Best Literary Protagonist

Part 2- Killer Character Blogfest.


Today we name our favorite literary protagonist or one who  has haunted our dreams.


My choice could easily be labeled a villian, but I am listing him as the choice for protagonist. In keeping with the Killer Character theme, I have contemplated not just evil characters, but malevolent characters who can masquerade as normal.


My choice: Tom Ripley from Patricia Highsmith's THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY and sequals.


What makes Tom Ripley haunt me at night is ability to blend in with everyone and his matter-of-fact attituded toward murder and mayhem. At times he is able to evoke sympathy. He suffers momentary pangs of remorse or disquieting thoughs on occasion, but in general he "slips down the bloody trial he walks with a certain ease." And those around him, even if they know about his crimes do not seem very bothered by them. It is as if the world he inhabits is strangely immune from guilt. (more so in her later books).

Tom wants to be loved, he wants to fit in. If you refuse to give him what he wants then he will kill you just as easily as he will befriend you.



Patricia Highsmith has created a multi-facit villian in Ripley. I can only hope to ever achieve this type of success.


To read other choices, check out E.R. King's blog.


51 comments:

  1. Hi Melissa! Nice to meet you. Boy, i had trouble commenting here today...such a delay. But anyway here I am, and what a great choice! I love Mr. Ripley's uniqueness. You gotta be smart to pull off that kind of thing. But he's so tragic as well.
    I also read your previous post on supporting character and she sounds horrid! I love it. I have never read or seen Cuckoo's nest, but I've hd the DVD sitting around for months waiting to be watched. I think I'll do that today. ;)

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  2. That was one of the scariest movies I'd ever seen. Mr. Ripley is indeed talented.

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  3. Oh, what a great choice! Ripley scared the heck out of me, for just the reasons you describe. This blogfest is so fun, I love reading all the different choices. Great to meet you!

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  4. Man, there's a lot of shame going on with this blogfest - there are so many great choices and so many I haven't read *hangs head in shame*
    I'm looking forward to reading this. It's going on my (ever-growing) list of Must Reads!

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  5. The Talented Mr. Ripley has always reminded me of American Psycho, yet I'd argue that Ripley is a more stable character. He's apologetically evil, so I look forward to seeing what atrocity he'll commit next. Good choice!

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  6. I have added many books to my must read reading list as a result of this blogfest as well. Thank you for visiting my blog.

    Melissa Sugar

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  7. Thank you for visiting my blog. I am glad you made the effort to leave a comment and I apologize for the delay. I am trying this new method for comments which allows me to reply inside of comments. I do not think I am going to keep it however because many readers are beginning to complain. I also do not like that it list my name, but does ot seem to link me to my google profile.

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  8. Good choice. I haven't read the books, but did see Matt Damon play him, and that might have been part of the reason I loved him and hated him at the same time. Multidimensional character for sure.

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  9. I remember watching this moving and being like, what the heck! That guy is freaky crazy. But good example

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  10. Totally agree. Ripley is one of the better villains because of his complex nature.

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  11. I've not seen the film, but I've heard of him--and he does sound creepy. You ought to check out the "I Am Not a Serial Killer" series by Dan Wells. The protagonist is a 15-year-old sociopath who's got all the making to become a serial killer, but he doesn't want to be. He has rules to keep himself in check. One of them is "I will learn what good people are supposed to act like, and I will copy them." It's chilling. Yet--you learn to love this kid and sympathize with his struggles. I'd never EVER thought to fall in love with a character who has thoughts like John Wayne Cleaver has. Yet I did.

    Is that sick?

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  12. I haven't read any of the books but I saw the movie. The scene on the ship with his lover was the scariest one. To kill someone whom he loved and who loved him do much was chilling.

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  13. Great choice! Wonderful movie. Stellar book. When it comes to psychological thrillers, NO ONE beats Patricia Highsmith!

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  14. Thank you Julie and welcome to my blog

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  15. Thank you. I am enjoying reading all of the entries. This is a cool bloghop. Thanks for hosting it.

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  16. I know. I had a similar reaction, but I could not help but like him at times.

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  17. He is very complex. His ability to appear so normal makes him all the more dangerous.

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  18. Excellent choice! Ripley is one of those fly-under-the-radar characters who doesn't immediately pop to mind but once you see his name you know its a perfect choice. A very complex and fascinating character!! :)

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  19. Hi Melissa
    Hope you are well honey :) Why would I give up on you?? I understand, life gets in the way sometimes and your son and health are far more important than anything else you may have to do ;) so don't you worry about a thing. I LOVE your blog it is so eye catching and my favourite colour is pink :). Keep up the good work and I hope you feel better.
    Hugs eve xx

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  20. Great choice! Ripley is definitely one of those characters who is hard to shake once he's in your head.

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  21. Intriguing story. A good villain adds spice. :)

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  22. Sweet choice. Mr. Ripley is definitely a complicated protag.

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  23. Crazy how these psychotic charactrers can have a heart too and grab our attention holding us captive the way they do. Great choice!

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  24. The killer without a conscience is the most terrifying. I agree. Now I have to see that movie. I thought I'd pass on that one, but you've got me interested.

    Thanks for the visit on the Write Game. Appreciated your stopping in to say hi.

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  25. Definitely a round (and creepy) character!

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  26. Nisa called him creepy. I would fully agree. Good choice due to his complexity and, quite frankly, originality.

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  27. Just wanted to stop by and thank you for following me! Glad to meet you!

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  28. Thanks Lynda. I just read your post with all the new contest & challenges you mentioned. Thanks for always keeping us informed. You are the Best!

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  29. He is creepy. Nisa, I am having a hard time finding your blog. I think that it must have something to do with this new method of commenting that I am using, "DISQUS" I think I am going to go back to the old way. I just liked being able to leave a reply inside the original comment. But, so many things are going wrong. I mean even if I sign in with my own google information it shows a photo from an older google profile and does not lead to my profile page.

    Anyway, Nisa if you see this or anyone who knows Nesa please give me the name of her blog or the link please. I want to read it, but I also have something for her as she is my 100th follower.

    Melissa Sugar
    sugarlaw67@yahoo.com
    http://fictiontoolbox.blogspot.com

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  30. The killer without a conscience is indeed the most dangerous. Thank you for stopping by. I love your blog and will be back soon.

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  31. Thank you Lailaknight for visiting my blog

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  32. My pleasure, I love your blog. Thank you for visiting mine.

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  33. Thank you Eve. You are such a wonderful person. I have been feeling so guilty for not figuring out what to do about the award. I have finally, fully recovered from the birthday party (physically anyway). I feel better and I have the inside of our house clean, but the outside is a nightmare. I mean those boys were destructive. They broke the doorknob off one door. How do you even do that? They stuffed baloons into the swimming pool filter. I keep repeating, "they are kids; they are little boys and they had fun".

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  34. I know what you mean. The week leading up to this blogfest, I had 100 characters pop into my head, but not him. I thought about Riley the night before and I was like, "how did I forget about him?"

    Thanks for visiting my blog

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  35. I agree. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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  36. I agree. That scene was hard to stomach.

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  37. OMG, thank you Donna for recommending the Dan Wells Series. I know I will love the series. It sounds very much like the book and SHO series DEXTER and I love Dexter. He has a similar code of conduct that he follows.

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  38. Thanks for visiting, Nicole. I like how you worded that.

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  39. I agree. The characters we love and hate & love to hate are the best.

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If you don't have anything nice to say ... then sit by me. Kidding. Please share your thoughts. I love comments. I dislike stalkers & trolls. If you want to ask me a direct question, please email me: sugarlaw13 at live dot com

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