In this week’s 5 Best Books we are asked to list our Five Best Books: Unconventional Heroes. Now, I for one love unconventional heroes. People who are not what they seem, who are insignificant in the eyes of the world but try to live their lives with dignity or become heroes inspite of adverse situations are heroes in my book.
.1. Charles Chipping from Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton – Mr. Chips is a mild mannered, very average man but he more than once rises to the occasion and shows courage. I especially love the scene where he reads aloud a list of the school’s alumni who have fallen in the battlefield. In spite of objections from everyone, he includes the name of a former master who died while fighting for the opposing side. He chooses to remember the man as a friend and not as an enemy; he decides to remember the friendship they once had.
2. Severus Snape from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling – Even if Cassandra hadn’t mentioned him in her post, I still would have put him on my list. Ever since the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something unusual about the man. Of course, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, proved what a complex character Severus Snape was. If ever there was an unconventional hero, Snape is the one.
3. David, the policeman from A Kiss for Cinderella by J. M. Barrie – The character of the policeman is so unlike a romantic hero. He is an unimaginative, unromantic man. He couldn’t possibly understand ‘Cinderella’s imaginary world. But all the same he sympathizes with her and even ends up saving her life. His love for the poor, plain looking, possibly unbalanced ‘Cinderella’ makes him one of my top unconventional heroes.
4. Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – A deeply unhappy alcoholic of a dubious character, Sydney Carton ends up overshadowing the more conventional hero Charles Darnay.
5. Mr Harley Quin from The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie – One of the more unusual and underrated creations of Agatha Christie, Mr. Quin, is a friend of lovers, an otherworldly presence. He comes and leaves without any explanation, appears at the edge of a cliff or in an empty train compartment. He never does anything concrete but helps everyone in a most subtle way. A strangely unconventional hero, in my opinion.
I love Sydney Carton! He’s another one from high school that I had forgotten. He is perfect for this list!
Thanks for joining us!
Yes, isn’t Sydney Carton just perfect for this list?
You’re welcome! I love participating! 🙂
Neville Shute’s Trustee from the Toolroom had the most unlikely hero in the model building engineer from England.
Never heard of Trustee from the Toolroom before. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
I remember reading TALE OF TWO CITIES in high school and even though I disliked the book and resented being made to read it, I still cried at the end.
Harley Quinn, I haven’t thought of the character in a long time. I know I read them but can’t remember any of the stories. Maybe it’s time to check them out again. Thanks for the reminder.
I’ve never read any James Hilton, but I’ve always meant to.
Great list, w.w.
I see you’re reading GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING. I read it and liked it very much even if it is a very enigmatic tale. Have you seen the movie? Colin Firth plays Vermeer.
I loved the ending of A Tale of Two Cities. It was almost poetic.
You’re welcome! I read The Mysterious Mr. Quin last year and loved it. The stories are not what matters here but the character of Mr. Quin is what makes them special.
Oh I loved Goodbye, Mr. Chips! Cried my eyes out when it ended. I still can’t think of it without feeling a little weepy!
I haven’t seen Girl with a Pearl Eearring but I have seen glimpses of it when the world first went crazy with Scarlett Johansson! I am enjoying the book so far. I would like to see the movie as Colin Firth is one of my favourites.
Ah….Sydney Carton. Quite the sacrifice
Yes it was the ultimate sacrifice, if you ask me.