This week’s theme is: Top 10 Biggest Jerks in Literature.
I have linked to my reviews, when available – click on the book title to go to that review.
1. Javert from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
—-This guy is savage. He hounds poor Jean Valjean relentlessly, simply because Jean “appears” to be “the type” associated with criminality, and of course because young Jean escaped from prison after being sentenced to hard labor for simply stealing one loaf of bread to feed his family. Javert has a bit of a moral crisis, eventually, but for much of this very long book, he’s a big fat jerk.
2. Humbert Humbert from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
—-So well spoken. Such grandeur of dreams, romance, and emotion. Such a twisted, despicable little bugger! This isn’t even about the fact that he essentially kidnaps a 13 year old girl to take as his lover – that speaks for itself. But the way he justifies and lauds it, my goodness. If he weren’t so pompous about it maybe, well, no… he’s just 100% nincompoop.
3. Esteban Trueba from The House of the Spirits by Isabell Allende
—-Classic traditional father and husband. Abusive, totalitarian, and with an ego that could crush a rhinoceros. Still, at times, you’re almost rooting for the guy. He definitely loved his family and worked incredibly hard. If only he could have been, you know, not violent.
4. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.
—-What can I say? Women (and some men, perhaps?) swoon over this guy – and it’s not saying much for those who do (sorry). This guy is the epitome of grouchy, conniving, and dangerous. He’s a real “bad boy,” but not the semi-cutesy type you’d actually bring home to meet the parents. At least, I hope not!
5. Bill Sikes from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
—-Total punk. The guys isn’t exactly Einstein, so he uses brute force to get what he wants. He’s a bit of a sociopath – with no concern for anyone else’s well-being or feelings. If it gets in the way of his end goal (money, riches) he eliminates it. No woman or child is safe.
6. Alphonso from The Color Purple by Alice Walker
—-Oh, this guy! Impregnating your own step-daugther and forcing her to have and raise the child? Beating your children and leaving them destitute. Lying to them their whole lives about who their parents really are. Need I go on?
7. M. de Metz from Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja
—-The mastermind behind the evil forces of this incredible puppet show. There were a couple other “bad guys” from this book who I wanted to choose, but the truth is that M. de Metz, big daddy, is the brains behind the operation, and the one ultimately responsible for Rupert & Istvan’s misery (as well as Benjamin’s).
8. Tomas from The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
—-I have a serious problem with adulterers. Male or female, I find adulterers – particularly unrepentant, compulsive ones like Tomas- totally jerky and loathsome. Tomas is also a bit of a coward and thinks more highly of himself than he should, which irks me. Only think highly of yourself if you have good reason for it. 😉
9. Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
—-Come on! How could I not? Sure, Snape kind of has a few good reasons to be such a tool, but he is still a tool. He’s cruel, he’s sneaky, he takes pleasure in others’ misfortunes. Still, I love the guy – he’s a jerk I can justify being proud of!
10. Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
—-The charmer. There’s always gotta be one in the bunch, right? The jerk who uses his incredible good looks to get what he wants and to use others for his own purposes. He goes a bit nuts (not helped any by the opium) but that doesn’t excuse his jerkish nature.