We may well ooh and ahh at a romantic hero, bite our nails when a villain makes his move, weep for a brave heroine, and marvel at the daring exploits of an intrepid adventurer, but let’s not overlook the crazy characters of the literary world. Their antics take up the pages of many a memorable story. So, let us commend the crackers, laud the loopy, and praise the preposterous, go cuckoo for crazy characters.
It’s a close call here character-wise, after all there’s a whole host of ludicrously barmy characters to choose from in Caroll’s epic tale. Commonly and fondly known as “The Mad Hatter,” which says it all really, the Hatter spends his time taking tea, making intimate remarks, relaying inane riddles and coming up with silly poems. Alice confirms that he is as crazy as a box of frogs by telling him “You’re entirely bonkers,” but adding sincerely “But I’ll tell you a secret, all the best people are.” We couldn’t agree more Alice.
Here’s Johnnie! John Daniel Edward “Jack” Torrance is the main man of this chilling novel and he brings a whole new dimension of psychosis. When we meet him, we picture a nice-as-pie family man and wannabe writer who takes a job as a caretaker at a closed hotel. As the story evolves we join him as he gets sucked into the evil that lurks within the hotel and we bite our nails as spirals into a world of lunacy. Be prepared to have your nerves jangled as he finds an innovative way of trying to reach his family, who are cowering in the bathroom. Jack Torrence – one hell of a scary loony!
Amoral, conniving, unscrupulous and sardonic, just a few choice words that sum up our next anomalous character. Bruce Robertson should be a stable, decent, and trustworthy guy, given he is a detective sergeant – but where’s the fun in that? Forget good policing. Robertson prefers drugs, booze, abusing his partners, and setting up his work colleagues. A thoroughly bad and dare we say mad man who is everything a copper shouldn’t be.
Willy Wonka and his Oompah Loompahs
Mr Dahl is responsible for some truly outlandish characters – The Twits, Miss Trunchball, The Grand High Witch – but we have to give the crown for most madcap to Willy Wonka and his orange army of Oompah Loompahs. A grown man living in a chocolate factory (complete with chocolate river, shrewd squirrels, a teleporting TV room, and glass elevator that goes up, down and sideways) – completely bonkers, and we love it. Eccentric Wonka adds to the mayhem by recruiting little orange men to assist him in his work (and the eradication of a few cosseted and over-indulged brats). Sheer lunacy, as only Roald Dahl can muster.
We don’t get to know the name of the central character (known as the narrator) we are just aware that he has terrible trouble sleeping. He becomes hugely frustrated by the lack of sympathy offered by the medical professionals so masquerades as a seriously ill person and starts frequenting support groups (as you do). We witness his interaction with the furtive Tyler Durden and follow them down a path of extreme violence and savagery as they build their notorious Fight Club. Personally, I would suggest a nice milky cocoa and a good book is a better way to cure insomnia, but fair play to the narrator – he clearly prefers a much wackier (and brutal) route.
Alex the Large
A crazy drug-fuelled novel that highlights the escapades of Alex the Large (as he refers to himself) and his droogs (friends). The demented behaviour is described in disturbing detail and involves robbery, killing, and rape. Alex is not a character you would like to bump into in a dark alley late at night, in fact, I don’t think you would like to make his acquaintance anywhere! This madcap menace loves to shock and horrify and there’s only one word that truly describes him – psycho.
Who is your favourite crazy character?