Having horrible crushes on characters in books

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I thought it might end when I stopped being a girl. But no, it goes on... my infatuation with Wodehouse's Psmith sometimes makes my chest burn and then feel damp and sort of bitter, especially when I think about how few Psmith books there seem to be and how overfast I read the ones I have... mmm... so there's my most stubborn current one. Anyone else? Who do you wanna tear from the page and just ooohhh?

Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 03:06 (nineteen years ago) link

In so many words ... No.

But when I was about eight years old I had a huge honkin' crush on Ellen Tebbits from the Beverly Cleary book. But eventually that gave way to a Jodi Sweetin fixation, since I found her more mature. I've since progressed to Angela Lansbury

Atila the Honeybun (Atila the Honeybun), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 03:33 (nineteen years ago) link

I hang my dirty little head in shame.

Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 03:43 (nineteen years ago) link

I'd never really thought about it, but I always develop crushes on the characters in books - I think the most embarrassing one has to be Rupert Campbell-Black in Riders by Jilly Cooper (total stud muffin, but oh, such a cad!)

Cathryn (Cathryn), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 10:15 (nineteen years ago) link

Murakami's girl with the loveliest ears. Hmmm. In fact all Japanese girls. It's a stage I'm going through.

MikeyG (MikeyG), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 10:45 (nineteen years ago) link

When I was 12, I was deeply in love with Rochester.

Jessa (Jessa), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 16:03 (nineteen years ago) link

I am with you on Psmith, Ann. What a devillishly attractive rogue he is.

See also: Developing crushes on fictional characters

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 16:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Not a book, but I used to fancy Spiderman's girlfriend Gwen Stacy. I was devastated when the Green Goblin killed her.

LondonLee (LondonLee), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 17:59 (nineteen years ago) link

Is this Psmith thing because he's tall. Or because he fetched an umbrella for the girl over the road?


The Wodehouse character I fell in love with was Anne in "Laughing Gas". I think it was the way she smuggled the poor boy a pie.

All Bunged Up. (Jake Proudlock), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 18:31 (nineteen years ago) link

The Bobsey Twins *ducking*
Anne Shirley
Maria Merriweather
Grady in Wonder Boys
Hiro Protagonist

And good ol Henry Higgins and the rest of that crew, too.

I'm Passing Open Windows (Ms Laura), Thursday, 19 February 2004 07:16 (nineteen years ago) link

The dream I once had about Katje from Gravitys Rainbow haunts me to this day.

Also, both Kano sisters from the Wind Up Bird Chronicle, which has more sexy ladies in it than any other novel I've read.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Thursday, 19 February 2004 10:29 (nineteen years ago) link

You know, the whole Hansel and Gretel part of Gravity's Rainbow (which Katje participates in) scared the crap out of me, and actually appeared in a nightmare of mine.

Atila the Honeybun (Atila the Honeybun), Thursday, 19 February 2004 22:03 (nineteen years ago) link

Stephen Maturin. No matter how many descriptions Patrick O'Brian wrote of him being weedy and near-sighted and useless, he's just so brainy and moral and fantastic that I am madly in love with him.

And, of course, he's Paul Bettany, because of the film, which only makes it worse.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Friday, 20 February 2004 13:36 (nineteen years ago) link

I only have great crushes on book characters.

Leee Majors (Leee), Saturday, 21 February 2004 00:51 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm sure I'm not the only sadass psuedogoth who's developed a crush on the Dream King. But he's all broody! Nobody can resist broody!

My first fictional crush was on Julian in Lois Duncan's Down a Dark Hall. Sad, sad, saaaaaaaad.

Catty (Catty), Sunday, 22 February 2004 22:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Jessa -- ah -- Rochester. Shit, were there any Bronte heroes you didn't just ache to pants?

Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 00:16 (nineteen years ago) link

Why would you all get all hot and bothered about mere delineations?

B. Michael Payne

B. Michael Payne (This Isnt That), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 02:14 (nineteen years ago) link

i got all swoony over sydney carton in 7th grade when we read a tale of two cities. noble, doomed, substance abuse problem - a pattern stared here, for better or for worse.

lauren (laurenp), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 05:39 (nineteen years ago) link

Oooh, that B. Michael Payne... isn't he just to die for? Swooon....

Catty (Catty), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 16:26 (nineteen years ago) link

Lucas Davenport. (See Mel Gibson while reading John Sandford).

pepektheassassin (pepektheassassin), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 23:29 (nineteen years ago) link

I have a sort of a crush on Rogozhin in 'The Idiot'. Now why is that, why is that. Why is that.

maryann (maryann), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 08:09 (nineteen years ago) link

The young beatknik lady from 'Sputnik Sweetheart'.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 08:36 (nineteen years ago) link

Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice was my first book crush, but many others have followed, the oddest probably being Stephen Dedalus from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Sara Leonard (Tara Too), Thursday, 26 February 2004 04:53 (nineteen years ago) link

How did you develop a crush on young Mr. Dedalus? I mean, I guess explaining kind of indicates that I haven't the foggiest notion, but I'd think he's too much of an odd-duck to be romantically interesting. Justify?

The Second Drummer Drowned (Atila the Honeybun), Thursday, 26 February 2004 05:42 (nineteen years ago) link

I don't really understand it myself, so this will not be a very good justification. It probably began with a mix of sympathy for him and identification with him (perhaps a case of an odd duck being attracted to another odd duck). His intelligence is probably one of the main reasons, though. I read Ulysses for him though, so it is a pretty powerful attraction :)

Sara Leonard (Tara Too), Thursday, 26 February 2004 21:28 (nineteen years ago) link

I just read that 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' can be seen as a sort of combination of George Moore's 'Confessions of a Young Man' (1886) and G.S. Street's 'Autobiography of a Boy' (1894) - Autobiography of a Boy was a parody of Confessions of a Young Man (aesthete's bildungsroman) and Joyce's book a modernist synthesis of the seriousness and irony in the two so perhaps you'd enjoy those two books if you haven't read them already.

maryann (maryann), Thursday, 26 February 2004 23:47 (nineteen years ago) link

No, I haven't read them. Thanks for the recommendation.

Sara Leonard (Tara Too), Friday, 27 February 2004 15:18 (nineteen years ago) link

"Beatnik Lady"!

the bellefox, Friday, 27 February 2004 20:27 (nineteen years ago) link

i kinda liked anne from famous five when i used to read them!

gaol clichy (clichy), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 13:18 (nineteen years ago) link

Marion Cole in John Irving's A Widow for One Year. Audrey Livingston in Matt Segur's Soft Power.

Frank Marcopolos, Wednesday, 3 March 2004 02:31 (nineteen years ago) link

Et tu, Frank? Audrey was so intimidatingly Audrey...

Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 03:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Nick Andros from "The Stand" (say what you will about King, he writes some great characters).

Johnny Truant from "House of Leaves" (it must be that part of me that wants to take care of all the sad damaged men...bah)

Whoever mentioned Sandman, you're not alone =)

Natalie (Penny Dreadful), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:46 (nineteen years ago) link

D'oh - and how can I forget Poppy Z. Brite's Ghost, the fair haired, tormented psychic with a voice like "gravelly gold"? Swoon!

Natalie (Penny Dreadful), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 16:16 (nineteen years ago) link

we should start a support group for women in love with the sandman. he's so dreamy...


Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 16:52 (nineteen years ago) link

Yes, Vermont Girl! You beat me to the punch! Morpheus is haunting. The older one. Not the new young one.

His sister, Death is quite something too :) I had a secretary once who was a dead ringer for her.

Excuse all the puns; they arrived by accident.

Margo B99, Thursday, 4 March 2004 15:16 (nineteen years ago) link

... and I also didn't quite HAVE my secretary either ;-)

Margo B99, Thursday, 4 March 2004 15:18 (nineteen years ago) link

Livingston just buzzes with an appealing energy. Just like someone else I know.

Frank Marcopolos, Friday, 5 March 2004 00:23 (nineteen years ago) link

First of all Anne, I found your confession strangely arousing, and wish you might elaborate.. but all that aside, here's a good story: my advisor in college, Dr. Skinner, actually told his wife, just after he asker her to marry him, that he had another love in his life:

"Who is it?" she asked.

"Elizabeth Bennett." he replied.

"Well, OK," his new fiance said.

They had been together for 38 years when she died last fall.

McDowell, Friday, 5 March 2004 07:06 (nineteen years ago) link

Love and Rockets! All of them!

PuzzleMonkey (PuzzleMonkey), Saturday, 6 March 2004 11:50 (nineteen years ago) link

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I purposely buy Hopey sunglasses so maybe a Mags can find me.

Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Monday, 8 March 2004 00:48 (nineteen years ago) link

My latest fictional crush is, unhappily, Ann Sterzinger.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Monday, 8 March 2004 01:33 (nineteen years ago) link


(Unable to tell whether that means he dislikes me or likes me but doesn't believe I exist... scratching head, pinching arm to make sure it's solid... I pinch, therefore I am... well, they say you can't make friends with everyone... back to work... grunt...)

Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Monday, 8 March 2004 02:08 (nineteen years ago) link

Don't worry - he doesn't exist neither.

the bluefox, Tuesday, 9 March 2004 16:25 (nineteen years ago) link

It could be the suggestion of a bit of lady on lady love action that's getting the Nipper all aglow, Ann.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Tuesday, 9 March 2004 16:52 (nineteen years ago) link

Oh dear, that will teach me to post on ILX after a bottle of wine.

Erm... I think all those words from unknown people on message boards lend themselves to imaginatively cohering into fictional characters, but there's something especially vivid about Ann - the name, the enthusiasms, the writing - that has evidently cohered more than most! Sorry for any embarrassment caused!

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 01:34 (nineteen years ago) link

Oh, IIIIII get it now. Yeah, even people I know in the real world tell me I'm a living cartoon character; maybe I'm sick in the head, but I don't find that insulting. No harm, no foul.

Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 01:42 (nineteen years ago) link

Yes, I've said it often enough -- you should always get through at least two bottles before posting.

the bellefox, Wednesday, 10 March 2004 14:37 (nineteen years ago) link

If you both post photos, I'll make a decision on your suitability.

Mikey G (Mikey G), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 14:46 (nineteen years ago) link

Actually I think I can now reconstruct my drunken tram of thought from the other night: that getting crushes on fictional characters is really just a difference of degree from getting involved in long distance relationships where words start standing in for people, and you're threaded together by email and AIM and you end up wasting two years of your life, countless thousands of pounds, and getting your heart comprehensively smashed to crazy paving unhappy.

So not to be recommended, all in all.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 14:52 (nineteen years ago) link

But how do you know that Ann is a long way away?

I for one have seen her many times on the opposite platform at Purley Oaks, thumbing her Barthelme and blowing her... nose.

the bellefox, Wednesday, 10 March 2004 15:47 (nineteen years ago) link

When i was younger I used to fall in love with characters in books, now that I am older and wiser and harder to satisfy I fall in love with writers of books. To date I have loved, Hemingway (for obvious reasons), John Grisham(he's cute what can i say), Oscar Hijuelos ( he knows what women want) and the all time true love of my life till the day I die Gabriel Garcia Marquez (oh baby). I'm starting to crush on Cormack McCarthy, I've only had him once (All the Pretty Horses) and it was GREAT!!! (Shhh, I don't kiss and tell).

Priscilla Esquivel, Thursday, 11 March 2004 16:07 (nineteen years ago) link

I always thought Jane Austen would be a goer after a couple of glasses of wine. All that repressed sexuality lurking behind the curtains.

The Bronte sisters too come to think of it, although it's either all three at once or not at all. Branwell can sit this one out.

Mikey G (Mikey G), Thursday, 11 March 2004 16:13 (nineteen years ago) link

>> .... at least two bottles before posting.
>> -- the bellefox

And here I thought it was during posting! [hurriedly clinkes bottles away under desk]. That's what you get for starting your typical evening's surfing at alt.drunken.bastards, I suppose. no wonder the posts and blogs get more interesting as the evening wears on. [hic]

PuzzleMonkey (PuzzleMonkey), Thursday, 11 March 2004 21:59 (nineteen years ago) link

Oh, and Mikey, don't think we don't see you eyeing the Elliot girl while pretending you're busy with the punch bowl. A word of advice, remember to floss, and just for safety check under the bonnet before engaging her gears. [You might want to check out the tran/xdresser thread before sauntering over to her. errr, him. no, wait,....]

PuzzleMonkey (PuzzleMonkey), Thursday, 11 March 2004 22:29 (nineteen years ago) link

nine months pass...
This never used to happen to me!

But um right now I am reading S/Z and the dancer girl is totally hotttening it up. I mean, I realise this is poncey and unbelievable but, like, *totally*.

Gravel Puzzleworth (Gregory Henry), Tuesday, 4 January 2005 03:30 (eighteen years ago) link

Well Ann, to answer your original post, what woman could resist a man whose rallying cry was "Cozy Moments will not be muzzled"?

Ken L (Ken L), Tuesday, 4 January 2005 03:51 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm not sure I get these crushes any more. Too wary after Dick from The Famous Five broke my heart.

Archel (Archel), Tuesday, 4 January 2005 10:55 (eighteen years ago) link

'stop being a girl'

the bellefox, Thursday, 6 January 2005 11:51 (eighteen years ago) link

I can't remember if I mentioned this is the other cruch threafd, but I used to have the biggest crush ever on Jessica Atreides from the Dune books. I'm not sure what that says about me, or about Jessica, for that matter.

Johnney B (Johnney B), Thursday, 6 January 2005 12:37 (eighteen years ago) link

I used to get crushes on characters a lot more when I was younger than I do now: Starbuck, Gilgamesh, and Josef K. to name an odd few.

Most recently it was Vronsky, but he turned out to be a bit of an ass.

zan, Thursday, 6 January 2005 16:45 (eighteen years ago) link

I never get crushes on characters in books because I never visualize the book, and I am one of the unwashed multitude for whom the visual aspect is important in these things.

Ken L (Ken L), Thursday, 6 January 2005 16:53 (eighteen years ago) link

She remained pensive! I miss her.

Gravel Puzzleworth (Gregory Henry), Thursday, 6 January 2005 21:04 (eighteen years ago) link

Ah! Hiro Protagonist, indeed. swoon.

And Dick from High Fidelity. Geekily swoonerific.

sparkle j (sparkle j), Saturday, 8 January 2005 23:58 (eighteen years ago) link

kitiara from dragonlance chronicles/legends
rogue from uncanny xmen
marie morgan from to have and have not

amorous poster, Sunday, 9 January 2005 02:54 (eighteen years ago) link

Mr Darcy

Nellie (nellskies), Friday, 14 January 2005 14:46 (eighteen years ago) link

Phlox, from The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

(And I had a weird thing about the Little Princess when I was a child, but the less said about that the better.)

The Mad Puffin (The Mad Puffin), Friday, 14 January 2005 15:28 (eighteen years ago) link

very embarassing, but true: from when I was 14 to 16: Raistlin the magician from the Dragonlance Chronicles.
since then, a little something for the black Armadale in Armadale by W. COllins

misshajim (strand), Saturday, 15 January 2005 14:48 (eighteen years ago) link

misshajim that is not embarrassing that is inspiring!
did you read Legends? his ultimate sacrifice is the most epic sexy thing conceivable

amorous poster, Saturday, 15 January 2005 22:10 (eighteen years ago) link

yes, exactly, that's what I mean. it is disturbing about myself!
but after all it could help explain my deepest admiration for Nick Cave...

misshajim (strand), Monday, 17 January 2005 08:23 (eighteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
I had a long crush on a rat (!) called Justin in Mrs Frisby & The Rats of Nimh by Robert C O'Brien and various male characters from Virginia Andrews (both when I was much younger!)

Flora Royson, Tuesday, 30 August 2005 01:19 (eighteen years ago) link

Ahh, Puffin. "...I could never be a world as Phlox was a world, with her own flora and fauna, atmosphere and birds. And I am left...with this glittering dream world, and a sock". I am both excerpting and misquoting but whose heart doesn't break at that last passage?

Flora, I had a crush on Justin, too!! Not from when I saw the movie as a youngster, but from upon reading the book in high school or college -- because it's almost impossible to remember that the characters are rodents.

And F'nor the Dragonrider, from the McCaffery series. And I know there were more, but I'll have to ponder.

Laurel (Laurel), Thursday, 1 September 2005 20:20 (eighteen years ago) link

I see your Justin and raise you Piccadilly from the Deptford Mice trilogy.

Mog, Friday, 2 September 2005 09:50 (eighteen years ago) link

Alma in Auster's The Book of Illusions Birthmark or no birthmark, that woman is sexy.

Matt (Matt), Friday, 2 September 2005 11:30 (eighteen years ago) link

Waitwait Anna Bak from The History Of Danish Dreams is totally my answer for this!

Gravel Puzzleworth (Gregory Henry), Sunday, 4 September 2005 03:33 (eighteen years ago) link

eighteen years pass...

not a character in a book, but i totally have a crush on (translator of homer, etc) emily wilson

mookieproof, Friday, 29 September 2023 00:17 (two months ago) link

Angus Wilson’s daughter, no?

Dose of Thunderwords (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 29 September 2023 01:16 (two months ago) link

Ha, no, sorry, of course not. A.N. Wilson’s daughter.

Dose of Thunderwords (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 29 September 2023 01:17 (two months ago) link

I had a huge crush on Lord Peter Wimsey as a child, which is not surprising because Lord Peter Wimsey is pretty much designed for twelve-year-olds to get crushes on.

I also had a crush on Mr. Rochester, but that was because I was ten and Jane Eyre was the first love story I'd ever read and I was too young to understand the difference between being invested in a romance and being into the hero of the romance.

And I will never forget my cousin S. introducing me to K.M. Peyton's Pennington by going into a very loud summary of The Beethoven Medal at a baseball game while everyone else was being quiet for the National Anthem. "So this HORSY GIRL hooks up with a SUPER HOT DUDE WHO PLAYS PIANO..." On getting glared at she lowered her voice to a piercing whisper and hissed, "HE'S REALLY BYRONIC!"

Lily Dale, Friday, 29 September 2023 04:06 (two months ago) link

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