Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Hosted, as always, by the wonderful The Broke and the Bookish, this weeks list allows me to express my deep and enduring dislike of certain male characters in literature. Difficult as it may be for me to criticise characters (note: it's not that hard at all), I'm going to be brave and do it. So, here goes!

Top Ten Jerks in Literature

1. Karenin from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy- I know that Karenin is pretty wronged, but he is kind of rigid and unreasonable, and in a way, it's easy to see why Anna needed to break free from his boringness and just plain annoyingness. Yeah, I don't like him so much.

2. Louis from Angels in America by Tony Kushner- Oh look, another reference to Angels in America! But really. I know that Louis isn't really the biggest villain in the play (that is, obviously, Roy Cohn), but Louis just kind of epitomises the word jerk. Leaving your lover because you basically can't deal with reality? Not cool. At all. (See more bitching about Louis here).

3. Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare- For some reason, I find the males of Juliet's family more jerky than Romeo and his crew, and Tybalt is the worst of the lot. And wasn't he also having an affair with his auntie? Weird, weird stuff there...

4. Frank Churchill from Emma by Jane Austen- Yeah, this guy is an idiot, am I right? Even though I know I'm not really supposed to like Jane Fairfax, I definitely feel sorry for her as he continually treats her like crap, even though he's supposed to love her! Such. A. Jerk.

5. Old Nick from Room by Emma Donoghue- More of an evil psychopath than a jerk, but I literally hate this character to the very depths of my soul. I'm sure you'll know what I mean if you've read the book, and if you haven't then what are you waiting for?! (I just read it this weekend after not reading it for about 2 months, so I'm a little crazy about recommending it right now... sorry!)

6. Bruce Patman from Sweet Valley High created by Francine Pascal- I think the word jerk was actually invented to describe Bruce, and I think he thinks that many words have been invented to describe him, because that's just how conceited he is. He made for pretty fun reading when I was a teen though!

7. Mr Wickham from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- Jane apparently has an uncanny skill for writing about complete and utter jerks (maybe she knew a few in her day) because Wickham really is such a complete idiot, isn't he? Lizzie made a completely lucky escape from him, and who was really upset when the idiotic Lydia was not quite so lucky? If ever there was a couple more perfect for each other, it's those two idiots.

8. Big Brother from 1984 by George Orwell- I guess not really a person, so not really a jerk, but as a symbolic leader of an entire population, he's pretty much a big jerk. And what's that whole adoration thing? Was someone overly bullied at school so they now need constant reinforcement? Whatever, he's just horrid, and shouldn't be allowed to exist anymore. Nasty Big Brother.

9. Randall Flagg from The Stand/The Dark Tower by Stephen King- Basically all Stephen King's villains that aren't animals, cars or women could qualify for this list, but I'm going with Randall Flagg because I'm currently in the middle of the worlds longest re-read of The Stand, and this guy is really pissing me off. Mind you, Harold is no piece of cake either...

10. Patrick Bateman from American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis- I mean, seriously, what is wrong with this guy?! He obviously goes far beyond jerk to psychopath (and practically beyond psychopath too, if that's possible) but he can be just a plain old jerk too. Let's just say, he's not exactly someone I'd want as my friend...

So that's my top ten. A bit of a mixed bag of complete and utter evil, and just irritating guys, but I wouldn't really want to hang out with any of them. Ever. And most of them I'd plain run away from in the street. How about you? Any really obvious jerks I've forgotten?


  1. Not read Room but isn't Old Nick a name for the devil? so you'd expect him to be a little bit of an evil psycho?

    I always found the Frank Churchill/Jane Fairfax relationship deeply troubling :S

  2. Laura I ALWAYS love your top ten lists. They are so diverse, and for the most part, read exactly what I would write. (Except Boo on Harold, man!)

  3. Old Nick is much like Kevin on my list, I think; they are both so horrible that jerk seems to be too kind a label. And David on my list is really not quite a jerk. Jerk is a term for those who do some wrong but not awful wrong yet seem to either not know or care.

    Here's my list of Top Ten Jerks in Literature. I hope you will stop by. I'd also love to have you enter my giveaway for a new book Divergent this month!

  4. I love your list! I do know what you mean about Old Nick. The very thought of him makes my skin crawl. Never thought of Tybalt, and yes he did have an affair with his aunt.I re-read The Stand not so long ago. Love that book! I did think about putting Randall Flagg on my list.

    lastly, how could I forget Bruce Patman. I loved those books too.

  5. Hahaha Bruce Patman! Love it. He really is an original teen jerk. Who could forget the pretentiousness of his 1Bruce1 license plates?

  6. I almost put Old Nick on my list but I thought what he does goes beyond jerk. You're totally right that the Capulet guys are way bigger asses than the Montague ones, Tybalt leading the way. Nice choice and one I wish I'd thought of!

  7. Definitely Patrick Bateman. *shudders*
    Tybalt too, what an arse.

  8. Ohhh man, Mr. Wickham is a good one! I was trying to think of jerks from Austen's books and couldn't think of any. Duh.

  9. Patrick Bateman!! Totally agree with you there! He made my list too - he really is a jerk!!
    I think Big Brother is sort of the highlight of your list!! There couldn't be a bigger jerk!
    Great list.
    Check out mine as well:

  10. Old Nick was not only a jerk, but a sorry excuse for a human being. I'm pretty sure I wanted him dead instead of caught.

  11. Harold made it into mine also. Not Randall though, I kinda like him.

    Here's mine:

  12. Good choice in Old Nick.

  13. Soulmate! I almost put Tybalt on my list but there's that whole speaking ill of the dead thing. :) I did have Wickam though and am kicking myself because I didn't even think of big brother.

  14. Great list! Lots of unique picks! :)

  15. We have some list overlap with Big Brother and Bateman. Old Nick is a good one that I wish I had thought of and I didn't think to put a Shakespeare character at all, but if I had, I think I probably would have picked Tybalt.

    Check out my list here.