Posted by: Sally Ingraham | December 5, 2009

Read. Read. Read-a-Thon: Mini Challenges hosted a mini challenge a few hours ago – officially another “Breaktime Shindig”, but a real challenging question at the same time. English Major’s Junk Food also hosted one of these mini challenges, and I’m going to attempt to answer both questions before I dive into my next book.

So…Reads4Pleasure asked who our favorite and least favorite characters, from all the worlds we’ve encountered through our reading travels, were. After a little bit of thought I believe that Harry Crewe from Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword is still as much a definite favorite as she was when I first met her as a 12 year old. Harry is just so incredibly bad ass, right from the beginning when she scowls at her glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, until the end when she battles to save Damar. I still wear, with a great deal of goofy pride, the T-shirt a friend made me that says Damalur-sol, and happily explain to the people who frequently ask about it that it means lady-hero to the world of Damar and Harry Crewe.

As for a character that I hate…? This shouldn’t be so difficult, but I;m finding that there are plenty of characters that make me barf a little in my mouth (Heathcliff?! but lets not get into that…!) but not many that I actually hate. Most characters that I come across that are truly awful I put out of my mind as swiftly as I can. It’s not the all-encompassing representations of evil that I find particularly bad – Sauron of The Lord of the Rings is an obviously nasty one – but the small time crooks, the senseless inflicters of pain, the manipulating bastards that are all too real that I find repulsive. Like I said, I don’t care to dwell on or remember them. I’d rather focus the heat of my disgust on, well, Heathcliff…!

Moving on to Ash’s challenge, she wandered what a favorite quote out of your favorite classic novel might be. In a slight deviation from the ‘classic novel’ idea, I was reminded recently, when I was going through a box of stuff my mother packed up for me, of how much I love the play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. I wrote down this passage in my little quotes journal in 2003, and it still is lovely and thrilling to me now:

‘De Guiche
I suppose you have written a tragedy –
They all have.

Le Bret
(Aside to Cyrano)
Now at last you’ll have it played –

De Guiche
Why not? Take it to him.

Really –

De Guiche
He is himself a dramatist;
Let him rewrite a few lines here and there,
And he’ll approve the rest.

(His face falls again)
My blood curdles to think of altering
one comma.

De Guiche
Ah, but when he likes a thing
He pays well.

Yes – but not so well as I –
When I have made a line that sings itself
So that I love the sound of it – I pay
Myself a hundred times.

There you have it. Back to reading now – I’ve read for about 11 hours give or take some meal breaks, and have spent going on 5 hours blogging and socializing. Three books down, over 500 pages read – I’m pretty pleased with my progress so far! Now only…7 hours left? Imagine that. 🙂


  1. My response was the opposite: I had a pretty easy time naming a character I hated but had a hard time thinking of characters I loved.

    That was a neat little dialogue you posted.

  2. I’m sure my response will be different if someone asked another day. I just drew a blank on truly hateful characters. It’s kind of bugging me actually…!

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