So far this year I’ve read some great novels for college, with characters who have really come alive for me.
‘Judge Holden’ in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. Absolutely the most harrowing book I’ve ever read, but an immensely rewarding read. Truly, the Judge is The Devil incarnate.
‘Holden Caulfield’ in J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Such a wonderfully flawed character. This is one of the few classics that, for me, really shows why it has such enduring popularity.
‘Stephen Wraysford’ in Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong. A marvellously nuanced character whose journey we follow from just before, and through, World War 1.
‘Paddy Clarke’ in Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. The child narrator of this novel irked me initially, but I soon came to love him. A superb exercise in capturing a child’s voice.
‘Katniss Everdeen’ in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. Quite simply, I adore this character. What Collins puts her through in this novel, and its two sequels, is astounding. Katniss is a truly resilient protagonist, and she feels so real to me.
And the really interesting thing is that I wouldn’t have picked up any of these books unless they had been prescribed for my course. I definitely think that, as both a both a reader and a writer, I’ve been greatly enriched by engaging with these characters and their journeys.