There’s no contest between my top 5 favourite male characters of recent years, they’re all outstanding, for different reasons. Shanah, over at Bionic Book Worm, is giving us an easy task this week. I’m sure, some of my choices will already be familiar to anyone who stops by here regularly.
Here they are, in reverse order:
#5. ASHWIN CHOPRA — Insp. (Retd.) is a gem of a character originating from the fertile mind of Vaseem Khan. This erstwhile reluctant hero, aided and abetted by a baby elephant, Ganesh, finds himself going up against Mumbai’s criminal underbelly, and shining through with his integrity, clever tenacity, and dry observational wit. I so want to see this as a TV series.
#4. CALIB ZELIC — from Resurrection Bay and, And The Fire Came Down, by Emma Viskic, is shaping up to be a character I want more of. And, so far, has been a really interesting find among MCs: he’s deaf and works as a security consultant, in between solving murders. Viskic does a wonderful job with her character really giving us a sense of what it’s like to live in a world without sound.
#3. EDDIE FLYNN — from Steve Cavanagh’s series of novels, ex-conman turned slick lawyer, is more than you expect. And, as a character, has taken his shady past, and is trying to create a better future for not only himself, but his estranged family. Flawed, Eddie Flynn still, nonetheless, manages to rise to the occasion and do what’s right (in the end) even if the means are a tad dubious and involve more than a bit of sleight of hand to get the job done: Eddie’s heart is in the right place.
#2. GEORGE SMILEY — One of the originals written by John Le Carré. In Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Smiley is no longer a young man, but an MI6 Intelligence Officer with the “Circus,” on the cusp of retirement. He’s the ultimate opposite, if you like, of Fleming’s James Bond. He short, bolding, and overweight and under-estimated by everyone, including his superiors. Cunning, clever, and a wily fox, he outwits, outplays, and outlasts them all. While a tad shabby in appearance, the one thing you know for certain is, that his morals are without question.
And coming in at number one—
#1. ARMAND GAMACHE — from Louise Penny’s Three Pines series of books, Chief Insp. Armand Gamache has come a long way in terms of characterization and growth, as well as rising through the fictional ranks of the regional police, the Sûreté du Québec. Gamache, through Louise Penny deft writing, exemplifies all the best qualities you could hope for in a human being, let alone a man. Honest, true, good, gallant, strong, courageous, and yes, astute and shrewd too. Here’s a character you truly wish were real, and more, you want as an uncle or father-figure.
So, there you have it. Now, tell me, who would be your top 5 choices?