Literature remains one of our favourite pastimes because books are able to transport us from our own lives and bring us exciting new adventures we could only have dreamed of. With the help of literature, we can visit far off places, meet wonderful new people, explore fantasy worlds, embark on epic quests, solve crimes, visit bygone eras of history and, every now and then, attend really awesome parties. In today’s article, we’re looking at five characters from literature we’d love to party with.
Bilbo Baggins – The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings begins with Gandalf returning to The Shire after a long absence to attend the 111th birthday of his dear friend Bilbo Baggins. As we all know, this leads to the Hobbit Frodo Baggins having to take the Ring of Power all the way to the lands of Mordor where he must cast it into the fire and destroy Sauron, but that all seems so far away when you’re busy enjoying the celebration of Bilbo’s birthday.
111 is a grand age, even for a Hobbit, and almost all the Hobbits in Hobbiton are out preparing for the grand party. Tables are being laid out, delicious food is prepared, and Gandalf arrives precisely when he means to with some of the greatest fireworks ever seen. We’d love to listen to Bilbo recount his adventures, visit Samwise Gamgee’s garden, and get tipsy and mischievous with Merry and Pippin at the Green Dragon Inn. Bilbo’s birthday bash is a grand occasion for young and old, and it doesn’t get much better than visiting the idyllic Shire during the day, helping Bilbo celebrate at night, then collapsing into a soft bed at the end of it all inside one of those snug Hobbit holes.
Tyrion Lannister – A Song of Ice and Fire
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series may be known for its gritty reality when it comes to characters dying horribly and good not always beating evil, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The harsh reality of Westeros is lightened a little by Martin’s detailed descriptions of the delicious food and wine that the high lords and ladies get to enjoy and there’s no character who enjoys them more than Tyrion Lannister.
He may belong to one of the richest, most powerful family in the Seven Kingdoms, but Tyrion still has his fair share of issues. Being a dwarf in a society where strength rules isn’t much fun, not to mention he’s constantly mocked behind his back and both his father and sister despise him. As a result, Tyrion has developed a razor sharp wit and drowns his sorrows with wine, women, food, wine, song, and more wine. As a member of his Lannister he can afford the best of everything and a night hitting the town with Tyrion is arguably worth risking all the beheadings, political backstabbing, and general misery that comes with being in Westeros. We’d also love to hear him finish telling the story of the time he brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel…
The Mad Hatter – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
A tea party with the Mad Hatter might not involve any alcohol but, given the strange and psychedelic nature of Lewis Carroll’s writing, that’s probably a good thing. The chaotic world on Wonderland is difficult enough to make sense of at the best of times but Alice’s encounter with the Mad Hatter and his friends is arguably the strangest moment of all.
Tea with the Hatter isn’t something we’d want to do on a regular basis, but there’s no denying it would certainly be fun every now and then. Hatter’s grip on reality seems tenuous at best and he’s constantly switching seats whilst delivering scathing remarks, asking nonsensical riddles, and reciting terrible poetry. Hatter is joined by equally strange companions such as the March Hare and, as far as they’re concerned, it’s always tea time. We like to think that, given their passion for tea, they would have a wide variety of teas available and of course some nice biscuits and cakes. We can’t imagine being able to stay for longer than an hour, given all the madness, but tea with the Hatter would certainly be an experience.
Odin – Prose Edda
This one might be cheating a bit, since it requires you to be a Viking who has earned enough fame to enter Valhalla but, as far as parties go, it doesn’t much more epic than this. If a Viking warrior earned enough renown, he would be allowed to enter Valhalla, an enormous hall located in Asgard, the home of the Gods. Odin resides over Valhalla and there great warriors spend all day fighting and performing heroic deeds and then, come evening, all their wounds are healed and they take part in an epic feast with a never ending supply of delicious food and drink.
Odin allows these great warriors to feast with him for a purpose. In Norse mythology an event called Ragnarok is destined to come to pass that will see the destruction of all things, Gods included. It will be the final battle between good and evil and, though Odin knows it’s inevitable, he hopes that having the finest warriors by his side when the battle comes might help him achieve the impossible. A party at Valhalla means you’ll be fighting and feasting for centuries, then it’s all topped off with the most epic battle the world has ever known. And you thought the 60’s were wild!
Jay Gatsby – The Great Gatsby
The character of Jay Gatsby is so synonymous with wild, lavish parties that people have been throwing ‘Gastby-parties’ ever since The Great Gatsby was first published. Set in the roaring 20’s, The Great Gatsby tells the tragic tale of a wealthy young man who attempts to attract the attention of his lost love by hosting extravagant parties that have the whole town talking.
Though he doesn’t take part in them himself, Gatsby’s parties are just about everything you could want from a night out. Hundreds of people attend Gatsby’s parties, including famed musicians, artists, and writers. Champagne flows all night, dinner is catered for, and there’s even an entire orchestra to dance to. Most of the guests haven’t even been invited but Gatsby doesn’t have them turned away. His large mansion serves as the perfect locale, with a swimming pool, expensive cars, and even boats. If you find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, you can always sneak away to Gatsby’s library, where stacks of untouched books are just waiting to be read. Sounds like a party you’d never forget.
Uris was six years old when he was first recognised for his literary skills when he wrote an operetta inspired by the death of his dog. He would go on to write many bestselling works, based around major political and historic events. Today we’re going to recommend four books you may like to try. Read More
Last month we created a poll in our reading group The Cwts, and that poll has run all month giving you the chance to add your favourite read from the last thirty days. With July now over we have our top 20 for August and here it is, the readers’ choice top 20 for August.
Prior to his visit, Obama published a post on his official Facebook page where he wrote about his love for his ancestral home, and revealed what books he’s been reading in the build up to his trip. As you would expect, the books are from and about the continent of Africa and show what a diverse, historic, sometimes troubled, but also extraordinary continent it is. Not only has Obama recommended the books, but also provided a quick insight as to why he found them interesting. Read More
While a science fiction show, the series was very grounded in real issues such as race, sex, gender, and religion featuring a multi-national cast, various sexualities and a transgender character, played by a transgender actor (yay!).
I absolutely loved it, and I know much of the team did too and brilliant storylines aside, I loved the fact that Amanita, played by Freema Agyeman worked at the City Lights Bookstore, meaning it was featured in various episodes. And if you were hanging out for more bookstore references there was a second one with a mention for Shakespeare and Co in the finale too! Read More
As the New York Public Library reports, Martin has given us not one, but two lists of books he feels we should read, fantasy and general fiction, so there should be something for everyone here.
“I’m often asked what I’m reading, watching, and listening to, so I thought I might share a short list from time to time,” he wrote. There’s so much good writing and art and variety of thought out there these days that this is by no means comprehensive – like many of you, I’ll miss The Americans – but here’s what I’ve been reading lately. It’s admittedly a slightly heavier list than what I’ll be reading over the summer.” Read More