Moor or Less: What characters keep you turning the pages?

I’m hoping for a little reader participation. Yeah, I’m looking at you. Off the top of my shiny head, I’ve named 10 of my favorite fictitious characters and listed them in alphabetical order.

So who are some of yours?

If you have the time, send me your favorite people in literature whether it be one, three, five or ten characters. They can be anyone from Gandalf to the Great Gatsby to Gunga Din. And if you’re into fictional animals, you can go anywhere from Clifford to Cujo.

Bill Moor

Some of mine go back to my teen-age years and some are recent picks.

My email is [email protected]. So here we go:

Sydney Carton (“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens) — A cynical barrister and a drunk, he goes to the guillotine in place of the husband of the woman he loves. Who does that? “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done.”

Atticus Finch (“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee) — He’s the most decent man in all of literature — at least in my humble opinion. HIs daughter Scout could also be on this list.

Holly Gibney (“Holly” among other novels by Stephen King) — She overcomes an inferior complex and OCD to blossom into a great private investigator who combats some of King’s most heinous villains.

Harry Hole (“Killing Moon” among other novels by Jo Nesbo) — A brilliant Norwegian detective, he saves the world from serial killers while drinking himself to death. Even more compelling than the other famous detective named Harry — Harry Bosch. 

Sherlock Holmes  (“The Hound of the Baskervilles” among other stories by Arthur Conan Doyle) — We all know about the amazing and eccentric English detective who uses his brilliant grasp of deduction and observation to solve crimes that the police can’t.

Augustus McCrae (“Lonesome Dove” among others by Larry McMurtry) — A larger-than-life Texas Ranger, he loves sitting back for a some lively conversation. He can also turn ruthless against bad men and gentle with soiled doves.

Owen Meany (“A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving) — He is a strange, little guy whose hard contact with a baseball changes everything. He knows his own fate before saving his best friend from Vietnam and dying as a hero.

Hester Prynne (“The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne) — She refuses to reveal the man who was complicit in their child out of wedlock and shows herself as a better person than those who scorn her. She should have kicked the guy in the …

Alexander Rostov (“A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles) — Once part of the Russian royalty, he is under house arrest in a hotel and not only adjusts to his “prison” but forms his own circle of friends before a grand climax. And he really is a gentleman.

Ebenezer Scrooge (“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens) — I love his transformation from a miser to a generous soul, helped along by a few pushy spirits. What fictional character’s name is more synonymous with a specific human trait that his?

There you go. Who knows, though? On another day, Captain Ahab, Joe Pickett, Scarlett O’Hara or Robinson Crusoe might be on my all-time favorite list. I will tell you, though, that Atticus Finch, Sydney Carton and Augustus McCrae will always be up at the top for me.

I’m looking forward to see which characters who have kept your attention and had you continue to turn the pages.