As I round out April, I have to admit a serious ambivalence to the month that has passed. I blame some of this on the weather (which is dumb, I know) and much of the rest on a mixed bag of news and no news (pitching a book is a lot of sitting around and waiting to hear back… something… anything). I have been blogging, but not with discipline. Mostly I’ve been doing my paid work and a bit of volunteering (spring gardening time has arrived at long last).
I abandoned my 30 days’ theme for April, for which I feel ashamed, as though I’ve disappointed an unseen public that craves my pithy commentary. That said, I finally came up with a cool idea for a few integrated posts for the month of May. Full disclosure, I totally stole this idea from How I Met Ted Mosby after reading her posts about movie boyfriends. I decided, why not do a bracket (it’s the “in” thing to do right now) about literary boyfriends?
How I made my list: I began by brainstorming characters I’d actually want to date (or at least sleep with). My first six or so covered the usual suspects: Mr. Darcy was the first name that flowed from my pen. Howard Roark came next. Gradually I went from male characters I loved to male characters who were interesting to, finally, male characters who would be interesting going up against similar literary characters. Thus, I desire to bed/wed neither Hannibal Lecter nor Humbert Humbert, but I thought they’d pair off well against one another. Plus, we all encounter guys we wish we never had. Those socio/psychopaths are represented in literature, and they compete in my bracket.
I did try to make it interesting, in so far as there’s a reasonable mix of hunks, interesting blokes, and bat-shit crazies. You know, kinda the same crowd you find on a Saturday night over at OKCupid.
Also, it should be noted that I tried to pick characters from literature I actually have read (there is one notable exception, as you will see below). And I had to stop at 16, meaning Rhett Butler didn’t make the cut (he was #17). My bracket is below, as is a brief description of the characters for those who may not recognize them by name.
Battle of the Austen Heroes – Mr. Darcy (1) v. Mr. Knightley (8)
The former is the prideful rich man from Pride and Prejudice, beloved by all (especially those who saw Colin Firth’s performance). The second is the brother-in-law of Emma, whose presence is more parental than romantic.
Battle of Delightful Detectives – Sherlock Holmes (2) v. Spenser (7)
There are a lot of famous literary detectives, but probably none more famous than Sherlock Holmes. While he goes without introduction, many have never read Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series. That said, these men are equal parts brains and brawn, although maybe not in the exact same proportions.
Battle of the Sexual Sadists – Patrick Bateman (3) v. Christian Grey (6)
Okay, this is one where I haven’t read the book. 50 Shades is up my alley (ha ha), but I’ve read so much negative press from the kink community that I don’t feel that spending my spare minutes of free time are worth it. Plus, I’m not a fan of Twilight. As for Patrick, well, I have an issue vis a vis the book as compared with the movie. However, I think these two characters pit well against one another.
Battle of the Young Effed-Up Dudes – Holden Caulfield (4) v. Charlie from Perks of Being a Wallflower (5)
Are there two young adolescent males more lovably fucked up than Holden Caulfield of The Catcher in the Rye and Charlie (no last name) from The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Maybe. But they aren’t in my bracket.
Battle of the Closeted Despicable Antiheroes – Hannibal Lecter (4) v. Humbert Humbert (5)
Switching “conferences” we get the mid-level contenders for evil doing. Are there two characters more indelible (and despicable) than Hannibal Lecter from Red Dragon/Silence of the Lambs and Humbert Humbert of Lolita? Good luck coming up with a contender.
Battle of the Hogwarts Hunks – Harry Potter (3) v. Draco Malfoy (6)
Have you read Harry Potter? No? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?
All’s Fair in Love and War – Prince Andrei Bolonsky (2) v. Pierre Bazukhov (7)
Did I mention I have a Master’s in Russian? Please forgive me, but how can I leave out the two main protagonists of War and Peace?
Battle of the Reluctant Kings – Aragorn (1) v. Howard Roark (8)