Welcome to The Once Lost Wanderer. The name is derived from two poems: Amazing Grace by reformed slave trader John Newton, and All That is Gold Does Not Glitter by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ten Most Frustrating Characters in Fiction - Top Ten Tuesday (August, 9, 2016)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

August 9: Top Ten Tuesday REWIND -- go back and do a topic you missed over the years, or a topic you really want to revisit.

OK, so with that liberty, I'll go with: Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters

I’ll try to put these in order, but I’m not particularly passionate about the order for 3-10. However, #2 is definitely the crown prince of frustrating characters and #1 is Queen.

10. David Copperfield. Most of the time, he’s a great guy, but he is downright dense when it comes to recognizing the woman that is perfect for him…or as he says himself in a bit of foreshadowing…blind, blind, blind

9. Tom Jones. Basically good at heart, but terribly weak when it comes to a pretty face and it nearly costs him the one woman he truly loves.

8. Augie March. Often his own worst enemy.

7. Geoffrey Firmin, usually referred to as The Consul. One of the most hopeless drunks in literature.

6. Philip Carey. Keeps running back to the same terrible woman.

5. Victor Frankenstein. He's self-obsessed, whiny, fickle, arrogant, cavalier....a terrible creator. I know, that's the point, and it's well made. 

4. Emma Bovary. I just couldn’t muster up much sympathy for her.

3. Anna Karenina. Conversely, I did feel sympathy for Anna, but she still frustrated me. A gracious and beautiful woman who throws her life away for an unattainable lover.

2. Holden Caulfield. Well…blech!

1. Scarlett O’Hara. She has a few moments when she fills me with admiration…but most of the time she is maddening.

Trivia: I found it interesting that Vivien Leigh portrayed Scarlet and Anna Karenina, both women who wasted their lives pursuing an unattainable lover. She was excellent in both roles.


  1. I haven't read all of the books these characters are from, but the ones I have read, I wholeheartedly agree! Though, Anna Karenina would have made my number one. I didn't even feel sympathy for her most of the time, she really just rubbed me the wrong way the whole way through.

    My TTT.

  2. Holden Caulfield is on my hate list! Can't stand that kid! Great Top Ten! :D My Top Ten Tuesday!

  3. I love your list! I would have John Dowell from "The Good Soldier" by Ford Madox Ford on my list. And what about Hamlet or King Lear or Othello? Don't you want to leap up and shake some sense into them?

  4. I love your list! I would have John Dowell from "The Good Soldier" by Ford Madox Ford on my list. And what about Hamlet or King Lear or Othello? Don't you want to leap up and shake some sense into them?

    1. I almost said "slap" some sense into them when I posted this, but I didn't want to advocate violence, but yeah...AAARRGHHH!!!

  5. You managed to dredge up some sympathy for Anna Karenina? Kudos to you. I felt some for County Vronsky eventually, but never Anna. I hate to admit it, but when she threw herself in front of the train I thought finally she'd done something I could agree with.

    1. Yep...I did, and none for Count V, in fact I despised him. Funny how they affect us differently. Cheers.

  6. This is a great topic! Holden Caulfield is definitely at the top of my lost of most hated characters in literature. In fact, he IS the list. I don't remember ever hating a character so much.

    I actually felt quite a bit of sympathy for Anna Karenina, though. Every time I read about women in the past stuck in unsatisfying marriages I can't help but place myself in such a painful and difficult position. Feeling so trapped must be awful. Admittedly, it did take me three tries to actually begin to appreciate Tolstoy's novel, so I can't really remember how I felt about Anna the first time I read it.

    1. Yeah...Holden...ugh. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. I'm with you on 4, 3, and 2.

    In the reading of MB, I never warmed up to Emma, and I never felt pity for her. (I recently attempted to watch the newest film version, and they TRIED to make her likable so that you would feel sorry for her, but it did not work for me.)

    Same with Anna. Whenever children are involved, I cannot wrap my brain around a woman who would jeopardize the relationship with her child(ren) for another man, even if her husband is a cheater. She needed to rise above that. No man (no offense) is worth losing her child(ren), even her husband - in this case. Sorry to be harsh.

    And Holden is a little, lying fool. He needed a spanking.

    1. Yeah...Dear, Dear Holden. My first read I mistook not liking Holden for not liking the book. I've come to appreciate it a bit more, and I think I owe it one more read. But clearly, you can dislike a character, even the main character and still like the book (I liked most of those listed above).

    2. Me, too. I love all three of those books, but I had deep, personal issues with a few of these characters. And Holden was just a hypocrite.


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