Posted by Jen Moore
Day 23 – Most annoying character ever
Horatio Hornblower, from C. S. Forester’s novels. I started off on the Hornblower kick with the BBC/A&E series from the late 90s, a beautifully filmed and well cast set of stories that were not really based very strictly on the books at all. When I started reading the books, though, I discovered that I wasn’t put off by the differences between them and the movies as much as I was put off by Hornblower himself. He’s self-absorbed and a little dense. He worries to much. He obsesses over “the loneliness of command” and vascillates between treating his only real friend, Lieutenant William Bush, as a trusted companion or as a useless hanger-on. (And then when Bush dies, in Lord Hornblower, without leaving behind a body, Hornblower contemplates building a pyramid of skulls in his memory. I don’t even.) The only book I still read is Lieutenant Hornblower, because that’s the one from Bush’s point of view. Horatio Hornblower is definitely one of those people who is better from the outside of his head than from the inside.
I do reccomend the TV series, though, particularly the second season, Mutiny and Retribution. Great stuff.
A close runner-up for the title is Tony Hill, from Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid. In the television adaptation, Wire in the Blood, Tony’s a rather appealing absentminded-professor type. In the books you get his internal thought process, in which he feels entirely too sorry for himself while worrying about whether or not he’s going to turn into a serial killer one day. If only, Tony. If only.