Friday, August 6, 2010

Top Five Friday: Animal Characters

Top Five Friday

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Top Five Friday: Top Five Animal Characters:

Emma's List
1. Blood from Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog
Blood was freaking awesome. Sarcastic, moody, definitely the best part of a rather, uh, memorable story. Usually animals in people movies are portrayed as sort of goofy and silly, or at least friendly. This is not the case with Blood.

2. Mrs. Frisby from Robert C. O'Brien's The Rats of Nimh
Mrs. Frisby was such a badass! I think as a child she must have been one of the great female role models in books my mom read to me. She wasn't flashy or cutesy but she stopped at nothing to protect her family. She was courageous and selfless and everything small children should be reading about!

3. Koko from Lillian Jackson Braun's Cat Who... Series
I could not get enough of these books as a teenager! They were happy, fun mysterious which were generally solved by the cat Koko assisting his amateur detective human. Koko was an adorable spoiled cat. He didn't talk or whatever, but Braun definitely brought across his personality.

4. Pantalaimon from Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials Series
Pantalaimon was adorable. I wanted a daemon so much after reading these books! He had such a cute, fun personality. Very memorable.

5. Saphira in Christopher Paolini's Eragon
Sad but true. I really, really liked the book Eragon. I know I should be embarrassed. Saphira was a great character though. I thought she was really well developed, protective and sweet but with a great attitude.

Emily's List
1. Hazel from Richard Adams' Watership Down. I love Hazel. He's such a great leader, ad navigates his followers through so many potentially terrible situations. It's really easy to forget he's a rabbit!

2. Ishmael, from Daniel Quinn's Ishmael. Few authors can write a novel that consists entirely of conversations between a gorilla and a human. Even fewer authors can pull it off when the conversation material consists mostly of environmental spirituality. And of those authors, probably only Daniel Quinn would end up with a book that is sometimes considered to be one of the most important books of the last century.

3. The Sandworms of Frank Herbert's Dune saga. I love the (earlier) books of the Dune series because it represents what science fiction should be: entertaining stories with a real relevance to the real world underlying the plot. Dune was partially a commentary on environmental management and environmental stewardship: they need the sandworms to make the spice, which is crucial to civilization. At the same time, the type of habitat that the sandworms crave is really inhospitable for humans. How should they manage the planet? The sandworms represent something larger than just worms crawling through sand eating people, and if you read Dune without understanding what it is that they represent, then you missed one of the major points of Dune.

4. Captain Bluebear, from The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, by Walter Moers. Sometimes I really enjoy picking up a novel that feels like it could be a children's tale, but is, in actuality, a book for adults. This is one of those books, and I just love Captain Bluebear. The whole novel is told in first person, from Bluebear's perspective, and he is such a fun character to follow.

5. Hedwig and Pigwidgeon from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series. What can I say, I love the owls. So sad when Hedwig died. (Sorry, was that a spoiler? Too bad. If you haven't read Harry Potter 7 by now, you probably never will)

Honorable Mention: Pantalaimon (and Kirjava) from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Series. Like Emma, I considered putting the daemons on my list, but eventually eliminated them because they are not true animals; rather, they are a physical manifestation of a human's soul.

Want to play? Post your list of five animal book characters in your blog, link back here, and comment so that I can add a link to your blog! Check back in a week for a new list.

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