In a world where tears overwhelm smiles, tragic characters aren’t hard to find. Some bear the burden of epic tragedy while some are sublime in the poignant sorrow of their individual life. Here are the ones that left us shattered.
All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter! But if you ever had a corporate job, you would have lost it for good owing to your dilemma and confusion in decision making. It got you killed for good.
Anna Karenina — A feisty character struck by fated love and aristocratic hypocrisy. Joker would have loved to ask you “why so serious”?
Jean Valjean stands as a classic example of a tragic hero torn by internal struggles and battered by the hostilities of Inspector Javert. Tough luck Mr Valjean.
Tess of the D’Urbervilles has effortlessly proved with her hapless, helpless and unlucky life that bookish tragedies can be bigger than real life ones. Too bad.
Prince Hector confirmed that giant male ego is not a good thing, particularly while fighting legends. The story of his debacle still makes us cry and Hollywood makes a fortune out of it.
Troilus and Cressida: Farewell, bastard(s), (Act 5, Scene 7). Ahem!
Professor Snape, you seem to me like Batman, like umm… The Dark Knight. It is absolutely unnecessary to be so hell bent to take all the blame when you are a good guy. Silly, you know.
Prince Oberyn — When you have to kill, just kill and don’t talk. That’s a horrible way to die. It spoiled the entire GoT series for me.
So share your opinion and choices as well.
We love Penguin’s leather bound hardcovers. They basically cover good old classics. A lesser known but equally attractive offering is Gollancz’s Big Black Book series. There are just a few big black books in the series, but they offer some excellent compilations.
The Complete Chronicles of Conan by Robert E. Howard – Probably the only complete collection of original Conan stories. You are not a pulp fiction fan if you do not own this.
Conan’s Brethren: The Complete Collection by Robert E. Howard– The most unusual collection. It covers the exploits of the Solomon Kane, Howard’s first barbarian hero King Kull, Bran Mak Morn, Red Sonja and others.
Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales by HP Lovecraft – Unlike the Barnes and Noble edition, this is not a complete collection. However, in terms of presentation, it is vastly superior with excellent illustrations and a comprehensive afterword by Stephen Jones.
Eldritch Tales: A Miscellany of the Macabre by H.P. Lovecraft – Includes Lovecraft’s remaining major stories plus his weird poetry, nonfiction, and the critical essay Supernatural Horror in Literature.
The Complete Lyonesse (Lyonesse #1-3) by Jack Vance – An omnibus edition of Vance’s magnum opus. Like a goodreads review rightly mentioned “If Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is the greatest fantasy epic of the 20th century, then Lyonesse is surely the greatest fairy tale.”
Tarzan of the Apes & Other Tales by Edgar Rice Burroughs – A selective collection but the best Tarzan stories feature here.
The achievement of Gollancz BIg Black Book series is essentially its atypical selection of works along with great presentation. We have plenty of publishers playing safe with Dickens and Austen. Glad to see some good folks betting on Lovecraft and Howard.
Death Dealer is a 1973 fantasy painting by legendary pulp artist Frank Frazetta. Its popularity led to a variety of spin offs including comic books and novels. The novels were written by James Silke and there were five installments in the series. Though the books were criticized for being too simplistic, Frazetta’s intense touch gave them an eerie feeling. The plots were silly, the characters were underdeveloped, the story was a stereotypical sword and sorcery tale, but to a certain degree, they do bring to life the vivid imagination of Frazetta through brutally rendered imageries and savage emotions. The above cover art evokes a feeling of a nuclear apocalypse though Frazetta himself often denied it. It is not the first in the series but undoubtedly carries the same menace and grittiness of the original painting and of course, it is my personal favorite.
Book 1: Prisoner of the Horned Helmet
Book 2: Lords of Destruction
Book 3: Tooth and Claw
Book 4: Plague of Knives
Book 5: Rise Of The Death Dealer
Cover art: Tor Books (1988), artist — Frank Frazetta