebecca and Lolita, and I’d nominate Miss Flite from Bleak House too – I always felt we didn’t learn enough about her story and the names of her birds suggest it must be interesting…

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  8. I had so much reading this post!! 🙂

    Hmm,Lucky is an excellent choice!! But I’d say that it is the same for the other characters of the play: Why do two old men spend time together?,Why are they waiting for Godot?,Who beat Estragon every night? But yeah,you’re probably right.Lucky is more bizarre than the rest,and thus,a story about his life would be more interesting! 😀

    And good point about Gertrude! I like to think that she is guilty in the sense that she married Claudius when she was under no obligation,but I concede to having no evidence against her; she might as well be completely innocent.We will never know.

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  9. What a fun list!! There was a book published this year (or last?) called Havisham but I couldn’t get into it. I agree that she is one of literature’s most fascinating characters!

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