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Book Related Banter > Hateful Characters

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message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol I found Humbert in Lolita to be so despicable. I wanted to bash his face in. I had such a violet reaction to that character.


message 2: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Certain authors can write an evil or just despicable character well enough for me to enjoy hating them, but not always. Sometimes when a character is hateful I just don't enjoy reading about them at all!

An example of a character I love to hate would be Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha. She was a horrid person, but she had gobs of personality.

An example fo someone I hated so much I just didn't enjoy reading the book would be either of the two main characters in Poor Folk. They both irritated the crap out of me without amusing me at all.


message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol I remember her , she was a total b**ch. But she made the perfect antagonist.


message 4: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 358 comments Fiona wrote: "I am reading Grotesque at the moment which despite the hateful characters that seem to populate it, I actually quite like. I find them interesting - even though I want to slap some of ..."

Oh, that book is funny!


message 5: by Kaion (last edited Mar 18, 2010 06:14PM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) Really, I kind of liked Hatsumomo... she was a nice foil to the main character (who I thought was so limp and misguided sometimes*). This is amplified in the movie of course... so maybe I'm projecting.

*It seemed like their lives called upon bitchiness. Just that some of them were better at disguising the bitchiness better than others.


message 6: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Kaion wrote: "Really, I kind of liked Hatsumomo... she was a nice foil to the main character (who I thought was so limp and misguided sometimes*). This is amplified in the movie of course... so maybe I'm project..."

That's what I mean, I loved to hate her as I read the book. You're right about it being more pronounced in the movie. I love subtitled movies, so have seen that actress in tons. She was absolutely perfect and probably made me love hating her more than the book ever could have.


message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol Lets see who else was so despicable. How about Miss Hilly in The Help. I think I hated her lack of education . I hated her born and bred attitude towards the colored maids. She could have been like Miss Skeeter,but she chose not to.


message 8: by Bhumi (new)

Bhumi | 524 comments Hmmmm. I'd say various characters in The Jungle who take advantage of Jurgis and his family. And various characters in The Grapes of Wrath, that take advantage of the Joad family. Society in general in those cases.


message 9: by Kristie (new)

Kristie (spedkristie) It really depends on circumstances in the story.....sometimes I love them and relate and other times I want to throw them through a metal wall..... however, my mind is currently blank on specific examples..... :)


message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol Yes I abhor social injustices against people and animals who are down-trodden. But I think these detestable characters are meant to raise our conscientiousness.


message 11: by Liz (new)

Liz I think by the time I finished Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald I didn't care for any of those characters, especially Dick. While I enjoyed that book and was able to write and read about it academically, it really depressed me.


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) Carol (akittykat) wrote: "Lets see who else was so despicable. How about Miss Hilly in The Help. I think I hated her lack of education . I hated her born and bred attitude towards the colored maids. She could have been like..."

I'd have to agree with you there, not many redeeming qualities in her. And in that age of major exploration and tension about the races, it is less easy to say that she "was brought up that way and it wasn't her fault she held those views" since she lived through the era where those long-held views were being reformed.


message 13: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 212 comments What about Professor Snape in the first 6 Harry Potter books? He was a great villain! I loved to hate him, until the 7th book and then I didn't hate him so much...


message 14: by Alex (new)

Alex I just read The Picture of Dorian Gray and found Lord Henry pretty despicable.


message 15: by JSou (new)

JSou The one that really comes to mind is Mildred from Of Human Bondage. I HATED her. What a bitch.


message 16: by Alex (new)

Alex Also: everyone in everything Chuck Palahniuk's ever written.


message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 358 comments I don't mind hateful characters at all as long as they add to the story. If a character is not meant to be repulsive but I find them so anyway, I'm not reading a good book.


message 18: by Kaion (last edited Mar 19, 2010 09:32AM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) How about the titular character from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao? Y'all I'm a little geeky and I know lots of geeks, but seriously, it's no excuse to be this pathetic. (Ay, I feel for his big sis.) The book portrays him as such a big "victim" too, which doesn't help.

Kandice wrote: "Kaion wrote: "Really, I kind of liked Hatsumomo... she was a nice foil to the main character (who I thought was so limp and misguided sometimes*). This is amplified in the movie of course... so may..."

Gong Li is luminous. But yeah, I felt like Hatsumomo had the realistic reaction to the cutthroat geisha life- that Chiyo/Sayuri is fortunate in her ending is pretty "lucky" on her part- she could just easily been a Hatsumomo in a few more years.

Alex wrote: "I just read The Picture of Dorian Gray and found Lord Henry pretty despicable.

Also: everyone in everything Chuck Palahniuk's ever written."


... I know he's EVIL, but I like Lord Henry. He's entertaining. (Well, he's the earthly evil to Dorian's supernatural evil.) Dorian is pretty despicable all on his own, though.

I have to agree with you on the Palahniuk front for Survivor. Half-dead boring narrator and a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? Bad choice... I think the people in Fight Club are too crazy to hate- And in Lullaby, the characters actually really slowly won me over. (And when he describes them like a "family" at the end, it's almost touching... if you ignore the, you know, mass chaos they've caused.)


message 19: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jayme-reads) I love an author who can make me love a hateful character. The first one I thought of someone has already mentioned, but I hated Humbert, in Lolita, and loved the book.


message 20: by Bhumi (new)

Bhumi | 524 comments May I add Tom Buchanan from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald? He is so morally corrupt.


message 21: by Mary (new)

Mary (marycrissy) | 10 comments Hateful, horrible, nasty, evil and downright rotten; Augusten Burroughs' father in Wolf at the Table. And he was real.


message 22: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Big Jim Rennie and Junior Rennie from Under The Dome, definitely. They are two of the most despicable and hateful characters I've ever read about.


message 23: by Kate (new)

Kate (kshiv) | 27 comments I spent 700 or so pages wanting to slap Anna Karenina. Why is she such a B? I loved the book and was really into several of the other characters but she really ticked me off.
I also couldn't stand Kathy in Wuthering Heights. How could she toy with my Heathcliff that way. She needed to be taken down a notch.


message 24: by Petra (new)

Petra Kate, I felt the same way about Anna Karenina. Gosh, she made it hard to get through the book!

.....I've really got to read Wuthering Heights.....and soon.....it's been on my TBR list for ages and the book is sitting on my bookshelf.


message 25: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jayme-reads) Becky wrote: "Big Jim Rennie and Junior Rennie from Under The Dome, definitely. They are two of the most despicable and hateful characters I've ever read about."

I`m reading this soon and you just made me more excited!


message 26: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Jayme wrote: "Becky wrote: "Big Jim Rennie and Junior Rennie from Under The Dome, definitely. They are two of the most despicable and hateful characters I've ever read about."

I`m reading this soon and you just..."


It is... Extremely intense! :) I loved it.


message 27: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jayme-reads) Becky, I bought it because Neil Gaiman said it was his favourite book of 2009 and I`m in love with him. But I`m getting more and more psyched to read it. It would be done already if it wasn`t that everytime I pick it up, something lighter and more comfortable to hold in bed is sitting right next to it.


message 28: by Kandice (new)

Kandice It's a big heavy book, but a super fast read, Jayme.:)


message 29: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) It really is a super fast read. I think both Kandice and I finished it in 2 days. :)


message 30: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jayme-reads) Okay, I have one short story left in 20th Century ghosts and then I`ll start it!


message 31: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Yay!


message 32: by KHoopMan (new)

KHoopMan  (eliza_morgan) | 151 comments Bob Ewell and Mayella Ewell from To Kill a Mockingbird. I hate them both so much- and not a warm fuzzy "wow, that was so well written" kind of hate. It's like a palpable, I could spit, kind of hate.


message 33: by Carol (new)

Carol I hated the societies that harbored people like Bob Ewell and Mayella.


message 34: by Ben (new)

Ben Carlsen (arkholt) | 4 comments I must add almost all of the characters from Hart's Hope by Orson Scott Card. Just when you think one of them is good, they turn out to be incredibly evil and villainous.


message 35: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I ust finished About Schmidt. The main character (Schmidt) had absolutely not one single redeeming feature of character. I hated him. I had ot force myself to finish the book, and really only did because when I got discouraged I read a few reviews that pointed toward some sort of revelation or life change for him. Nope! The guy was horrid.


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