Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Top 10 antiheroes

Francesca Simon is one of the UK’s best-selling children’s writers. She has published over 50 books, including the immensely popular "Horrid Henry" series, which has now sold over twelve million copies.

For the Guardian, she named a top ten list of fictional antiheroes. The context for her choices:
"I have always loved books about rebels and non-conformists, people who swagger through life with a fierce edge and a stubborn refusal to behave themselves. No one in these books would ever win Miss Congeniality or Mr Nice Guy. Their faults definitely exceed their virtues. I'm also partial to selfish, and self-obsessed characters (no surprises there), so I've picked some favourite anti-heroes and heroines. Let's face it, we all need to let our inner imp out sometimes."
One book on her list:
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

I read book one of the Bartimaeus trilogy lying on a sofa, and did not get up until I'd finished. Jonathan Stroud has had a brilliant idea, that Britain is secretly run by a cabal of magicians who get power by summoning and enslaving "djinnies". These djinns hate their masters, and of course will do anything to break free. Our young anti-hero, Nathaniel, summons the sarcastic, powerful Bartimaeus, whom he orders to steal the Amulet from Nathaniel's nemesis. The witty, sarcastic Bartimaeus is a wonderful creation, and I loved the tense relationship he has with the arrogant, immature and somewhat amoral Nathaniel.
Read about the other antiheroes on Simon's list.

Read about Jonathan Stroud's favorite fantasy books.

Writers Read: Jonathan Stroud.

--Marshal Zeringue