An irritating fictional character is the thing that has the most potential to completely ruin a book for me, aside from maybe a pointless annoying romance (although I’ll talk about that nearer to Valentine’s Day). I have a certain list of characters who I really, vehemently feel should be pushed off the nearest cliff – the most annoying of the annoying characters.
1) Tess Durbeyfield and Angel Clare from Tess of the d’Urbervilles
I’d repeat these two for every item on this list if I could as I swear I’ve never hated two people so much in my entire life. You can probably tell from my Tess of the d’Ubervilles post, that I couldn’t reasonably refer to as a review.
This book put me in a bad mood for about three days and it was totally the fault of stupid Tess and her stupid husband.
Tess spends the book sighing dramatically and pathetically hoping that her husband is going to drown her. Angel Clare, the afore-mentioned husband, has a hissy fit that his new wife was raped in the past, which she told him only after he confessed to spending a weekend of nonstop depravity with another woman.
Argh, I’m getting mad just thinking about it. Just read the post – it’s suitably ranty.
‘Tess is the problem, as you may have guessed by my passive-aggressiveness. I just HATED her. She was so mind-numbingly sorry
for herself when actually, everything was her own doing (except the
rape, obviously). She could have fixed her problems by standing up for
herself – even Angel said that he would have respected her more if she
stood her ground. She’s pathetic. PATHETIC.‘
2) Hazel and Augustus
Gloop from The Fault in Our Stars
Ah yes, these two. They come a close second to Tess and Angel, actually. Well, perhaps not. God I hate Tess. But they’re still pretty bad.
Since reading this, I’ve just accepted that I don’t like John Green’s books and that’s fine. I haven’t even disliked his other books particularly, they’re just not for me. The Fault in Our Stars, however, actually ended in the book being slammed down in a temper, pretty much entirely due to Hazel.
John Green’s characters are never believable at the best of times, but she’s awful. So whiny and melodramatic. Yes, I’m aware she has cancer but she spends most of the book informing OTHER PEOPLE WITH CANCER exactly how correct she is about her wordly views. Just read the quote on my review page.
And Augustus, who smokes cigarettes ‘ironically?’ Are you joking?
‘I just wanted to smack
Hazel by the end, cancer or no cancer. She is the most selfish,
inconsiderate whiny little brat I’ve ever read about. She’s ungrateful
for her mother’s attention and refuses to believe that anybody else in
the entire world can be ill but herself. Halfway through I seriously
considered making a list of everything she doesn’t like but then I
realised it would be far quicker to just scribble down the few things
she does. They go on a free holiday and she complains that her dream
destination, wait for it… looks too much like her dream destination.
For God’s SAKE.‘
3) Victor Frankenstein from Frankenstein
Alright, so I wasn’t that far wrong, but I still enjoyed it an awful lot more this time round, although it seems that I got waaaaaay angrier at Victor Frankenstein than I ever remember being in the past. He’s just so… mean. His creature is ugly and terrifying, but also alone, scared and confused about his purpose in life so he asks Victor for help. You know, the person that created him.
But no, he’s too busy screaming about how evil the Monster is even though… he created… him…? *confused*
‘Anyway, I really dislike Victor. Everything is
his own doing but he just refuses to see it. The Monster goes “Hey
dude, you were pretty shit. Still, if you’re nice to me now, I’ll just
amble off and leave you in peace,” but Victor is too busy being shrill
and denoucing the creature as evil. You know, that creature he created.
He doesn’t take any responsibility for his actions – he runs away
screaming the second the monster comes to life and just leaves him to
fend for himself.’
4) Jo March from Little Women
This isn’t going to make me popular, is it? *ducks flying projectiles thrown by Bex*
I know she’s the favourite character of a lot of people, but I absolutely don’t understand it at all. I spent a lot of Little Women and all of Good Wives desperately wanting to strangle Jo.
All her sisters are like “Oh, but she’s trying…” NO. Try harder, Jo. Stop being so arrogant and whiny and demanding. But then, why would you? Everyone just pats you on the head and LETS YOU GET AWAY WITH IT.
And now I’m grouchy all over again. God I hate Jo.
‘It’s weird though – I
don’t like Jo much and everybody else seems to. There isn’t a main
character exactly, but it’s told from her POV more than any other and
she just… irritates me. She’s always being petted, much more than Amy
who’s meant to be the spoilt one, and never gets in trouble for
anything, however dangerous her prank may have been.’
5) Thingy from Teardrop
I can’t even remember her name as the book was so awful that I didn’t even finish it. I do have a soft spot for the review though as it was the first time I earned an angry comment hater. Bless her. Our ‘disagreement’ spanned across three whole blogs 🙂
The book actually feels like a parody of YA fiction as it’s that bad, but the main character herself just defies belief. She’s mean to all her friends, including the one that’s trying to help her come to terms with the death of her mother, and is so melodramatic that I just wanted to punch her in the face.
Oh God, her name is Eureka. No wonder I blocked it out.
‘Eureka herself has to be the worst fictional character I have ever come across. I know her Mum has just died and I’m very sorry about that. But please, dear God, stop talking about it. She’s unbelievably melodramatic – more so than Sloane in This Is Not A Test, and she tried to sacrifice herself to a zombie horde. She can’t be in the school group photo because OMG MY MOM DIED and ‘You know I don’t like boys since MY MOM DIED. God, you are SO INSENSITIVE.’ Also, it is not a ‘death sentence’ to sit at a lunch table with people. I hated this. Hated. I was so angry at it that I actually had to keep putting it down before it ruined my mood for the day.’
6) Lydia Bennett from Pride and Prejudice
Lydia though… Lydia is annoying. My only gripe with the book is that she doesn’t get a proper comeuppance for her actions. Having said that, when I reread the book last year (for the fifth time) I did notice a sentence that implied her and Wickham fell out of love pretty quickly, so I’m going to cling on to that next time I read it.
7) Sloane from This Is Not A Test
My irritation with melodramatic characters is so well known that three different people warned me that I wasn’t going to like Sloane before I even picked this up. Well, they were right, but I ended up liking the book anyway.
I just can’t deal with melodrama! I know I’m sat here like a stereotypical teenage girl, twirling my hair and going “Ya know, I like… totally hate drah-ma?” And I’ve been guilty of over-reacting myself, I know. But in books it just seems so much WORSE!
‘She’s awful. Like a
caricature of the worst female protagonist ever. Way too over the top.
My review notebook just degenerates into a list of scrawled expletives.
The thing is, she constantly talks about how she wishes she could die,
but NOBODY IS STOPPING HER. I genuinely and literally cannot explain
adequately how much I hated her, and yes, it did ruin the book a little.’
8) Captain Hastings from most Agatha Christies
With this, I’m also including John Watson, Miss Marple’s friends and pretty much everybody from a murder mystery written before 1960.
Look. You have been a sidekick to this detective for two decades, during which time they have never once, NOT ONCE, been wrong. This means that you could probably stop from questioning their sanity, experience and sense every single time they imply they might have reached a conclusion.
If I have to read “I was beginning to think that perhaps it was time my little Belgian friend retired from the field of investigation, as clearly his age was affecting him…” I am going to hunt Hastings down and we are going to have A Falling Out.
9) Pretty much everybody from Wuthering Heights
Whenever I think about Wuthering Heights, I always think of a scene from the Thursday Next books where she has to manage an anger management session for all the characters. They’re all too busy bitching at each other to progress the plot in any way, shape or form.
I don’t like the book anyway (obviously), but I liked the characters even less. In fairness, it’s probably due for a reread. It was one of the batch of classics I read in my mid-teens and maybe I just didn’t appreciate it properly. But I’m not holding my breath.
10) Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings
He’s just so whiny and so mean to Sam, who could probably have just carried the Ring to Mordor whilst dragging Frodo behind him by his hair… which he pretty much ended up doing anyway.
When I finally read The Hobbit, it was such a huge relief that Bilbo is infinitely more bearable than Frodo.