1) Owen Meany from Irving’s A Prayer For Owen Meany: “I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice. Not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God. I am a Christian because of Owen Meany. ”
2) Samuel Hamilton from Steinbeck’s East of Eden: “I guess if a man had to shuck off everything he had, inside and out, he’d manage to hide a few little sins somewhere for his discomfort. They’re the last things we’ll give up.”
3) Lucy Pevensie from Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
4) David Copperfield from Dickens’s David Copperfield: “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.”
5) Kincade from Duncan’s The Brother’s K: “Anyone too undisciplined, too self-righteous or too self-centered to live in the world as it is has a tendency to idealize a world which ought to be. But no matter what political or religious direction such idealists choose, their visions always share one telling characteristic: in their utopias, heavens or brave new worlds, their greatest personal weakness suddenly appears to be a strength.”
6) Holden Caulfield from Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye: “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”
7) Gandalf from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: “End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it…white shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
8) Albus Dumbledore from Rowling’s Harry Potter Series: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
9) Cathy Trask from Steinbeck’s East of Eden (incredibly, mind-numbingly evil but so well written) She is introduced by Steinbeck this way: “I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents. . . . They are accidents and no one’s fault, as used to be thought. Once they were considered the visible punishments for concealed sins.”
10) Lord Peter Wimsey from Sayers’s The Nine Tailors: “A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.” Oops.
So who are your favorite characters ever (no quotations required)?