Character names that ruined a novel for you.

…Or I hate you R.A. Salvatore.

All I can say is that after picking up the Dark Elf Trilogy by the aforementioned author that every time a certain characters name was written I rolled my eyes and lost my place in the book. Really, it is as bad as you think. All of the other characters had pseudo-fantasy names that at least looked foreign but this character. By Cromm(GO CONAN!), they could have meant something else. This name is so bad that it completely detracted from an otherwise decent story. It would have been better if he made up a name such as QWETBGHRU and said it meant what this characters name was in the story.

This name is so horrible that children in third world countries who can’t read or have even heard of “literature” would taunt it out of existence. It is a name that is so rediculous that it makes Mork from Ork seem like some type of shakespearean play on words. Even otherwise nonsentient forms of life snicker when they hear the horribleness of this name. It is totally gagworthy. If my eyes rolled up any higher in my head I would likely fall into a seizure.

What is the name you ask?

Get ready. Hold your breath and try not to roll your eyes or laugh because this is seriously the characterss name. :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek::eek: :eek: :eek: Matron Malice :eek: :eek: :eek::eek: :eek: :eek: ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!! (comic book guy)The absolute worst name ever. (/comic book guy)

I warned you. You can start gagging now. Are there any other characters with names that are so bad that they actually ruin a novel other than that?

Matron Malice? Oh wow. I don’t know what’s worse- little dark elves running around, or a evil British school marm knocking around all in her path with a spatula…or something. :slight_smile: Very hilarious.

Bilbo in the Hobbit always made me think of dildo…so you could say it detracted from the story line.

And Pip in Great Expectations always made me think of that line in “South Park”- “My name is Philip, but everyone calls me Pip, because they hate me.” “Then I shall call you Pip!” Well, maybe it didn’t always make me think of it…and it was a good book. But still. Pip. <snicker>

R.A. Salvatore has never demonstrated what I would call overwhelming respect for his reader’s intelligence. But, yes, that is a horrible name.

When I first read Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, it took me a long time to respect Hiro Protagonist’s name as anything other than a snide joke. (I got over it on my second read of the book).

And then there’s Humbert Humbert in Lolita. A book so clever and interesting in so many ways, but that name… it grates.

How about Wyoming Knott in Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress? To his credit, he only used the obvious joke about “Wye Knott?” once, but that damned name was there ll the time, taunting you.

For that matter, ya gotta wonder about the names of all those James Bond heroines… Pussy Galore???

Heh. I remember when I was first describing the book to a friend. “Yeah, its about this guy named Hiro.”
“No, Hir- waitaminute.”

Hiro Protagonist??? :eep: I don’t know if I could continue reading through that one. Matron Malice was really bad but that one is just the “good” version of her “evil” name. BLECH!

But he’s the Deliverator! Don’t farkin mess with him.

I’m thinking Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo is the worst name imaginable. Damn near everyone in the book stopped everything when that name was announced.

I can’t think of any names that ruined a novel (well, “Joe Christmas” in “Light In August” was pretty stupid, but so was William Faulkner), but I do know that Major Major Major Major absolutely MADE Catch-22.

I have a friend who is an aspiring writer and comes up with the worst character names ever. I swear she reaches into a bag of Scrabble tiles and throws a handful on the table. When I called her on the latest nonsense name, she said, “Well, it COULD be a name.” :rolleyes: Yeah, but if your reader keeps thinking about the stupidity of the name instead of whatever you’re trying to say with your book, you just lost them. Show your “creativity” some other way, hah?

Nah, I think Tarquin Fintimlinbinwhinbimlin Bus Stop-F’Tang-F’Tang-Ole-Biscuit-Barrel (look under “T”) is probably the worst name I’ve heard. Granted, it’s from a good Monty Python skit, but when you’re running for British Parliament?

FWIW, the new name I hate most in a book I’ve read is Rand, the hero from the Wheel of Time series. It makes him sound like something that’s been rotting in the sun. Then there’s Tam, his father, and Lan, his mentor. Does Robert Jordan know any other vowels?

The main character in American Gods was named Shadow. It was just a nickname, but really – every time I read that I slightly whimpered from the symbolic bludgeoning.

And it was Hiroaki Protagonist. I thought that name made the book, personally.

I can’t read “Day of the Locust” anymore without snickering.

Homer Simpson’s one of the characters.

Well, they don’t ruin the books, but Asimov’s goofball naming conventions have always been a small hurdle for me. I mean, Golan Trevize? Seriously?

Bilbo in the Hobbit always made me think of dildo…so you could say it detracted from the story line. [/quote
Dyslexics of the World Untie!


FWIW, Hiro Protagonist was not his real name. His first name was probably Hiro, but it is described in the book that Hiro Protagonist was a screenname that he took on as a realworld identity.
The one that has always bugged me is Marvin the paranoid android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… He was never, not once in all of the damn books even the least bit paranoid!

We’re this far into the thread and nobody’s mentioned Howard Roarke?

Modesitt’s Soprano Sorceress series wasn’t ruined for me, as such, but it was a little jarring to have a somewhat major character (the heir to the throne for whom the titular Sorceress is regent) in a more-or-less serious fantasy novel named…


Yes, Jimbob. Yes, it reeks of The Waltons meets Lord of the Rings. I couldn’t maintain suspension of disbelief past the second book, mostly because of that name.

Huckleberry Finn? Are you kidding me?