Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Jerks in Literature

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

Yay my blogger is letting me edit again so I can participate in this week's topic afterall! So a few weeks ago we had top 10 mean girls and now we have the jerky guys, and oh my gosh there are a tonne of them. From the super creepy or obnoxious to the jerky ones that secretly we love I've included the 10 I think of first when the word jerk is being thrown around. In no particular order...

1. Cormac McLaggen
(from Harry Potter)
 I think Cormac was probably the most 'jerky' of all the characters we ever met in the Harry Potter world. Sure Malfoy is evil and Crabbe and Goyle are his idiot followers and Voldemort, Fudge and Malfoy Sr all have their moments but the true jerk in Harry Potter has to be McLaggen. He's so obnoxious, annoying, egotistical and pretentious.  Thank god we didn't have to put up with him for 7 books!

2. Severus Snape
(from Harry Potter)
I know I just said McLaggen is the biggest jerk in Harry Potter, and he certainly is, but we can't forget our dear old potions master can we? While he was a hard task master and devoid of any compassion when it came to Harry and the others deep down he wasn't that bad. I think his attempt to save Harry and thwart Voldemort cancels out any bad behaviour he may have previously taken part in. 

3. Holden Caulfield 
(from A Catcher in the Rye)
Like Snape Holden is the jerk we all love. He isn't exactly the most warm hearted and compassionate individual but he has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it hard to think of him in a permanently bad light. In fact he seems to have captured the heart of hundreds of men and women across the globe.
4. Clay, Trent, Daniel etc
(from Less than Zero)
The guys (and girls) in this novel are the most vapid, consumer-driven, egotistical characters possibly ever written. The majority have absolutely no redeeming qualities and those who show the occasion glimpse of compassion or remorse have no desire to work on making themselves better (which I think is even worse).

5. The Commander/Fred
(from The Handmaid's Tale)
Like the boys from Less Than Zero my main dislike for the Commander comes from his refusal to make any attempt to change the situation they're in. He's happy to illegally play scrabble and join the "gentleman's" clu but he has no desire to actually do anything mainly because of the personal sacrifices he'd have to make. He was weak and I really disliked him.

6. Heathcliff
(from Wuthering Heights)

I am not a fan of this novel, however it has cropped up over and over in high school and university reading lists so unfortunately I know it well. Apart from the melodrama I hated how horrible all the characters are to one another. I'm listing Heathcliff here because it's meant to be guys, but seriously any character from WH could be here instead. As for Heathcliff, he's jealous, controlling, rude, arrogant, harsh, aggressive and always angry, so basically the epitome of a jerk.

7. Nils Bjurman
(from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
I don't think this guy has a single redeeming quality.You have to be a certain type of jerk to specifically seek out these kinds of guardianship roles only to live out your perverse fantasies by dominating the person you're supposed to be protecting.

8. Saruman
(from Lord of the Rings)
I know Sauron is probably the obvious choice here, but I personally find Saruman a bit more of a jerk. Basically just looking for more power and status he betrays everything he has worked for previously and the people who trust and respect him. Also, he doesn't take any kind of failure well, old men in robes should really behave better.

9. The Grinch
(from How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
This guy sorted his stuff out just in the nick of time so I can't really hate him (plus he's a Dr Seuss character, no hate allowed!), but seriously, the dude tried to steal Christmas. Who does that? A jerk, that's who!

10. Luke
(from FreakAngels)
This guy is an asshole, using the FA package so he can have sex with whoever he wants, whenever he wants, without their permission. On top of that he is arrogant, annoying, ridiculously shallow and a smart-ass. But I love him. He's one of my favourite characters in the graphic novel, perhaps because of his many, many flaws. Don't get me wrong I would never be friends with this guy in real life, but I always feel a little sorry for him when the rest of the group gang up on him.

So there you have my top 10. Who did you all stick up on your lists?


  1. I have Heathcliff, Holden Caulfield and Snape on my list as well.

    Good call on Luke - he is a really great example of a total jerk (and possibly the best written and complex of all the FreakAngels cast).

  2. I think there will probably be a fair bit of cross-overs this week on TTT, there are too many jerky guys out there, especially in the classics!

  3. Of course. The Grinch. You have to be a pretty sad fellow to want to steal Christmas.

    Nice list.

    Here's my list of Top Ten Jerks in Literature. I hope you will stop by. I'd also love to have you enter my giveaway for a new book Divergent this month!

  4. I love that you have the Grinch on your list, totally forgot about him- great choice!

  5. Heathcliff is on my list too. I never liked Holden, always thought he was a bit of a brat. Completely agree with Nils Bjurman although I picked Salander's dad. Love that you added The Grinch.

  6. Completely agree with Nils Bjurman and Sauron. Two really good choices there.

  7. Everyone in Less than Zero is completly wack. That book was just sad. I love that you mentioned The Grinch. Yeah, and Holden Caulfield is probably my favorite jerk. lol.

  8. Never thought about the Grinch! Good choices for your Top Ten!!!

  9. Great list! This is the list I wish I'd written! You're so right about the Less Than Zero crowd, and Snape is a git, no matter how much I love him.

    Also, I lol'd when I saw The Grinch on your list. Got a lot of weird looks ;)

  10. Nice thinking outside the box with the Grinch! :) I wouldn't have thought of him because he does get his stuff together in the end, though only a real jerk would try to steal Christmas from an entire town. Chocolat's antagonist is kind of the same with the curate, Francis Reynaud, trying to prevent everyone from indulging at Vianne's chocolaterie.

  11. This is one of the most comprehensive lists I've seen all day! Great call on Cormac and The Commander. Love the Grinch!!!

  12. Great list! I had a hard time with mine and now I'm being reminded of some real jerks!

  13. There are so many great jerks on your list.

    I have to say that I think Nils went past being a jerk and into a sorry excuse for a human being that should be executed.

  14. I have Holden Caufield on my list too. But I differentiated more between real jerks and evil characters. Here it is: http://femalebookreader.blogspot.com/2011/05/top-ten-tuesday-you-jerkface.html

  15. I completely forgot about Cormac. He's a great person for this list. I've seen Snape and Draco on a few lists and they are great choices as well. As for Harry Potter characters, I went with Percy because he basically throws his family under the bus just so she can get higher in the Ministry of Magic.

  16. Great list!

    I didn't think to include Luke but that's mostly because I still haven't gotten out of my whole "graphic novels aren't literature" snobbery phase. I know they are but I have WAY too many friends who read nothing but manga (literally; they won't even pick up a book that doesn't have pictures in it) so I've had sort of a bad relationship with the genre. I'll get over it someday.

  17. These are some good choices. I wanted to include a Handmaid's Tale character, and I should have included Fred, since he is a jerk. However, I decided to include lady jerks as well and went with Aunt Lydia.

    Check out my list here.

  18. @Jenni - I completely forgot about Percy! You're right, he's pretty terrible!

    @Gabe - I went through the same struggle with graphic novels, but I enjoy them too much to care anymore! At least your friends are reading, even if it is only manga, it could be worse, they could be like my friends who only read the readings necessary for uni!

    @DJL - Whenever I think of Reynaud all I can think of is the in the movie adaptation when he goes mental in the shop window eating all the chocolate! He was a jerk though, I'd completly forgotten about him!

    @twobibliomaniacs - Thanks!!

    @Birdie - Lol, that's always my biggest problem when I read blogs in public! I think i'm getting a reputation around the uni as the crazy girl who laughs at computer screens



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