It’s come up a lot over the past few days who your top literary boyfriends are. First, Mandy blogged about it, and she and I have some similarities, because we are both awesome, of course. Then @nikkisticks and @thebooksluts both mentioned it on Twitter, and I’d link you to their tweets about it, but I STILL don’t have new Twitter (seriously, Twitter, I’m starting to feel like the last wallflower at the dance, here, what the hell? PICK ME DAMMIT I WORE MY PRETTIEST DRESS AND I’M TOTALLY SLUTTY) so they wouldn’t look right copy/pasted in. So I thought, you know what everyone loves? Literary boyfriends. They are HOT right now. They are the HOT THING.
Then Susie and I were talking about how we feel bad having literary crushes on characters who are in happy relationships. I’m in agreement with this. This is why when I go into a happy reverie about my literary boyfriends, I kill off their significant others. NICELY. I mean, I don’t have them PSYCHOKILLED or anything. Sheesh. Something nice. Like a nice cancer! Or whatever. Then they are free to be MY literary boyfriend, and we’re all happy. Well, probably the dead wife or girlfriend isn’t happy, but they’re dead, so their happiness is really inconsequential, now, isn’t it?
So, without further ado: my list of literary boyfriends. I looked online and a couple of these are, like, NO ONE’S literary boyfriends. So that means I get them all to myself, right? Right. Or it might mean I’m broken. Hard to say.
This is in reverse order. I’m saving the best for last. As you do.
Heathcliff – Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I’m allowed one abusive, emo boyfriend, right? Right.
Listen, I’ve had a crush on psychopath Heathcliff since I was 13. I can’t leave him off. Even though I KNOW he’s bad news. So dark! So broody! So single-minded in his love for Catherine! So proud! So…um, yeah, kind of an abusive ass. I get that. I do. BUT HE LOVED HER SO MUCH YOU GUYS.
I know. I’m not overly proud of this one. All I can say is, I met Heathcliff at a very impressionable age when I thought “dark and twisty” equaled “good boyfriend material” and it’s warped me forevermore. Let’s just move on, shall we?
Steve Finn – Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
Steve Finn is real in a book full of unreality. He’s messed up and he’s a little broken and he tries really, really hard to do the right thing, and he fails, sometimes, but he’s honest, and he’s proud, and he’s loyal to a fault. I’ve read this book more than a dozen times since I bought it before a long bus trip, spur of the moment, and every time, it’s like coming home to Steve. I want things to go well for him, just once. I want him to get the girl, to live a nice, if somewhat unremarkable life in the South, singing in bars, coming home to Ann. If he can’t have that, well, I’ll take him in. Hell, I like musicians.
Inigo Montoya – The Princess Bride by William Golding
I like how single-minded in his revenge plot Inigo is. I like how driven and loyal he is. I like how scrappy and serious he is. I like how courtly and regal he is. And, YES, it doesn’t hurt at ALL that he’s played by Mandy Patinkin in the movie. But he’s my BOOK boyfriend. And if you haven’t read the book, do yourself a favor and pick it up? You’ll be surprised, but it’s EVEN BETTER THAN THE MOVIE. And the movie’s fantastic. Go, go. But hands off Inigo. He’s mine.
Richie Tozier – It by Stephen King
This isn’t creepy because I read this book for the first time when I was thirteen. So it’s totally not creepy pedophile time at all.
Listen, I have always been in love with the class clown. There is nothing, nothing, NOTHING sexier than the smart guy who can make me laugh. NOTHING. Seriously. First guy I ever had a crush on in the history of me? Class clown. Most disastrous relationships I’ve been in? The guy wasn’t funny, but I thought, “eh, maybe it’s not as important as I thought it was.” NO. It is TOTALLY important.
It also doesn’t hurt that Richie’s a ginger. Add ginger into class clown and intelligent? Total swoon-fest, sincerely.
SIDE NOTE: Mandy picked Bill from the same book, so we’ve decided we’re going to go on book double dates to the soda fountain. Awesome!
Gilbert Blythe – Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery
This is one of the book-boyfriends I feel badly about stealing from his lady. Because Anne and Gilbert were so damn perfect together! But Gilbert Blythe! One of my first book boyfriends! He was so in love with Anne! And he respected her BRAIN, you guys! He never wanted her to be a stupid, simpering idiot! He LIKED that she was intelligent, even back in the day when women weren’t encouraged to be intelligent!
A couple of years ago, I got to see Jonathan Crombie in a musical? And seriously, I almost DIED. I was in the same ROOM. As the guy who played GILBERT BLYTHE. I mean, I was pretty far away, so I could barely see him, but he totally sounded like Gilbert. Little pre-teen crushing Amy would have been SO PROUD of her adult-self!
Jaime Lannister – A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin
Very few people had Jaime Lannister on their lists when I was scouring lists online. I assume this is because (spoiler alert, kind of, but if you haven’t read the first book or seen the miniseries yet, you probably should get on that, April first is coming quickly) he slept with his sister? Listen, I’m going to give you ANOTHER spoiler alert, but it’s sort of minor. You will, I guarantee you, see Jaime in a different light by the third book. Now, with the way Martin treats his characters, I can’t guarantee you that by the fourth book Jaime’s not eating puppy brains, or something, but I don’t know if it’ll matter. I am HEAD OVER HEELS for Jaime right now, damn. Also, the casting in the miniseries did not hurt one teeny tiny bit. Gulp.
Nick Andros – The Stand by Stephen King
Nick, and his tortuously lonely backstory and his pride and his intelligence and his bravery and his delight at finally being accepted into a group and then his inevitable sacrifice – ugh. KILLED ME. Mostly because he was totally my book boyfriend pretty much from the get-go. Sure, there are some excellent characters in the book, don’t get me wrong. But it’s all about Nick and his black curls and his laughing eyes and his quick hands. None of which the miniseries got right, dammit.
Tyrion Lannister – A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin
You know he won me over when he said “I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things,” right? Because I love all of those things? And then he sealed it with his “A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
I love that Tyrion keeps his head about him, even though everyone has counted him out and are, for the most part, laughing at him. I love his intelligence and his humor and his curiosity and the fact that he’s usually one step ahead of everyone else in the room and no one even has a guess. I love how bawdy and ribald he is. I love how deeply emotional he is. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he’s played by Peter Dinklage, who is just a handsome, handsome man. I can’t wait to see what he does with Season Two.
Aloysius Pendergast – The Pendergast novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
OK, so after all my blathering and blah-blah-blah on and on and ON about it, you’ve all watched the BBC’s Sherlock and you’re in love, right?
Pendergast is the American BBC Sherlock.
He’s quiet and he’s brilliant and he’s kind of a recluse and no one really knows him and he solves these crimes no 0ne else can solve and he has this one great love, and one best friend, and oh, also, he’s SOUTHERN. And TALL. And BLONDE. And well-read, and intelligent, and…oh, sorry, think I might have been drooling a little. Sorry about that.
One of these books was made into a movie. THEY CUT HIS CHARACTER OUT. Yeah, I don’t know, either. Tom Sizemore was in the movie. I think it was pre-Celebrity Rehab. Probably best they left my man out.
Jamie Fraser – The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
So I hate romances? Like, with a fiery passion? I mean, I don’t mind some romance in a book I’m reading. But I won’t read a straight romance novel, because they make me itchy and bitter and are usually written so badly it makes me want to scream.
Nope. Read this series, please. Because, Jamie Fraser. Who is my #1 of all time book boyfriend. Scottish. Tall. Ginger. Gentlemanly. Multi-lingual. Intelligent. Protective. Funny. Loving. Hard-working. Proud. TOTALLY THE SEXIEST YO.
Also, the sex scenes are so steamy and well-written you will totally blush WHILE YOU ARE IN YOUR LUNCHROOM, WITH OTHERS and that’s not at all awkward and weird AT ALL NOPE. Seriously. SO GOOD.
And yeah, I feel a little bad stealing Jamie from his wife, who he’s spent all this TIME and EFFORT getting back together with considering she’s from the future and all. But LISTEN. He is MY Scottish Highlander. I’ll totally fight Claire for him, no joke. WHEN AND WHERE, CLAIRE.
Happy Saturday! May your book-boyfriends (and/or girlfriends – I have three of these, too – Lyra Silvertongue from the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the sequels, and Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, only I don’t so much want to make out with them but be their BFF and kick all the ass with them) treat you well!