September 26, 2008

Book Characters I’d Most Want to Meet

Posted by at 8:10 am in Reads | Permalink

I finally got around to watching the 2005 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’ve long been a fan of the older movie version (from 1971, starring Gene Wilder and called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, for some reason). After watching the older movie, I’ve always been a little afraid of Willy Wonka. I don’t know about you, but I found Gene Wilder’s depiction of the candy inventor to be pretty darn creepy. In particular, I was traumatized by the weird boat scene where Willy Wonka is chanting, “Yes! The danger must be growing, / For the rowers keep on rowing, / And they’re certainly not showing / Any signs that they are slowing . . .” Um, FREAKY!

However, the new Willy Wonka, as played by Johnny Depp, struck me as very strange but completely harmless — someone in need of a friend, even. Instead of being disturbed by the thought of coming into contact with the man, I now would jump at the opportunity to get a golden ticket (especially given my deep love for food).

In honor of my new affection for Willy Wonka, here is my list of the five book characters I’d most want to meet in person:

Charlie_and_the_chocolate_factory_25. Willy Wonka (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)
Thanks to Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, now I’d love to meet the genius behind everlasting gobstoppers, an entirely edible landscape, and all the rest of the mouthwatering wonders described by Dahl!

Charlottesweb4. Charlotte A. Cavatica (Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White)
I don’t think any explanation is necessary beyond what E. B. White says at the end of the book: “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”

Secretletters3. Victoria (Secret Letters from 0 to 10 by Susie Morgenstern)
You may have never heard of this book, translated from French (even though
the author was born in New Jersey!), but it’s one of my absolute favorites. It’s about a boy named Ernest who lives a dull, dreary existence until one day Victoria moves into the neighborhood and throws back the curtains and lets in the sunlight on his life by her sheer exuberant presence. I’d be very curious to experience whatever adventure she would bring to me.

Hpcos2. Dobby (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
While he’s far from the grandest character in the series, you’d be hard-pressed to
find one who is more unerringly selfless and unwaveringly good-hearted. He’s also hilariously funny. RIP, Dobby.

1. Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket)
Fine, this is a bit of a cheat, but I’d argue that this elusive man in a bowler hat is as much a character in his books as he is the alleged author of them. And with all of the unresolved mysteries even now that the series is over, Lemony Snicket is the #1 book character I’d want to meet in person. I’d love to corner him in a room and interrogate him — and by “interrogate,” I mean “ask him all my burning questions about VFD, and in the event that he refuses to answer, threaten to torture him with my own ill-conceived definitions of sophisticated vocabulary words, in the style of his writing but not nearly as clever.” Take that, Mr. Snicket! I’ll get you to talk if it’s the last thing I do!

What about you? Which book character would YOU most want to meet in person?

(Or if you just want to share your own thoughts about the two Charlie and the Chocolate Factory films, I’d love to hear those too! Was anyone as creeped out by Gene Wilder’s Wonka as I was?)

— Karen, STACKS Staffer

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  1. Gabbie

    I’d love to meet Meggie from Inkheart, Tibby from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Meg from A Wrinkle in Time, Ponyboy from The Outsiders, and Steven from Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie.

  2. Karen, STACKS Staffer


    Happy New Year! I wanted to respond to you since it sounds like you don’t think the Splot bloggers are reading the comments that you guys post. WE ARE! And we absolutely love hearing what you guys have to say! Sometimes we just don’t have time to reply because we’re so focused on writing NEW entries for the blog or working on other stuff for the site. (Or in some cases, we’re not allowed to reveal the info that you guys ask for — like with The 39 Clues, which is totally top-secret.) But I hope that you and all our other loyal Splotters know that we appreciate all of your comments, and you should definitely keep ‘em coming! And thanks to your comment, I’m going to make it a new year’s resolution to be better about responding to blog comments. :-)

    Btw, in response to THIS comment: I actually did know about Daniel Handler. In fact, we went to the same high school! (Except he’s older than me, so we weren’t there at the same time.) I guess I just love the idea of Lemony Snicket… Plus, I’m pretty sure Mr. Handler denies that he is truly Lemony Snicket, so you never know what kind of mysteries are REALLY involved!

  3. bankshot5

    If you want to talk with Mr.Snicket,why dont you ask him for an interview,you know hes a real person,his names Daniel Handler.Or were you kidding?I liked Gene Wilders interpretation of Wonka.Ive always been a bit fearless though.The newer verion portrayed by Johnny Depp is okay in my book.The only thing problem I had with him was that he was a bit weird.When I think about the two of them,I see the same character,but it feels like two different point of views of the same person.Wilders Wonka was the more realistic and down to earth,while Depps was more child like and comedic.Since I also read the book,the true form of Willy Wonka is like a little of both them.Oh,and on another note,I hate how when we write these things theres little chance we’ll ever get to hear what YOU think.Im basically writing this for you to read and not be able to discuss,and for some kid to read and be ABLE to discuss,but not care to.Sorry to sound harsh,I was up late for News Years.