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  • Jeff Somers 8:30 pm on 2017/03/03 Permalink
    Tags: , lolita, roughing it, the cement garden,   

    10 Literary Kids We’re Surprised Survived to Adulthood (And Some We’re Not Sure Actually Did) 

    While extremely difficult childhoods are an understandable conceit in novels (there’s nothing more boring than a healthy, happy upbringing), some stories are so intense, it’s amazing to imagine the kids involved actually survived to adulthood—if they did, at that. These 10 books detail really crummy childhoods. We’re surprised any of these kids made it out alive.

    Edgar in Edgar and Lucy, by Victor Lodato
    With a father dead by suicide, a mother emotionally incapable of much more than bare survival, a stern grandmother-in-law whose influence literally haunts him after her passing, and a sort-of voluntary kidnapping, young Edgar—albino and possibly autistic—has one of the roughest childhoods you’ll ever read about. We’d like to imagine Edgar goes on to a stable, happy adulthood, but…we have doubts.

    Dolores Haze in Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
    Dolores goes from one terrible parent to another, and is quite possibly the most manipulated child in all of literature. What she goes through, first with a parent willing to ignore the reddest flags in the history of the universe in order to marry an obvious pedophile, and later in the clutches of that very pedophile, would have driven any other person to suicide. Dolores does a bit better than that, but not much.

    Zach Goldin in More Than It Hurts You, by Darin Strauss
    With a disengaged father, a seriously not-okay mother who suffers from Munchausen’s by Proxy Syndrome, and a local community more concerned with racial issues than the truth of his situation, it’s a wonder young Zach lives through this story. What isn’t a wonder is the therapy bills that kid is going to need: they will be enormous.

    Theo Decker in The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
    Nearly blown up, adopted by distracted family friends who engage in benign neglect, then claimed by his truly neglectful father and left unsupervised to get hooked on drugs and wander the empty streets of suburban Las Vegas: the fact that Theo Decker lives long enough to tell us his story is pretty surprising.

    Jack, Julie, Sue, and Tom in The Cement Garden, by Ian McEwan
    McEwan’s debut remains a disturbing black mirror to Party of Five. When the kids’ parents die, they hide their mother’s corpse by encasing it in cement in the basement and try to avoid going into the “system.” To say this does not go well for them is an understatement. To say it’s surprising that all that happens is some sociopathic derangement and enthusiastic incest is also an understatement. And the ending is just ambiguous enough that you can’t be certain they all survive—or that they should.

    The Dollanganger Kids in Flowers in the Attic, by V.C. Andrews
    Not only is it remarkable the Dollangangers survived being imprisoned in the attic while their mother tried to worm her way back into her father’s will—and slowly forgot they even existed—it’s remarkable they didn’t form a somber suicide pact right before they burned the whole house down, and possibly every other house in the vicinity for good measure. Instead, the older kids once again decided incest was the way to go, which just goes to show you that their coping skills weren’t up to snuff.

    Huckleberry Finn in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Largely unsupervised and often abused both verbally and physically by Old Finn, Huckleberry Finn is a tragic figure, really. And Twain knew it, too, even as he presents Huckleberry’s adventures with a twinkle in his eye. If a real kid had gone on those “adventures” he would be dead before long—probably about halfway through the book.

    Harry Potter in The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling
    Kept in a cupboard under the stairs, orphaned Harry is neglected, underfed, and emotionally abused for years. Oh, and the world’s most evil wizard wants him dead. The fact that Harry makes it to adulthood without going insane—or being killed—is the most fantastic part of the story, frankly. Assuming, that is, that the fan theories that the story is just Harry’s psychotic break and revenge fantasy aren’t true.

    The Mortmain Kids in I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
    The Mortmains aren’t exactly unhappy, but let’s put aside the romance and warmth of Smith’s narrative and concentrate on the fact that their father is in jail for a good portion of the book, and the Mortmain’s are so poor they sell everything not nailed down just to survive. Those kids were in mortal danger of simply starving to death the whole time.

    Anna Fitzgerald in My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
    When you are literally conceived as a source of spare parts for your very ill, very much preferred sister, it messes with your head a little. But before Anna can actually sue her parents to stop them from cutting her open for organs, she has to live long enough to become aware of her situation. And when your parents have been planning on cutting you open since birth, that’s not exactly a guarantee.

     

    The post 10 Literary Kids We’re Surprised Survived to Adulthood (And Some We’re Not Sure Actually Did) appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Melissa Albert 1:34 pm on 2015/06/15 Permalink
    Tags: 1950s, , , , , , lolita, , , ,   

    Big Books from the 1950s 

    The 1950s saw the emergence of literary lights including J.D. Salinger and Jack Kerouac, authors whose books questioned the status quo and the midcentury preoccupation with conformity. The decade’s best books were mired in the dark realities of recent history, and looked forward to seismic social shifts to come. Novelists explored cultural norms through timeless dystopic visions, and one of fantasy literature’s most enduring series was launched. These are some of the decade’s most indispensable books.

    The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Considered the ur-coming of age novel of the modern era, Catcher is a book that grows with you. A bleakly comic first-person cri de couer, it follows recently expelled prep student Holden Caulfield on an aimless ramble around New York City, through run-ins with former friends, a visit to the Central Park ducks, and his return to his parents’ luxe apartment, exploring his aching, barely submerged desire to reclaim the innocence of childhood.

    Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
    This often-banned book is a love story, a paean to 1950s Americana, a breathtaking portrait of a sociopath, and the most memorable road-trip book you’ll ever read. When European academic Humbert Humbert first lays eyes on Lolita, he’s a rootless wanderer with movie-star looks—and she’s a 12-year-old “nymphet,” the daughter of Humbert’s faded maneater of a landlady. He marries the mother to get to the girl, and a twisted tale of obsession begins. After mom is dispatched, Humbert and his Lolita cross the country together, on a soda-pop-and-comics–fueled trip to keep them a step ahead of anyone who might suspect the true nature of their relationship. Lolita’s fate inspires pity and horror, as Nabokov’s sublime prose inspires awe, journeying toward a dark end for his pedophile protagonist that’s intimated in the book’s first pages. In the words of Humbert Humbert, “You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.”

    East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
    Steinbeck’s California epic is Biblical in its proportions as well as its themes, recalling both Cain and Abel and the snake in the Garden. Brothers Charles and Adam Trask, one viciously violent and the other a sensitive seeker, play out their roles as Cain and Abel, complicated by the arrival of a psychopathic cipher of a woman who becomes the mother to Adam’s own two sons. Elsewhere in their Salinas Valley home, silver-tongued Irish patriarch Samuel Hamilton raises a clan with his dour wife, intersecting with the Trasks and representing one stripe of American ingenuity and self-made success. This multigenerational epic brims with landscape poetry and sensitive character studies, and explores the endlessly resilient properties of the human spirit.

    On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
    Kerouac’s Beat masterpiece defined a certain kind of American seeker, one who rejected societal norms and struck out for an unencumbered life. And the fact that Kerouac lived this life himself, and loosely based his books on his own experiences, have only made them more appealing. His fictional alter ego Sal Paradise criss-crosses the country with a pack full of sandwiches and, often, with companion Dean Moriarty, a thinly veiled Neal Cassady. They seek out “the mad ones…mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved,” chasing down the transient highs of new experience and an unfettered existence. Kerouac famously claimed to have written the book in three coffee-fueled weeks, and more than 50 years later, his novel still sings with youthful immediacy.

    Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
    In Golding’s chilling masterwork, a group of boys wash up on a deserted island after a shipwreck. The boys create a microcosmic society, one that rapidly breaks down as their middle-class manners decay. A survival-of-the-fittest free-for-all ensues. The battle for the souls of every boy on the island boils down to a showdown between prime antagonist Jack, a violent alpha who believes might equals right, and Ralph, a sensitive boy who desperately fights against the descent into tribal chaos. The novel can be read as an allegory or an indictment of mindless conformity, or as the scariest, most mesmerizing beach book you’ll ever pick up.

    Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
    Ellison’s bleak and bracing portrayal of the politicization of a young African American man stands among literature’s most powerful indictments of American racism. Over the course of the narrative, Ellison’s unnamed protagonist is transformed from an ambitious academic, enduring humiliation to secure a scholarship at an elite black college, to a political firebrand working for an interracial organization called the Brotherhood, to the titular “invisible man,” hiding in one of New York City’s forgotten corners in order to write his story. The book argues that the honoring of selfhood, even over community, is the most powerful political statement an oppressed individual can make.

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote
    Holly Golightly, the quicksilver heroine of Capote’s indispensable New York novella, has come to serve as shorthand for a certain kind of woman—a proto manic pixie dream girl given a second, equally timeless, life onscreen by Audrey Hepburn. The novel is narrated by a writer who meets Holly after she moves into his building. She’s a completely self-made construction, a penniless farm girl who forms herself into a knowing member of café society, living on the money she gets from the rich men who adore her. It’s a wistful story of missed connections, hard-lost naiveté, and a bygone world where beautiful women were given money to go to the powder room.

    Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
    Bradbury’s dystopian classic still has the power to strike fear in the heart of readers. It imagines a world in which human life is cheap, television is king, and books are illegal and subject to burning. When our protagonist, fireman and career book burner Guy Montag, meets a young woman who piques his curiosity about the world as it was before, he starts taking risks to save books from the flames, and finds himself on the run. This is a cautionary tale about the evils of censorship, conformity, and anti-intellectualism, published at a time when many Americans were enjoying their first television set.

    Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak
    Pasternak’s controversial, Nobel Prize-winning bestseller went unpublished in his home country of Russia for 30 years after its 1957 release, and Pasternak was blocked by the Soviet government from receiving the Nobel prize during his lifetime. The novel follows Dr. Yury Zhivago through the years of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath, as he struggles to choose between his wife and Lara, the captivating wife of another man, whom he seems fated to keep meeting. Their doomed love story spans years and multiple separations, serving as a melancholy throughline of a tale encompassing a turbulent chapter of modern Russian history.

    The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
    J.R.R. Tolkien’s three-volume masterwork, starting with this 1954 novel, introduced into popular culture perhaps the most meticulously created fantasy world in literature. Complete with maps, languages, and a deep sense of its own invented history, Tolkien’s story captures the journey to destroy a dangerous ring undertaken by a quartet of hobbits, the wizard Gandalf, and others. Its settings ranges from the village of Hobbiton to the elflands to the peaks of Mordor, and its indelible characters have become an indestructible part not just of fantasy fiction but of the pop-culture landscape.

    Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious
    Metalious’s scandalous, often vicious account of small-town secrets, dissatisfactions, and hypocrisies inspired both a film and a soap opera that ran from 1964 to 1969. The placid exterior of the fictional Peyton Place, New Hampshire, hides a morass of societal ills, explored largely through three women: unmarried mother Constance Mackenzie; her daughter, Allison; and Selena Cross, a girl saddled with poverty and a sexually violent stepfather. In an era when keeping up appearances ruled, this book’s exploration of the darkness lurking behind even the most brightly painted doors ignited readers’ imaginations.

    Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
    Rand’s controversial bestseller, both revered and reviled, is not just a narrative, but the distillation of her closely held political and moral beliefs. Against the backdrop of a dystopian U.S., railroad vice president Dagny Taggart navigates threats to her company and the compromised expectations of family and friends. When fellow business leaders start disappearing, the mystery leads Taggart and her lover, industrialist Hank Rearden, to John Galt, a man determined to bring down the government through a business strike. Galt serves as a mouthpiece for Rand’s Objectivist beliefs.

    From Here to Eternity, by James Jones
    The first of James Jones’ trio of World War II novels, followed by 1962’s The Thin Red Line and 1978’s Whistle, From Here to Eternity won the National Book Award and was made into a movie starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and Frank Sinatra. It centers on three soldiers stationed in Hawaii in the warm months of 1941, as they brawl and haze and betray each other, attempt to assert their individual will, and discover what happens to the nail that stands up.

    A Good Man Is Hard to Find, by Flannery O’Connor
    O’Connor’s stories, like life, are “nasty, brutish and short,” populated with tricksters, ciphers, and benighted people born into small destinies they’re unable to escape. Her stories are also darkly funny and addictively readable, each a window onto the small tragedies and even smaller minds of farm folk, drifters, and opportunists in the heartland.

    Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
    This wildly popular bestseller, written by an acclaimed author also known as the wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh, is an essayistic exploration of the joys of solitude, marriage and love, growing old, and Morrow Lindbergh’s own experiences as a woman of the era. It’s a book meant to nurture readers’ souls, full of wisdom that rings true more than a half century later.

    The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale
    This is the book that launched a thousand imitators. Another inspirational text that has stood the test of time, Peale’s self-help classic has a simple but timeless message of positivity, grace under pressure, and treating yourself with kindness. The rewards his methods promise include easing of worry and the realization of goals—and with millions of copies sold, who can argue with its enduring power?

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  • Dell Villa 3:00 pm on 2015/05/28 Permalink
    Tags: beachy books, , , , , , lolita, , , ,   

    Beach Reading: Top Paperbacks From Way Back 

    It’s beach reading time. And since I know you don’t want to bring your shiny new hardbacks anywhere near the seaweed and beached jellyfish, I hereby declare the next three months the Summer of Paperback Favorites. While I can’t promise my compilation’s handy acronym (SPF) is accidental, I can assure you I’ve selected several of the awesomest books from the last 60 years to aid in your search for quality vacation fiction. If they’re not dog-eared and waiting on your hammock already, I recommend picking them up straightaway, in saltwater, sand-tested paperback format.

    2005:
    The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
    In the summer of 2005, we eagerly devoured the penultimate installment in the Harry Potter series, and our infatuations with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Bella and Edward, and Percy Jackson began. What made our hearts pound, however, was an unassuming volume originally intended for younger readers. While it certainly appealed to adolescents, readers and reviewers quickly lauded Zusak’s unique novel as one for all ages, and all lovers of literature. In Nazi-occupied Germany in 1939, Liesel is a foster child who has recently learned how to read and, consequently, has discovered an unquenchable desire for knowledge. The only way she can acquire the books she wants is through thievery, and soon Liesel’s scavenged books are the only thing standing between her and the madness of wartime. Death is the knowing narrator, adding intensity and complexity to this compelling, well-crafted story.

    1995:
    High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby
    It was the season of The Lost World and a long-lost manuscript from Louisa May Alcott (A Long Fatal Love Chase), but the most exciting discovery of the summer of 1995 was Nick Hornby, a British novelist who brought the world fresh, funny fiction from a male point of view. In High Fidelity, it’s easy to pity Rob, the owner of a failing record store who just lost his longtime girlfriend to the new-agey weirdo who lives upstairs. And then it’s easy to hate Rob, as he indulges in excessive daydreaming, self-pity, and generally immature behavior. Yes, Rob can get under our skin, but it’s only because Hornby’s characters are so superbly crafted; it’s fortunate we took notice of this offbeat novelist, for we’ve had no shortage of resonant fiction from him over the last 20 years.

    1985:
    Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez
    Summer 1985 was full of instant classics like Lonesome Dove, Lake Wobegon Days, and, my personal favorite, The Castle in the Attic, but the achingly beautiful love story to emerge from Nobel Prize winner Marquez was unlike anything readers had ever read before. The New York Times Book Review called it “one of the greatest love stories ever told,” and readers collectively held their breath for 50 years, 9 months, and 4 days right along with Florentino Ariza as he waited for the precise moment to declare his unending love for Fermina Daza. Wondrous, luminous, and unforgettable, this is a perfect vintage summer read.

    1975:
    Terms of Endearment, by Larry McMurtry
    It was the summer of Tuck Everlasting, Salem’s Lot, and Ragtime. But what sparked readers’ imaginations across the country was McMurtry’s inimitable masterpiece, that would inspire an Academy Award–winning motion picture: Terms of Endearment. Aurora Greenway and her daughter, Emma, captured and broke readers’ hearts, and made them grimace, guffaw, and grieve. No one who read this timeless story of the love and pain between mothers and daughters ever forgot it, and neither will you.

    1965:
    Dune, by Frank Herbert:
    In the heat of summer in 1965, readers heard from Agatha Christie, Flannery O’Connor, and Kurt Vonnegut, and Herbert’s extraordinary new novel flew off the shelves. Quickly hailed as a triumph of imagination, Dune kicked off the Chronicles series, which would eventually go on to win the Nebula and Hugo awards for science fiction, and often be compared to the venerable The Lord of the Rings. In fact, so detailed are the alien landscapes in Herbert’s deeply unsettling series that the New York Times Book Review contended he might have broken ground on a completely new subgenre of “ecological fiction.” You’ll want to join the legions of devoted fans once you crack open this throwback classic.

    1955:
    Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
    In the summer of 1955, readers were lost in the concluding tales of Narnia and Mordor—and utterly shocked and thrilled by Nabokov’s controversial volume of illicit love. Filled with madness, obsession, and political undertones, if readers could get their hands on Lolita that summer, they read it and immediately passed it along without a word. I’m pretty certain you’ll do the same.

    What paperbacks are you toting to the beach this summer?

     
  • Jeff Somers 3:00 pm on 2015/05/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , lolita, , , portnoy's complaint, , ,   

    The 5 Worst Mothers in Literary History 

    As Philip Larkin wrote in the Greatest Poem of All Time (GPAT): “Man hands on misery to man/It deepens like a coastal shelf/Get out as early as you can/And don’t have any kids yourself.” This doesn’t hold true for every parent, but it certainly would’ve been good advice to give to any of the mother monsters listed below. Take our quick and terrifying tour through some of the worst mothers in literary history, and feel grateful all over again for your own.

    Margaret White (Carrie, by Stephen King)
    Most people concentrate on the monstrous teens in King’s iconic novel, the cool kids who torment Carrie until she has history’s worst psychotic break. But the kids aren’t the villains of this story, and neither is Carrie: it’s her awful, awful mother. How awful? Not only is everything—including the conception and birth of her own daughter—a sin to Margaret, she also seems to believe disciplining a child should involve locking her in a closet. Constantly. Margaret White is one of the few mothers who completely and richly deserves her terrible fate.

    Charlotte Haze (Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov)
    While Charlotte Haze isn’t the brightest bulb in the literary universe and might be excused for not noticing Humbert Humbert is, how shall we say this, a predatory criminal, her true monstrosity becomes clear when you look a little deeper. Charlotte is enamored with Humbert not because she craves love or companionship, but because she wants “the finer things” and believes Humbert, with his European manners and fussy, academic airs, can provide them for her. She doesn’t so much not notice his attentions towards Lolita as ignore them lest they ruin her chances for a “good life” she can barely define.

    Corrine and Olivia (Flowers in the Attic, by V.C. Andrews)
    The brilliant trick of V.C. Andrews’ novel about incest, greed, and spectacularly bad parenting is that it initially presents Olivia, the grandmother, as the true Monstrous Mother, and Corrine, the mother, as a goodhearted parent who is guilty of incredibly poor decision-making but not true evil…then it slowly turns the tables, not by making the grandmother a better person but by making Corrine the worst person. Poisoning your children slowly (while forcing them to hide in the attic) in order to assure your inheritance is actually more horrible than locking them in closets for days on end. At least Carrie got to attend gym class from time to time.

    Fiona Brewer (About a Boy, by Nick Hornby)
    Sometimes a humorous novel can distract us from the horrible people populating it, as with Nick Hornby’s touching, funny, and somewhat disturbing story of an awkward, unhappy boy and a slick, unhappy man. Fiona Brewer initially seems a bit strange in an amusing way, and fiercely protective of her son—but then you realize she attempted suicide in a way that pretty much guaranteed her son would walk in on her cold, dead body, and that most of his social anxiety and awkwardness is due to her own cynical view of the world. In the end, Fiona does not completely belong in the Hall of Fame for bad mothers, for she rallies over the course of the book to demonstrate true love for her son, which leaves her a long way from the sullen, unhappy, and resolutely selfish woman we meet in the beginning.

    Sophie Portnoy from Portnoy’s Complaint, by Philip Roth
    If it isn’t a standard belief that mothers should not stand outside the bathroom while their sons defecate and then demand they not flush so their output can be examined, then by gum, it should be. Sophie Portnoy is the sort of mother only novelists and psychiatrists can imagine, a woman so smothering and domineering she’s at the root of all her son’s “complaints”—including the (frequently awful and disturbing) sexual ones, which push her well into Monstrous Mother territory despite the black humor surrounding her every utterance and action in Roth’s infamous novel.

    So there you have it—the Injustice League of Bad Mothers. Which fictional moms did we miss?

    Shop all fiction >
     
  • Rebecca Jane Stokes 7:00 pm on 2014/07/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , i capture the castle, , , , lolita, louisa may alcotte, , , revolutionary road, richard yates, , , the host, , , ,   

    10 Characters Who Ended Up With The Wrong People 

    Little Women

    Very often we turn to books for the satisfaction of a love story well told. If it’s done right, we get all swoony, clutch the tomes to our winsome bosoms (or winsome pectorals, as the case may be), and sigh over the perfection and delicious unreality of a fictional love affair. I may really dig a dude in a real life, but him spontaneously being all Edward Fairfax Rochester and telling me about an invisible cord connecting our ribs is, I can almost guarantee, never going to happen.

    To that end, I’ve always had a soft spot for books where the “perfect love story” doesn’t turn out to be so perfect after all. I know I’m not alone in this. Every reader gets a wonderful shiver of schadenfreude each time a pairing between characters goes south and goes south HARD. Here are 10 characters who ended up with absolutely the wrong people:

    1. Jo March and Professor Bhaer (Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott)
    Okay, I can feel the masses ready to string me up on high for this one, but I’m standing by it. Oh sure, Jo and the Professor are a sweet, modern couple and I kind of dig them, and everybody knows accents are sexy, but none of this matters because LAURIE. He loved Jo most of his life, and you know the feeling was mutual. That said, while I always wanted to be a Jo, I am probably closer to being an Amy, so I guess I should be grateful.

    2. Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins (Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen)
    A girl’s gotta eat, BUT AT WHAT COST? Marriage to a pompous, socially climbing, sniveling parson = not worth it. I want an alternative version of P&P where Charlotte takes up a life walking the streets of London solving crimes while deep undercover as a prostitute. It would be all about female empowerment and also Jack the Ripper.

    3. Cassandra Mortmain (I Capture The Castle, by Dodie Smith)
    To be fair, there’s something admirable and noble and sweet and real about our narrator Cassandra ending up on her own and learning that a broken heart doesn’t mean the end of love altogether. Still, when a good chunk of a novel has been dedicated to Cassandra falling for her sister’s then-fiance, you can’t help but feel slightly cheated by the ending.

    4. Harry, Hermione, and Ron (The Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling) 
    I tend to be a Hermione and Ron apologist, but if even J. K. Rowling admits that it should have been Harry and Hermione, then who are we mere plebes to argue with her wisdom?

    5. Frank and April Wheeler (Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates)
    Frank and April Wheeler’s totally borked dynamic eventually leads to disasters we won’t discuss here, because spoilers. Frank and April clearly weren’t meant to be together, or if they were, the timing was off and the repressive culture of the age shot their union in the foot before it even had a chance to trot. One could argue that without their cataclysmic pairing the book wouldn’t exist, to which I respond: DON’T CARE TOO DEPRESSING.

    6. Romeo and Juliet (Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare)
    They literally die because they are mad at their parents. Are they smitten with each other? Totally. But are they also infants with poor impulse control? Oh very much so.

    7. George and Martha: (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, by Edward Albee)
    Just a word of wisdom for the collected masses reading this post—if you and your partner both have significant drinking problems and a shared semi-delusion of a child, it’s best to get out before one of you starts breaking the furniture, you dig?

    8. Charles and Camilla (The Secret History, by Donna Tartt)
    Fraternal twins Charles and Camilla take a beyond warped page from George R.R. Martin’s books when it comes to how twins feel about each other. In their pants. No, just…no.

    9. Lolita and Humbert: (Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov)
    I have one word for you, and it rhymes with shmedophilia. Also, everybody dies. *Drops mic, walks away, sassy and triumphant*

    10. Wanda and Ian: (The Host, by Stephenie Meyer)
    Look, I get that love is about more than just the physical body, but the body is a big part of it—especially at first. So forgive me if I give Wanda and Ian the side-eye. We get it Wanda, your love for Ian surpasses the physical. Doesn’t erase the fact that you are making out with him using basically a corpse’s mouth. Barf.

    What fictional characters do you think ended up with the wrong people?

     
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