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Top Ten Tuesday – Classic Novels With Loveable Bad Boys

top ten

Here’s my spin on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday.

Rhett Butler – The devilish charm of this Southerner is hard to ignore as he proves to be the perfect foil to bratty, scheming Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. But by falling in love with Scarlett, Rhett reveals a vulnerable side that she is only to happy to trample on.

Holden Caulfield – The seventeen year-old protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye drove me crazy when I read the book because of all his complaining, but he’s really just a kid not liking what he sees around him and wanting to rebel against it.

Heathcliff – Something about this Byronic hero’s tortured and dark nature draws us in, spins us around and spits us out, yet we can’t deny his passion. In Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, Heathcliff loves Catherine fiercely, but demonstrates his anger and resentment with such force all is destroyed in his wake.

Sherlock Holmes – Nothing like falling for the boy you can’t have and no one screams off the market more than Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective. It’s hard not to find his intelligence and deadpan sarcasm irresistible. But Sherlock has made it very clear he has no interest in romance.

Edmond Dantès – The former sailor in The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas doesn’t know the meaning of forgiveness and is relentless in punishing his enemies for having him jailed and left for dead in prison. Not even the chance of being reunited with the woman he once loved is incentive for him to put aside his need for vengeance.

Mr. Darcy – It’s easy to see how Lizzy Bennett put Darcy in the not-if-he-was-the-last-man-on-Earth category. The man acts like a higher than thou jerk right from the beginning of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. But later we all discover that Darcy is really a softie and has a generous heart (and wallet).

Jay Gatsby – Although he’s worked so hard to become wealthy and win back the love of a woman, the mysterious millionaire in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald makes bad decisions. He’s involved with the wrong people, breaks the law and parties too much. It was only a matter of time before his glass castle came crashing down.

Mr. Rochester – It took some time before I could see what Jane Eyre and many other women saw in Mr. Rochester from Charlotte Brontë’s novel. He’s snarky and secretive. He’s hiding his crazy wife in the attic for goodness sakes! But like Jane, I started to see the gentle soul underneath the crabby exterior.

Robin Hood – The man famous for “stealing from the rich and giving to the poor” holds so much appeal because of his leadership skills and desire to help people in need. However, he is technically a criminal, wanted by the law and pretty much homeless.

Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky – The gorgeous soldier struts like a peacock around the ballroom, so of course Anna Karenina couldn’t keep her eyes off him. Vronsky has no qualms seducing a married woman, fathering a child with her out of wedlock and then walking away when he realizes he’s not cut out for a serious relationship.

Who is your favourite literary bad boy?

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34 comments on “Top Ten Tuesday – Classic Novels With Loveable Bad Boys

  1. janceewright
    April 28, 2015

    Jane Eyre may be one of my favorite novels of all time, but the age difference is still a little bit creepy.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 28, 2015

      I forgot about the age difference. I remember being a bit biased about that too.

      Like

  2. Naomi
    April 28, 2015

    I’m not a fan of Vronsky at all, and whenever I think of Robin Hood I still picture him as a fox (a cartoon fox from Disney). No to Rhett Butler’s moustache and Caulfield’s youth. It’s been too long since I read about Heathcliff, and I still haven’t read any of Sherlock’s books. I like Dantes, but I think Darcy and Rochester are still my favourites. It’s hard to say which one comes out on top. In the movies, Colin Firth wins, but in the books, I think it’s Mr. Rochester. Or maybe not.
    Fun post!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 28, 2015

      I like how you said no to Rhett’s moustache and you can only picture Robin Hood as a fox! Out of all of these characters, I probably would have picked The Count of Monte Cristo because now that he’s finished his revenge project, he seems like the least drama.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Naomi
        April 28, 2015

        I kind of think it might be nice to be with someone who is blind – he wouldn’t care if you had a bad haircut, wore frumpy clothes, or aged prematurely. Also, you could read to him. 🙂 (I know, I know, I wouldn’t really wish blindness on anyone, of course. And, I think maybe he gets some of his sight back – I can’t remember.)
        And, Mr. Darcy just seems so gentlemanly. And, he has a nice grin (well, Colin Firth does, anyway).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The Paperback Princess
    April 28, 2015

    I don’t really love bad boys! In any form! I’m not sure that I would classify Mr Darcy AS a bad boy – he’s totally snotty but he’s essentially really good, looking after all the people that depend on him. I do love Mr Rochester though, I guess he counts as a bad boy. And Edmond Dantes was pretty badass although even in the end he realizes that he’s wasted his efforts on vengeance. Vronsky, Heathcliffe and Gatsby have never done it for me though.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 28, 2015

      Ha ha, maybe I should change the title to “loveable?” with a question mark. Vronsky, Heathcliffe and Gatsby never did for me either, although they were certainly passionate about the women they loved. I think Mr. Darcy is classified as a bad boy for being so snobby and mean at the beginning of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jessicabookworm
    April 28, 2015

    Great theme and choices. As soon as I saw your theme I was thinking of Heathcliff and Mr Rochester too 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 29, 2015

      Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester are very nice sometimes. Why do you think there is still an attraction? I think it’s because they are so intense and passionate.

      Like

      • jessicabookworm
        April 30, 2015

        I have no idea what the attraction is for Heathcliff but then again I think Catherine is horrible too, so they deserve each other. They are fascinating to read about but I don’t like them. As for Mr Rochester I think he does have a passionate and even a kind side even if he has a brusque and often harsh exterior.

        Like

  5. Turn the Page Reviews
    April 28, 2015

    Love Rhett and Darcy- Rochester creeps me out a little.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 29, 2015

      Mr. Rochester creeped me out too a bit, but Michael Fassbender helped me change my mind. 🙂

      Like

  6. Sadly, I only know Holden Caufield and Mr. Darcy. I hated Holden and hated The Catcher in the Rye, so I don’t find him lovable at all. I find Mr. Darcy very lovable, but not necessarily a bad boy.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 29, 2015

      Yeah, The Catcher in the Rye really wasn’t for me either, but now that some time has passed I feel a little different about Holden. Even though we saw his soft side at the end of Pride and Prejudice, I feel like Mr. Darcy would go back to his grumpy, judgmental ways.

      Like

  7. Rebekah
    April 28, 2015

    My favorite literary bad boy is Sydney Carton from “A Tale of Two Cities.” As for your list, I personally don’t love Holden, Vronsky, or Gatsby (none of their excuses were good enough for me, lol), but I sort of love that you put Mr. Darcy in here. I might also add Ross Poldark and the Artful Dodger (actually, now that you’ve gotten me started . . .)
    Anyhow, fun list 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 29, 2015

      Oh, I didn’t even think of Sydney Carton. I can’t remember who, but I read another blogger’s comments somewhere about how much they adored Sydney and why. Maybe a list of your faves would make a good post one day.

      Like

  8. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy
    April 28, 2015

    Ooh nice list – this is kinda perfect for me, I love reading about bad boys (I don’t like them so much for real life- I don’t think… ) Mr. Rochester would be my tops for sure. I wouldn’t mind Mr. Darcy, and Sherlock if he looked like Cumberbatch. LOL I loved reading your list!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 29, 2015

      Yes, bad boys are definitely more palatable from a distance. Is Mr. Rochester’s passion for Jane what appeals to you? I feel like this is the key to his attractiveness because he really is a grumpy pants.

      Like

  9. Brian Joseph
    April 29, 2015

    This is a great list with some unexpected names.

    Including Sherlock Holmes is brilliant!

    Rebekah addition of Sydney Carton to the list is good one. That is another name that I think fits but who does not immediately come to mind.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 29, 2015

      Brian, I’m so happy you commented on this list. I agree Sherlock Holmes is brilliant and intelligence can be very attractive, although not know-it-alls. I never would have thought of Sydney Carton either, but he’s definitely a good choice.

      Like

  10. Great choice of topic this week! I LOVE Robin Hood, he is by far one of my most favorite literary characters. I’ve been meaning to read Sherlock Holmes for so long, but still haven’t gotten round to it. Hopefully soon! Happy reading 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 29, 2015

      I feel like we never hear about Robin Hood anymore, although Hollywood probably will do something soon because they’ve run out of ideas. I’m still waiting for someone to show the BBC series over here. The Sherlock Holmes stories are very easy to read. I hope you get the chance to check them out.

      Like

  11. lauratfrey
    April 29, 2015

    Alright, this is a topic I can get into… Vronsky? Yes. Heathcliff? HELL YES.

    Gatsby… eh. As played by Leo? Yessss.

    Darcy and Rochester – big meh.

    Robin Hood – haven’t read, so I also picture either a fox or Errol Flynn… now… I *love* Errol Flynn but in this movie he’s got this terrible bobbed hair and it’s just ew.

    Holden? No. I read CITR for the first time as a teen and it made me realize how awful teen boys are 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 29, 2015

      What is it about Heathcliff that you find so attractive? This is my obsession and same for Mr. Rochester. I find them off-putting, but then there’s something else I can’t quite put my finger on that makes me go hmm. Somebody better make a Robin Hood movie soon or he will go down in the annals of history as a fox!

      Like

      • lauratfrey
        May 4, 2015

        Heathcliff? Oh you know, brooding troubled bad boy, but I can fix him… I read WH at 16 and this informed by dating life for years lol… They did make a Robin Hood movie with Russel Crowe a few years ago but I don’t think anyone watched it!

        Like

        • ebookclassics
          May 4, 2015

          I’m probably the only person who watched Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood movie. He plays Robin Hood as both a gentleman and a warrior. Cate Blanchett is kick ass, of course. It’s as romantic as an action movie can get!

          Like

  12. A Great Book Study
    April 29, 2015

    I missed this one, but Rhett would have been on the top of my list, too!!!! I’m starting a reread of GWTW this week, and I cannot wait to meet Mr. Butler all over again. : D

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 29, 2015

      I’m joining the GWTW read-along too and can’t wait to get to know Rhett all over again. I read the book when I was in high school. Gah, I’m so old!

      Like

  13. iloveheartlandx
    April 29, 2015

    I love your choice of theme and I know of all the characters I just haven’t read the books (okay, I actually did read Jane Eyre for school, but I got bored and never finished it).
    Here’s my TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/top-ten-tuesdays-2/

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 30, 2015

      True, you can learn a lot about these characters just through pop culture. I didn’t read Jane Eyre until two years ago, long past high school. Maybe you’ll feel like giving the book another try some day.

      Like

  14. brynhottman
    May 2, 2015

    I love your photo for this post! It’s so sleek and modern. It even has an aztec feel to it.

    Like

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