We believe so strongly in the characters of television, literature, and movies that we treat them as important people in our lives. We have to see the last episode of our favorite TV series every season; we’ve stood in line to see the latest movie sequel or remake. Legends, myths, theater, animation—it’s all the same. We identify with these characters, even if the story dates back thousands of years. We shed real tears over their setbacks and suffering.
I think the biggest issue I had was the categorizations as many were so subjective or could fit within many. I think it would have read better as a 101-1 list without their interludes on process, especially that of the dog.
Between Chapters 13 and 14, they noted the following in their interlude:
The toughest part of this project is judging who is really fictional. First, we got complaints about characters people thought were real. Next, other people complained that we were using characters that were obviously fictional, as if we’d set out to debunk a few legends. How dare we include fictional characters? Others just wanted to argue. Sure, some stories are fictional, but King Arthur? Spock? This is not a scholarly work. You may have guessed from the low price, the absence of obscure characters, and the occasional bit of humor.
That pretty much nailed my feelings. If they’d had it in the intro, I might have passed on the book.
That said, the book’s reading list is an interesting one and I’ve added the following to my wishlist:
- The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History by Michael Hart.
- Carroll, Willard. I Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, The Dog Who Was Toto
It’s not so bad that I’m looking for these two days of my life back, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend this despite initially doing so.