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20 Fictional Characters I’d Have A Beer With

Ranking books is a fruitless exercise. It’s inherently subjective and people get pissed.

For example, I loathe Mrs. Dalloway. But when a Woolfite sees that I have Mrs. Dalloway ranked almost last in my rankings, I’m the equivalent of an abortion protestor screaming at the front door of a clinic. THESE DOCTORS MUST DIE!!!

I have an opinion. They have an opinion. We argue, everybody leaves angry, and nothing gets changed.

So, yeah, it’s kind of fruitless to rank books, but I do it anyway ‘cause it’s fun. But what about book characters? Can I rank them in some sort of sensible, somewhat objective way?

That’s doubtful too. But I’m going to try it today anyway.

And here’s how I’ll do it. I’ll ask myself the following question: Which fictional characters would I most (and maybe not so much) like to have a beer with? Then, I’ll rank accordingly.

You’ve been warned. And, please, don’t try and make any sense of this madness.

1)    Gandalf (Lord of the Rings): First off, Gandalf could just point his wand and make the beer magically appear. Second, the beer Gandalf would make magically appear would be delicious. Third, it’s freakin’ Gandalf! I’d drink a pink Cosmopolitian with Gandalf if I had to.

2)    Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird): I would buy Atticus a beer, we’d sit in the corner table at a pub, and I’d reverently ask him, “Please tell me everything I need to know about life, Mr. Finch.”

3)    Tea Cake (Their Eyes Were Watching God): Tea Cake has that warm way about him that makes everyone feel welcome. Sure, he has a gambling problem. So I’d buy the beer and he could teach me about dice. Oh, and yes, I’d prefer having a beer with the pre-rabies version of Tea Cake.

4)    Janie Crawford (Their Eyes Were Watching God): While I’m having a beer with Tea Cake, I might as well have a beer with his wife, Janie. And, interestingly, I think she could teach me more about life than Atticus Finch and Gandalf combined.

5)    Rhett Butler (Gone With The Wind): This is shallow, but I’ve got to admit it. I’d just feel cool having a beer with Rhett Butler. I imagine us drinking a pitcher full of a hearty stout while heckling some Yanks at the other side of the bar.

6)    Yossarian (Catch 22): Just tell me stories, Yossarian. Tell me lots of stories and make me laugh.

7)    Iris Chase (The Blind Assassin): Who wouldn’t want to have a beer with an elderly woman who said this: “Soon you’ll regret all that sun-tanning. Your face will look like a testicle.”

8)    David Schearl (Call It Sleep): Well, I wouldn’t let him have a beer because he’s six-years-old. But I would pat him on the head and tell him everything’s going to be okay. Then I’d hire an 8-year-old hitman to beat the crap out of the kids that keep bullying him.

9)     Nick Carraway (The Great Gatsby): Nick himself is a fairly boring guy. But I think a one-hour conversation with him would be fascinating. The questions I could ask: Tell me about those parties? What about that house? And did you really like Daisy, or were you just pretending to because she was your cousin?

10)  Tom Joad (The Grapes of Wrath): They say he once killed a man. But, you know, Tom’s a pretty good guy. I feel like drinking with him would be more appropriate using a tin can next to a campfire.

11)  McMurphy (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest): This could be unbelievably awesome, or it could go terribly wrong. I’d probably buy McMurphy the beer to get on his good side and dare not mention the name of the head nurse.

12) Hal Incandenza (Infinite Jest). I would do this for entertainment value alone. You never know what Hal might say. It would probably be awkward, too, but that’s okay. I think it would be like having a beer with a drunk Andy Kaufman. Entertaining, right?

13)  John Self (Money): He’s a really crappy, terrible human being, but he’s funny. I’d love to hear 30 minutes worth of stories about Hollywood, then get on out of there before he started talking about all his weird fetishes and hookups with prostitutes and whatnot.

14)  Willie Stark (All The King’s Men): Blech. He’s a sleazy politician who can’t be trusted. It would be terribly difficult for me to chat with Willie Stark. He’s one of those guys that will smile at you and tell you how much he loves his wife, while pinching the waitress’s butt when she takes his order. But I bet he’d have good stories.

15)  Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby). Nick said her voice was “full of money,” so I’d test that out. I’d order her a mint julep, then act like I forgot my wallet and make her pay. If any woman deserves to pay for her own mint julep, it’s Daisy Buchanan.

16) Holden Caulifield. (The Catcher in the Rye) We have another underage kid here, so I wouldn’t take part in furthering his delinquency. But, whilst drinking my frothy beverage, I would look at Holden and say, “Get it together, kid. Your life is not a Nirvana song. Stop whining and do something with your life.”

17) Scarlett O’ Hara (Gone With The Wind): She’d totally poison my beer and say “fiddle-dee-dee!” or some nonsense like that.

18)  Widmerpool (A Dance To The Music Of Time). I’d buy him a beer, then I’d punch him. And none of you got that because I’m one of only 7 people still living to have ever actually read all of A Dance To The Music of Time.

19)  Humbert Humbert (Lolita): I might try to kill him. Having a beer with Humbert would be a terrible idea.

20) The Judge (Blood Meridian): He might try to kill me, just ‘cause. Having a beer with The Judge would also be a terrible idea. Maybe I could arrange for him to have a beer with Humbert.

Now, you’ve wasted 5 minutes of your life reading all that nonsense.

But I’ll further the nonsense by asking you the question—which fictional character would you love to have a beer/drink/coffee with?

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39 Comments Post a comment
  1. I would definitely go for a coffee with Atticus Finch and a beer with Sirius Black. Love the concept of your blog, by the way. It makes me want to try this challenge myself!

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  2. Thanks for offering to kill HH. We could do with one less creepy human on the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 14, 2014
  3. McMurphy!!!

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  4. Reblogged this on ETHIOPIAKA INFO BASKET.

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  5. sammano #

    Not exactly the same, but I wrote a similar piece a couple of years ago. There are only 7, and they aren’t confined to just books, but please peruse & enjoy!!

    http://themanofesto.com/2010/05/19/superfluous-7-fictional-characters-with-whom-i%E2%80%99d-like-to-hang-out/

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  6. A beer and a good conversation with Atticus Finch would make for an excellent night.
    And if I had a couple of drinks I would probably throttle Holden Caulfield, he is probably one of my least favorite characters fromany book I’ve ever read.

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  7. I would totally have a beer with Gandalf. Sirius Black is also a great candidate, as are the Weasley twins..well, just the one now but either way would be great.
    I would also just love to sit down to drinks with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I know it’s old school, but come on…it’s friggin Sherlock and Watson 🙂

    http://alaynabellesmom.wordpress.com

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  8. I would love sit down for a cup of tea with Lizzy Bennet (but not Mr. Darcy—the conversation would get awkward).

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  9. I would like to have a beer with Stillwater, the panda from the children’s Zen stories by Jon Muth. I think he could make me a much more calm person.

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    March 14, 2014
  10. Ted Fontenot #

    Little Big Man’s Jack Crabb reminiscing about those Sandwich Island girls. Carlo Reinhart from the same author’s Reinhart series. Huck Finn. Binx Bolling. Todd Andrews from The Floating Opera–(spoiler) why must everyone go down with you? Maurice Conchis from The Magus, but only if I get to bring my .357 with me. The Jim Bouton of Ball Four.

    From the supreme writer of classic detection John Dickson Carr (cum Carter Dickson): Sir Henry Merrivale or Dr. Gideon Fell.

    Bertie Wooster always. He’s the eternal great companion and friend–“never let a pal down.”

    Like

    March 14, 2014
    • Ted Fontenot #

      Oh, that’s only ten. Matt Helm, Travis McGee, Clarence Day’s father, and mother. Chick Swallow from De Vries’s Comfort Me With Apples. Ted Williams (My Turn At Bat is the best as to baseball book). Scout and Jem. And a live poet: Richard Wilbur.

      A Thurber dog.

      Like

      March 14, 2014
      • Quite an eclectic list, Ted. And I thought I had read a lot of novels!

        Like

        March 14, 2014
  11. Yes, you could have a whole load of fictional characters under a series of lists following the basic ” 20 fictional characters I’d like to ——– with” ( add verb of choice….) Wouldn’t that just be fun?

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  12. Perhaps you don’t know who this is but I would love to have a beer with Kvothe, the fictional main character of The name of the Wind. Even when he is just a boy, it would be very interesting to have a long conversation with him.

    P.S.: By the way, if you don’t know how to pronunce Kvothe, it is cuouz. You’re welcome.

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  13. Ted Fontenot #

    Lewis Carroll’s Alice, as well as some of her associates, would make for some interesting back and forth. Mole, Rat, and Toad from The Wind in the Willows, likewise. Mark Twain’s Adam and Eve from the diaries of same, but not Satan from The Mysterious Stranger. All those eccentrics in Kaufman and Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You. Which leads to the importances of the Ernests (all of them). Stanley of Kingsley Amis’s Stanley and the Women, but we’d need a designated driver.

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  14. Everyone wants to punch Widmerpool. It just gets harder and harder to do it. And anyway, he tends to thrive on being punched (or having sugar poured over him) (or having his wife set up with a dangerous novelist).
    I no longer drink beer but I’d enjoy a cup of tea with Lily Briscoe (To the Lighthouse) because I like Virginia Woolf but am very happy for you not to. No falling out required.

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  15. suneuys #

    I’ve just finished reading Under the Tuscan Sun, so I would love to have a glass of Italian red wine (and a home cooked meal please!)with Frances Mayes at Bramasole, her beloved casa in Italy.

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  16. Reblogged this on The Zombie Bible and commented:
    Reading this list, I just have to say HECK YEAH.

    I would add to my list:
    * Syrio Forel from A Game of Thrones. I would absolutely have a beer with him. And a swordfighting lesson or two, as well, from which I’d emerge, most likely, with stung knuckles and stung pride.
    * Father Polycarp from my own “What Our Eyes Have Witnessed.” Who would also probably invite in about ten people from the street to have chicken wings, on him. And then he’d tell us all a story, and motivate us to take the coats off our backs and go give them to someone shivering against a wall down the street. Then he’d have us searching for housing for them. And then…in fact, before we knew it, we’d be starting an entire mission. He was that kind of man.

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  17. twitchthethread #

    So many people on this list I would have a beer with also! I’d also add Sebastian from Brideshead Revisited (I adore him, and he would probably bring his bear Aloycius), and… Cathy from East of Eden (what a piece of work). And Caleb – I’d just give him a massive hug!

    Like

    March 14, 2014
  18. bba #

    How can you not list Lou Ford?!

    Like

    March 15, 2014
  19. In addition to Gandalf (I agree he’s tops), I’d love to have a drink with Severus Snape, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Haymitch Abernathy.

    Like

    March 15, 2014
  20. Jessica Pillay #

    YES! This is a most excellent list. 😀

    Like

    March 15, 2014
  21. Well, i’ll make my own list.
    For one, the Mad Hatter ,,,2. Huck Finn and/or Jim …3. Denver from “Beloved”…4. Hercule Poirot…and 5. Bertram Wooster.

    Like

    March 16, 2014
  22. I love your approach. I don’t really drink beer, but I love the atmosphere of a casual beer (when I drink coke or something else).

    Like

    March 16, 2014
  23. I wont lie. I may borrow this idea for a blog post! (and by may i mean i probably will! of course credit to you will be given for the idea!) I love your list, I think instead of Humbert Humbert I’d want to have a beer with Lolita herself. I’d like to hear her perspective on her creepy step dad

    Like

    March 16, 2014
  24. Howard Roark, for sure. Just hope he doesn’t see right through me as if I don’t exist. Then I’d want to throw the coffee mug at him.

    Like

    March 16, 2014
  25. Tossup: Falstaff (the I Henvry IV incarnation) or Sully from Richard Russo’s Nobody’s Fool.

    Like

    March 16, 2014
  26. what a splendid idea! personally, I’d prefer a beer with shadow from american gods.

    Like

    March 17, 2014
  27. lindy lee #

    Maybe Romeo…giving Juliet time to wake up? 🙂 Love your list! Also…Eddard Stark!

    Like

    March 17, 2014
  28. Stephanie Austin #

    Hamlet, I think, or Augustus Waters from “The Fault in Our Stars” or Lord Henry Wotten from “A Picture of Dorian Gray”

    Like

    March 17, 2014
  29. great

    Like

    March 18, 2014
  30. Talia Trackim #

    Oh I’d definitely want to hang out with Gandalf, Atticus Finch, and Nick Carraway

    Like

    March 18, 2014
  31. I would love to have a beer with Jordan Baker– to hear a behind-the-scenes take on what happened between Gatsby and Daisy without being too involved. And I’d love to enjoy a coffee with Augustus Waters/Hazel Lancaster from The Fault in Our Stars (Another great book that I highly recommend!), preferably in Amsterdam.

    Like

    March 18, 2014
  32. I would love to have a beer with… Raskolnikov, after he got out of gulag, to see how he changed.

    Like

    March 22, 2014
  33. You left out Al Bundy

    Like

    May 9, 2014

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