Category Archives: reader fantasies

The Book Character Quarantine Tag #Brainfluffbookblog #TheBookCharacterQuarantineTag


I saw this tag on Maddalena’s blog Space and Sorcery last week – and absolutely loved it, so decided to take up her generous general invitation to join in the fun…

Winne the Pooh by A.A. Milne
So… I know exactly what would happen to Pooh Bear if he found himself in a lockdown situation, as it happens several times in his adventures. He would retire to a suitably comfy spot with as many jars of honey as he could manage and emerge some time later, rather plumper and very sticky. I tried to replicate this behaviour with salt and vinegar crisps for the first few weeks of lockdown – and while I, too, became noticeably plumper, I also ended up with a rather sore tongue…

Pooh Bear would definitely be tubbier by the end of lockdown…

Captain Vimes from the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett
Assuming COVID-19 was brave enough to try and gain a foothold in Ankh-Morpok – I’m sure there are viruses and bacteria there far older and more terrible that could swallow it whole – our brave Captain Vimes of the City Watch might well harness Lady Sibyl’s little dragons and use them to sterilise the streets with FLAMES. After all, you wouldn’t want to use water from the River Ankh to wash anything – apart from anything else, it’s something of a hassle to cut through the crust of filth and pollution to actually get to the liquid below.

Sam Vimes wouldn’t let a little COVID-19 mess with his City…

Kvothe from The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
I think finding himself in lockdown might well be the making of Kvothe. After all, he’s got a memoir to complete. He’s made a great start – The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear are highly readable and gripping accounts of his adventures. He just needs to stop wandering through the forest, counting leaves on the trees, or chopping down a small plantation for firewood, or visiting every alehouse in the kingdom – and knuckle down to finish the tale. Maybe being quarantined will be the nudge he’s looking for. Quick – ink and parchment for Master Kvothe!

Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Hm. Well no one will go hungry if they are sharing lockdown with Katniss – and you won’t need to queue at Tesco’s or sit up half the night waiting for a spot to open up for online shopping, either. Not while she’s here with her trusty bow and arrow. Just be prepared for a few less squirrels visiting your bird table…

Mark Watney of The Martian by Andy Weir
Highly trained and extraordinarily resourceful, I’m thinking that you won’t have a dull moment if you’re sharing lockdown with Mark. For starters, there’ll be a steady stream of jokes – some funnier than others. And he’ll be growing produce in no time flat, as well as organising everyone on a strict rota so that your household – no make that the street – will all be self sufficient within the first month. Which is probably the time it will take him to invent a vaccine for COVID-19, though be prepared for that to include quantities of poo and potatoes…

Be prepared to be VERY organised…

So… what about YOU?


I was reading Sarah McCoy’s sharply funny blog yesterday ‘Shag, Marry and Kill (Literary Edition)’ on Writer Unbox – see the post here – when I got to wondering… Which fictional characters would I shag, marry and kill?

I was debating whether to be all clever about this… Present you with some eminently desirable hunk from the 420410-colin-firth-pride-and-prejudiceplethora of books I devour – but decided in the end to be absolutely honest. Because if I’m not, frankly what’s the point of sharing my feelings with you? And the reason why I was tempted to lie? The moment I imagined myself rolling around in passionate abandonment with any fictional character – an image floated across my inscape of a certain actor wading out of a lake wearing a white cotton shirt, breeches and a look of shocked longing… Yep. It’s Mr Darcy – and yes, it would be the Colin Firth version. And yes… I know that lake scene doesn’t appear in the book – but I’m betting that someone who keeps himself on such a tight leash, yet is prepared to continue pursuing the object of his desire even after a rebuff, is probably an exciting and inventive lover.

But as for marrying? Nope – he’s far too prickly and closed off. Once the initial fervour died down, I reckon he’d be a rather distant, if loyal husband… Lizzie Bennet is welcome to cope with his cagey defensiveness.

Again, this is a no-brainer. It HAS to be Gabriel Oak, the lovelorn shepherd in Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. Though all his steady, loyal love is wasted on that flighty Bathsheba, whose empty head is initially turned by an officer’s uniform and some flashy swordplay.

I was smitten by Gabriel at the tender age of 16, when reading the book and came across the passage where was describing the sort of home he wanted to provide for Bathsheba. When he talked about at the end of the day, both of them reading either side of the fire and said, ‘And at home by the fire, whenever you look up there I shall be— and whenever I look up, there will be you…’ I felt a lump in my throat and was lost in a mist of longing for someone just like that.

Which is why, when I found someone with the same enduring quality, who also shares my love for books, I fell hook, line and sinker – and am now very happily married to him.

Killing someone is a VERY big deal. So in order for me to be prepared to murder a character, they have to be absolutely evil and pose a terrible threat to those who are unable to fight back.

THE WITCHES (BR1990) ANGELICA HUSTONThe character who always raised the hair on the back of my neck is the Grand High Witch from Roald Dahl’s spooky book The Witches. She is one of the most memorably unpleasant antagonists I’ve encountered with her sheer malice and determination to rid the world of all children. Most pantomime-type villains are ameliorated by some bungling – but Dahl doesn’t do this. So, as long as I wasn’t immediately turned into a pile of ash, she would be the character I would like to kill – preferably before she turns the boy into a mouse…

So… that’s my three – what about you? Which fictional characters would you like to shag, marry and kill? Do please let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you.