Our Favorite Friendships in Fiction

Perhaps we remember the great romances more, but literature’s great friendships also provide us with many pleasurable reading experiences.

Fictional friendships — which are often more enduring than romances — can teach us, touch us, blunt our cynicism, and remind us of our own longtime pals. And if some of literature’s buddies have a falling out, the silver lining for readers is plenty of dramatic tension.

I love friendships of all types in literature, but my favorites are the ones that cross the lines of race, ethnicity, gender, and class. Those different-background relationships can be tricky in real life, so it’s especially nice to see them succeed in fiction.

One obvious multicultural pairing is Mark Twain’s Huck and Jim — a white boy and a slavery-escaping black man who gradually become close. Heck, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn could have been called The Friendship of Huckleberry Finn — and we’re not talking about Huck’s interactions with the annoying Tom Sawyer!

There are also the unshakable comrades Chingachgook and Natty Bumppo in James Fenimore Cooper’s five absorbing “Leatherstocking” novels. The final The Last of the Mohicans scene between the Native-American chief and the white hunter (aka Hawkeye, Deerslayer, Pathfinder, etc.) is one of the most touching depictions of friendship in literature.

Or how about Uncle Tom and young Eva in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Two admirable people who become interracial and intergenerational friends before circumstances turn tragic for each.

Another great example of friendship across age and class lines — this time with both characters white — is that of the working-class Mary and the older, more-moneyed Elizabeth in Tracy Chevalier’s historical novel Remarkable Creatures. Fossil hunting brings them together.

Mixed-gender friends? They include Jim and Antonia in Willa Cather’s excellent My Antonia, and none other than Harry Potter and Hermione Granger in J.K. Rowling’s mega-popular series.

Of course, many pals are the same gender and socioeconomically similar. One of the most memorable friendships in literature is between Jane Eyre and the sickly, religious, warmhearted Helen Burns (when both are kids) in Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel.

There’s also the prison friendship of Edmond Dantes and Abbe Farina in Alexandre Dumas’ rousing The Count of Monte Cristo, with the latter character doubling as a mentor; and the relationship between Dmitri and destined-for-prison Raskolnikov in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece Crime and Punishment — though Dmitri does most of the heavy lifting after the initial stages of that friendship.

Or how about “kindred spirits” Anne and Diana in L.M. Montgomery’s marvelous Anne of Green Gables?

In novels of more recent vintage, Terry McMillan’s appealing Waiting to Exhale features four friends (Savannah, Bernadine, Robin, and Gloria); John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany depicts a fascinating friendship between John and the very original Owen; Margaret Atwood’s terrific The Robber Bride chronicles the many-year relationship between Roz, Charis, and Tony, all three of whom share an enemy; and Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior includes the fun, satisfying friendship between Dellarobia and Dovey.

I haven’t even gotten into friendships between humans and animals in novels such as Jack London’s riveting The Call of the Wild and White Fang, Albert Payson Terhune’s poignant His Dog, and William H. Armstrong’s also-poignant Sounder.

Who are your favorite friends in literature?

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For three years of my Huffington Post literature blog, click here.

I’ve also written more than 50% of a literature-related book, but I’m still selling my often-funny Comic (and Column) Confessional memoir — which recalls 25 years of covering/meeting cartoonists such as Charles Schulz (“Peanuts”) and Bill Watterson (“Calvin and Hobbes”), columnists such as Ann Landers and “Dear Abby,” and other notables such as Hillary Clinton, Coretta Scott King, and various authors. The memoir also talks about the malpractice death of my first daughter, my remarriage, and life in New York City and Montclair, N.J. — where I write the award-winning weekly “Montclairvoyant” humor column for The Montclair Times. I can be contacted at dastor@earthlink.net to buy a discounted, inscribed copy of the book, which contains a preface by “Hints” columnist Heloise and back-cover blurbs by “The Far Side” cartoonist Gary Larson, among others.

147 thoughts on “Our Favorite Friendships in Fiction

  1. Here’s one I don’t believe anyone else has mentioned, and it’s one of my favorites: the 40-year friendship between Aurora Greenway and her maid, Rosie. Hollywood butchered that movie so badly, I don’t think anyone realizes how perfect the book is.

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    • Thanks for your comment, asuffusionofyellow! A friendship between people from two different stations in life can be especially wonderful to see. (Another example would be the bond between Adam Trask and his “servant” Lee in Steinbeck’s “East of Eden.”) Somehow, I’ve never read any novel by Larry McMurtry, which I need to rectify one of these days. 🙂

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    • If you look at Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s relationship in “Pride and Prejudice”, I think you find that most of the book is occupied with their growing “fondness”, or attraction, for each other, after they develop some sort of friendship in the beginning in which they are always communicating to each other throughout the novel, and the romance, many people say, doesn’t enter the novel until the end. Much great literature is about friendships that develop into romances.

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      • Well said, Eric! Jane Austen was a master at depicting friendships that grew into romances — as also happened in “Emma,” for instance. And you’re right that a lot of other great literature features couples whose relationships have that trajectory. Of course, there are also many cases where romances in literature don’t have that friendship foundation. 😦

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          • Eric, I can understand thinking a lot about “Pride and Prejudice”! It’s one of those magnificent novels I’d love to reread. As I might have mentioned before, I’ve only read each Austen novel once (except for “Northanger Abbey,” which I’ve yet to get to).

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  3. I’m surprised nobody ,especially our host, mentioned what may well be the most layered, nuanced and moving friendship in the history of fiction. Of course I’m referencing Calvin and Hobbes, even that little vixen Susie couldn’t separate a boy and his tiger .

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    • Ha, ha! Nice, Donny!

      And that comic strip contained fiction within fiction, because, as you know, Hobbes the tiger was real only to Calvin — while being a stuffed animal to everyone else.

      Also, “Calvin and Hobbes” has been collected in many books and was named after a couple of weighty writers (and thinkers): John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes.

      In short, there would have been some logic to my mentioning that comic. I think one of the space aliens Calvin often encountered prevented me from doing so… 🙂

      (By the way, Donny, new column coming tomorrow night or Monday.)

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    • I’d agree, if it weren’t for the more nuanced, more layered, more moving relationship of Ignatz and Krazy Kat, already comic strip legend decades before “Calvin and Hobbes” debuted. To say nothing of Offisa Pup’s impulse to thwart the course of true love, nor the over-avalability of bricks from Kelly’s brickyard.

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  4. There is a fine sort of mentoring friendship going on in Kazantzakis’ “Zorba”– in which a young intellectual type is warmed up to sensual life by the conversation and example of Zorba, a man he hires to be his foreman. The book is rife with sun and food and love and strife and poignancy, as well as moments of real comedy, but the central theme is the communication of lust for living by an older natural man to a younger man who has lived too long in his head. Zorba’s enthusiasms are practically boundless, and make him heedless in ways that sometimes surprise. When his young friend notices that one of his forefingers is missing, Zorba tells him he cut it off himself because it kept getting in the way when he was throwing pots!

    From what I remember, the circumstances under which this book was written are beyond extraordinary. The author and his circle of relative and friends were without much fuel or food during the Second World War, when Greek produce was commandeered by the Germans and sent to Germany, causing the starvation of tens of thousands. To keep warm and stave off the need for food, Kazantzakis moved around as little as possible and mostly stayed in bed, day and night. He wrote Zorba under the covers. The vitality and warmth and vigorous life denied to him in life, he made real on the page.

    The movie starring Anthony Quinn, I hope, has been seen by most. It follows the book in a general way, veering off in others. But Quinn is spectacular in the role of Zorba, despite being half-Irish and half-Mexican and no sort of Greek at all, except possibly in spirit.

    And on the subject of Kazantzakis, there is another friendship central his “St. Francis”– that between Francis and Brother Leo.

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    • Wonderful comment, jhNY!

      There are many mentoring friendships in literature, and “Zorba” sounds like a terrific example. (Somehow, I’ve never read the book or seen the movie or musical.) Thanks for describing the novel so vividly!

      And the way Nikos Kazantzakis wrote the book is indeed beyond extraordinary. Never knew about that, and am glad you recounted it.

      Another, very different, novel with a memorable mentoring relationship that becomes sort of a friendship is John Irving’s “The Cider House Rules,” with Dr. Wilbur Larch and the orphan/eventual medical assistant Homer Wells.

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      • Looking back over all the books over all the years, I have to say that somehow, Kazantzakis, not being even among my favorite dozen writers, managed to write two which had profound impacts on me: “St. Francis” and “Zorba the Greek”. Someday I may work up the appetite to tackle “The Last Temptation of Christ”, but so far I have hungered more for other forms of soul-sustenance.

        Bet you’d enjoy the movie– after which, you may want to tackle the book….

        Have read Irving, but not the one you cite. So many books, so little etc.

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        • Interesting how some authors can write one or two novels we love and other books that don’t grab us as much. For me, those in that category include Charlotte Bronte and Robert Louis Stevenson, among others I can’t think of at the moment! I will give Kazantzakis a try one of these days, but “so many books, so little time” also applies to this side of the Hudson. 🙂

          I’ve read only three Irving books myself: “The Cider House Rules” and “A Prayer for Owen Meany” (both of which I found compelling) and “The World According to Garp” (which I could take or leave).

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          • Zorba The Greek is one of the most remarkable movies I’ve ever seen! Anthony Quinn was delicious as the title character. I cannot imagine that he didn’t win the Academy Award for best actor, but he was up against Rex Harrison for My Fair Lady. I was so ignorant that I didn’t know it was based on a novel. Thanks for that information!

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            • Mary, I have also seen a number of movies I had no idea were based on a novel. Interesting how some films become more famous than the book they’re based on! “Forrest Gump” is another example.

              And it’s definitely unfortunate when some actors and actresses give great performances (like the one you describe by Anthony Quinn) in years when other actors and actresses also give great performances. Wonder if there have ever been co-winners in an Oscar category?

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          • I like other books and other authors more; but few books have moved me to the extent that those two by Kazantzakis did, during and for some time after reading. “Zorba” landed like an inspirational bomb in the middle of my college career, and helped me gather the strength inside to drop out and do what I wanted to do more– though I later returned and got the old sheepleskin. And “St. Francis” clarified in my mind the most revolutionary aspect of what I understood about Francis’ life and dedication– the immediate availability of such a life to anyone– anyone– who would lose the world and himself in acts of loving devotion.

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  5. Snow in August is a beautiful novel by Pete Hamill which tells the poignant story of a young Irish boy who befriends an elderly Rabbi in Brooklyn a few years after WWII. They learn a great deal about each other built through trust and mutual respect which starts with curiosity,opening ones safety net,putting aside predispositions on religion,ethnicity. Both solace and escape exchanged in their tender friendship. Highly recommended book.

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    • Thanks, Michele, for mentioning “Snow in August” and for your lovely description of it! I haven’t read it, but did read Pete Hamill’s “Forever” about a year ago and was impressed with his fiction-writing abilities (which, as you know, go along with his stellar journalistic abilities). In case you haven’t read it, “Forever” is about man who can live…forever, as long as he doesn’t leave Manhattan. He’s eventually almost 300 years old in the novel, experiencing firsthand the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, 9/11, etc.

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  6. I remember reading somewhere that the real theme of Great Expectations is friendship, Herbert Pocket is a true friend to Pip and, in a strange way, so is Estella. It’s a sad book but very moving.

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    • Ambiguous, apparent, and even obtuse themes still propel the longevity of “Great Expectations.” It is always a class favorite for AP students since it gives them so much to write about while still allowing for competing analyses. Joe, Biddy, and Herbert stay loyal to Pip, but does he stay loyal to them? One can write about that for hours.

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      • Great comment and question, Eric! In a friendship, as you observe, one of the friends can be more of a friend than the other. Certainly the case with Dmitri and Raskolnikov in “Crime and Punishment” and Daniel and Hans in “Daniel Deronda” (Dmitri and Daniel are more loyal in each friendship).

        Glad students are still intrigued by “Great Expectations”!

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          • Raskolnikov certainly couldn’t be accused of the “crime” of cheeriness. 🙂

            There’s a bit of back story in Dostoyevsky’s novel of Raskolnikov being helpful to Dmitri during their student days. If I’m remembering right, that was one of the things that helped Raskolnikov get a shorter-than-expected sentence.

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          • Thanks, Eric! Yes, definitely not on the same wavelength.

            A very different but also unequal “friendship” is in Nabokov’s “Pale Fire.” Charles Kinbote tries to be pals with the accomplished poet John Shade, but Shade basically sees Kinbote (rather accurately!) as a fawning inferior.

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  7. Hello Dave, absolutely right, fictional friendships can be very enriching to read. I don’t think anyone has mentioned the long friendship between John Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in Patrick O’Brian’s novels – unusually long (20 novels!), full of convincing changes both subtle and startling as they advance from relative youth to middle age.

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    • Thanks for the great comment, IanswertoRachael! You’re right that no one has mentioned that Aubrey/Maturin friendship, and I’m glad you did. A friendship over the course of 20 books must be an amazing thing to witness, especially with the characters aging.

      I’ve read novels showing friends over a course of five books (Natty and Chingachgook in James Fenimore Cooper’s work), seven books (Harry Potter and friends), and so on, but never through 20 books. I’m impressed.

      After I post this, I will look at your blog!

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  8. The Friend of Your Youth is the only friend you will ever have, for he does not really see you. He sees in his mind a face that does not exist anymore, speaks a name – Spike, Bud, Snip, Red, Rusty, Jack, Dave – which belongs to that now nonexistent face but which by some inane doddering confusion of the universe is for the moment attached to a not happily met and boring stranger. But he humors the drooling doddering confusion of the universe and continues to address politely that dull stranger by the name which properly belongs to the boy face and to the time when the boy voice called thinly across the late afternoon water or murmured by a campfire at night or in the middle of a crowded street said, “Gee, listen to this–’On Wenlock Edge the wood’s in trouble; His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves–’” The Friend of Your Youth is your friend because he does not see you anymore.

    And perhaps he never saw you. What he saw was simply part of the furniture of the wonderful opening world. Friendship was something he suddenly discovered and had to give away as a recognition of and payment for the breathlessly opening world which momently divulged itself like a moonflower. It didn’t matter a damn to whom he gave it, for the fact of giving was what mattered, and if you happened to be handy you were automatically endowed with all the appropriate attributes of a friend and forever after your reality is irrelevant. The Friend of Your Youth is the only friend you will ever have, for he hasn’t the slightest concern with calculating his interest or your virtue. He doesn’t give a damn, for the moment, about Getting Ahead or Needs Must Admiring the Best, the two official criteria in adult friendships, and when the boring stranger appears, he puts out his hand and smiles (not really seeing your face) and speaks your name (which doesn’t really belong to your face), saying, “Well, Jack, damned glad you came, come on in, boy!”

    ― Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

    Remembered this from college daze, and thanks to that series of tubes they call the internets, locating it was a snap. Had forgotten just how good RPW was….ENJOY!

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  9. Another series of books comes to my mind Trilogy..the friendship and strong loyalty between Blomkowick and Lisbeth Salander fictional characters created by Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson. She is the main character of Larsson’s award-winning Millennium series along with Mikael Blomkvist.They had a complex relationship both had gone through a great length to save the other from harm`s way almost from death. Everyone in Lisbeth`s life had let her down in a bad way…in spite of tiny stature she was strong , but had trust issue. one time Blomkowick tells her .”Friendship-my definition is build on two things, respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don`t have trust,the friendship will crumble.”
    The author died..before writing several more he planned on this the book ended…with more possibilities for more .

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    • Thanks for the terrific comment, bebe! Great description of the relationship between those two characters. And the quote you cited defines friendship VERY well.

      I STILL have to read that trilogy (or at least the first book). I’ve had it on my list forever. Or since you recommended it two or so years ago. 🙂

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      • Much has been written on Pride and Prejudiced in this article Dave. The close friendship between Elizabeth and Jane comes to my mind, Both were loyal to their family and would do anything for each other. Elizabeth always quick to judgement was ready to sacrifice her strong feelings for Darcy by mistakenly accusing Darcy for the breakup of Bingley and Jane.
        Jane on the other hand with her gentle spirits was devoid of all kinds of prejudice would also protect her sister at any cost.

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        • bebe, I’m very glad that “Pride and Prejudice” has been mentioned more than once — and that you mentioned it again! Excellent take on those “P&P characters.

          Jane Austen’s novels were intensely character-based — certainly not plot-driven adventure tales 🙂 — so a LOT of friendships ended up being depicted. Many positive, and some not so positive — with an example of the latter being the carousing pals Tom Bertram and John Yates in “Mansfield Park.”

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        • When looking at the relationship of these two sisters, Jane and Elizabeth, it seems a good play off the not so nice younger sister, who used such bad judgment and had such cravings to be with a man, almost any man. Great writing and good comparisons. The respect theme throughout was pronounced, and made the story such a success. First and foremost character trait of both Jane and Elizabeth, and then carried forward to their love lives. Great examples that before love, should always come respect. Great reading, but also satisfying, thought provoking concepts.

          Enjoyed your comment, bebe.

          Nice, Dave! Thanks again.

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          • Thank you for your great comment dear Anon.
            The bad judgement by the other sisters, pathetic behavior by their mother the drama queen, Caroline Bingley`s constant scheming and lastly Lady Catherine de Bourgh `s persistent demand to Elizabeth who dared to defy her ladyship..brought the two sisters even closer.

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  10. Dave, I know you and a commenter mentioned Jane Austen, which led me to think about the fake or false friendships in most of her works. There are Jane Bennet/ Caroline Bingley in P&P; Fanny Price/Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park; Elinor Dashwood/Lucy Steele in S&S; Isabella Thorpe/Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey; and to some degree Emma Woodhouse/Harriet Smith in Emma. I thought one of the strongest friendships in all of Austen’s works, was that between Anne Elliot and Mrs.Smith, a lady impoverished because of a relative of Anne’s.

    The other thing that struck my fancy was a mention of Albert Payson Terhune. I don’t remember reading “His Dog,” but I loved his works about the collies of Sunnybank farm.

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        • “Pride and Prejudice” is one of my all-time favorite books because of the emphasis of the importance of family and friends; one can always depend on the other.

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          • Well said, Eric!

            Austen certainly portrayed family dynamics (as well as friendships) in a masterful way.

            I’d like to reread the great “Pride and Prejudice” one day. I have read each Austen novel only a single time (except for “Northanger Abbey,” which I haven’t gotten to yet).

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            • I generally read it in class, every year or so, because it has a tremendous ability to hook students in, boys as well as girls, when friends seemingly have nothing in common and are sometimes very opposite in character.

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              • Eric, so glad your students like “P&P,” and that you’re introducing that iconic novel to new generations.

                And, yes, people can be very different and still be good friends. I have several such friends myself!

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    • Kat Lib, excellent point about Jane Austen’s work — which has such an interesting mix of sincere and fake friendships. Austen could spot (and depict) a phony from a mile away. Thanks for naming so many Austen pairings — including the memorable Anne Elliot/Mrs.Smith friendship in the wonderful “Persuasion.”

      “His Dog” is a lesser-known work by the great Terhune. But it’s so touching that I’ve read it several times (it’s fairly short). It’s about a struggling New Jersey farmer who finds an injured, very fancy collie at the side of the road and…

      Terrific comment!

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  11. Claudia and don from the rosie project Don does little nice things for Claudia whose husband doesn’t love her as much as she loves him Claudia helps don who is very kind but very romantically challenged try to find a wife.

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    • Great to hear from you, Kristy, and thanks for the mention/excellent description of “The Rosie Project” and its characters! Nice to have a very recent book mentioned here amid a number of older classics. 🙂

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  12. I could wrack my brain and possibly come up with a list of pals in lit, but for some reason the topic has caused me to recall a strange and exhilarating reading experience from the long-ago days of my boyhood: The Dave Dawson books, a series of bloodthirsty and improbable wartime aerial adventures taking place in all theatres of the Second World War–or damn close.

    Dave and his English pal, Freddy Farmer, meet in France just as the invasion begins (Freddy there already as a volunteer ambulance driver– yet shows no Hemingwayan inclinations otherwise, except for a cheerful demeanor during the discharge of firearms), and soon become fast friends in combat, and combat pilots. They serve in Russia, the Pacific, North Africa, over Britain, and wherever they fly, the burned and screaming hulks of machine-gunned enemy planes tumble to earth or sea or whatever happens to be below them when they meet our fighting friends.

    In one of the series, I remember as a boy of ten counting up the planes the boys had sent to ruin– by page fifty, about fifty. Of course, Dave and Freddy are occasionally wounded and even shot down themselves, and serve, each of them, in both British and American uniforms, but mostly, they kill the enemy wherever they are in droves and dozens, their bonds of friendship occasionally tested, but never broken, as the war progresses across the globe.

    I was born a half-dozen years after the Second World War had ended, and was very much a creature of my times, sneaking peeks at my father’s war books years before it was age-appropriate, and absorbing the afterglow of emotions regarding our various enemies in the conflict from veterans, Popeye cartoons, Walter Cronkite’s “The Twentieth Century”, afternoon B-movie broadcasts, etc. The war was, well into the late 50’s, the defining period in the lives of everybody, parents and children alike, even among those of us too young to have directly experienced any part of it.

    In the heat and fear that wartime percolates amongst participants,much purple prose is spilled in the cause of morale, and in that atmosphere, the Dawson books were written, cheerfully bloodthirsty, yet managing to preserve that naivete and friendly rivalry and death-defying loyalty to each other that lie at the heart of boys’ books of adventure. Dave Dawson was a sort of war porn for growing boys– and there was nothing else like these books around in the 50’s, or since.

    I had discovered them, around age eight, in a used bookstore (the last one was published in 1946, I think) I often visited with my father– Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books were a dime apiece, or possibly a quarter– as were the Dave Dawson books. Alone in my room, I would get worked up to a fever pitch as my heroes destroyed, more or less, all enemies in their sights, flying, running, shooting back or trying to escape. I knew, even as a young boy, they were unreal, and maybe just a wee bit sick. But every one I got hold of, I read as fast as I could, as fast as Dave and Freddy could kill, almost.

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    • Loved your comment on many levels, jhNY!

      I hadn’t been familiar with the Dave Dawson books (though my father was a WWII veteran), but you really made them come alive with your spectacular description of them. And with your amazing memory of them. Interesting how certain books and other things are imprinted in our brains for decades.

      Your comment also brings up the important point that wartime friendships (even somewhat-hard-to-believe ones) are a major category of friendships in fiction. Those friendships are very intense — partly, of course, because one can die at any minute.

      I’m currently reading (and liking) Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and the Spanish Civil War friendships between the American bridge bomber Robert and his Spanish guide Anselmo and between Robert and the admirable Pilar are wonderfully depicted.

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      • The destruction wreaked by those boys was immense and total sometimes. After I had written my comment, I recalled a scene taking place over Ploesti or some other such huge refinery plant, in which Goering, Goebbels, Himmler and even possibly Hitler himself had gathered for some sort of Nazi ceremony, possibly the opening or expansion of the place. At novel’s end, Dave and Freddy have bombed the place and everybody in it to a patch of roaring flames. Good times.

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  13. A lot of the ones that come to mind have been mentioned already, LOTR for one, mentioning the four hobbits, but the bond between Frodo and Sam becomes even more touching when they are alone. The weight of the ring on Frodo becomes so heavy, Sam has to carry Frodo. And when all hope seems lost, Sam tells Frodo, “It’s good to be here with you at the end of all things.”

    Someone mentioned Huck Finn and Jim, but in that other great 19th century American novel, Moby-Dick what about Ishmael and Queequeg, who meet in the unlikely circumstance of sharing a bed in a New Bedford inn. Ishmael is unnerved but quickly accepts the situation and declares, “Better to share a bed with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.”

    The most endearing aspects of friendship in any story are loyalty, sacrifice, and love.

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    • You’re right, Joe. While the four hobbits were indeed buddies, it was the Frodo/Sam relationship that was the key one — and, as you note, a VERY poignant one.

      Great mention of the Ishmael/Queequeg friendship — one of the most unique in literature. That inn scene is incredibly funny and interesting — and the quote you cited…well, it doesn’t get much better than that! 🙂

      “…loyalty, sacrifice, and love” — certainly three pillars of friendship.

      Excellent comment! Thanks!

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      • Having read “Moby Dick” again in the last few years, my observation is fresh, at least. I found the Ishmael/Queequeg friendship under-developed, after what it seems to promise in the novel’s early pages. But then, given the overall length of the book, and its overall loftier aims, I think I see why, but still…

        Moby Dick strikes me as a conventional sea adventure, in its original conception, that grows into something altogether else as Melville works. The foundational form is very much visible, but like the Pequod itself, has many exotic parts carved out of finer stuff and fitted to the author’s uses. The sea adventure has conventions, and Melville adheres to some, and eschews others. Overall, he elected to de-emphasize shipboard life, and the relations among the men in Moby Dick, at least by comparison to a more standard sea adventure. One of the greatest casualties of this decision is the friendship between Queequeg and Ishmael.

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        • Very interesting, jhNY, and eloquently expressed! You’re right — once they go to sea, Queequeg and Ishmael don’t interact as much, partly because the former is an important harpooner (harpoonist?) while Ishmael is more an average sailor. But their pre-voyage interaction was so memorable.

          I also agree that “Moby-Dick” is a fascinating amalgam. Conventional sea adventure, treatise on obsession, encyclopedia on whaling, and much more.

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          • I prefer to think of it as an experimental novel, above all else– but it turned out that way through honest work and, I would imagine, several epiphanies and rethinkings along the way.

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            • Yes, very experimental — especially when one thinks about how most other literature of the time was more…what’s the word…straightforward or something.

              Then, as you know, Melville, continued his unconventional approach with the controversial “Pierre” novel and amazing short stories such as “Bartleby, the Scrivener.”

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                • Yes, Melville’s muse became much more rich and complex — and he didn’t want to stifle that despite many readers and critics not being happy that he wasn’t still writing “Typee”-like stuff.

                  Posthumously vindicated, of course, but lived several unhappy decades before he died.

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                  • I have since given it as a gift to a pal in the English Lit biz , but I once had a pasteboard card which entitled the bearer (perhaps I already told you this tale–old age causes redundancy in many ways) to meet Andrew Carnegie at the Author’s Club here in NYC. The card was signed by Brander Matthews, a Columbia professor whose collection of theatrical stuff is still housed under his name at the library there. He, as Author’s Club president, invited a very old Melville to the club so as to meet and be admired by younger members– so far as I am aware, it was the only such literary jaunt offered to him in his obscure old age. He was warmly received and very moved to have been asked. I got a little thrill holding the card that had been touched by a hand that once shook Melville’s. And not so much of a thrill to think it had also touched the hand of the guy that helped bring us the Johnstown Flood as well as a lot of steel and libraries.

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                    • Wow — amazing to have had that card! And it’s touching that Melville got at least a tiny bit of recognition during his obscure years working at the New York Customs House and writing so-so, little-read poetry.

                      As for Andrew Carnegie — typical robber baron who does awful things and then tries to sanitize his reputation by doling out some money. There’s a Carnegie library in my New Jersey town (a branch library, not the main one I use) and it does look nice — like most Carnegie library buildings do.

                      Thanks for sharing that great story about Melville!

                      Like

  14. I scrolled past all the preceding comments so I can’t state unequivocally that I won’t mention an already mentioned friendship. First one that came to mind was Frodo and Sam from ‘Lord of the Rings’. This one, however, is unequal. Sam has self-appointed himself as Frodo’s servant and Frodo is happy to comply with that kind of relationship. Of course, without Sam the ring would not have been destroyed because by the end Frodo was so corrupted by it that he probably wouldn’t have done it alone. You already mentioned Huck and Jim although, again, it’s unequal although Huck is open to equalizing it. The status changes to such an extent that when Huck plays a Tom Sawyer-like trick on Jim Jim is justified in shaming Huck for it. Ishmael and Queequeg from ‘Moby-Dick’ are another friendship of ‘unequal’ status. I can’t recall Queequeg speaking much in that novel so it seems that it was largely a non-verbal friendship. I blame the language barrier for most of that.

    Of the books I’ve read most recently, in the ‘Song of Ice and Fire’/’Game of Thrones’ series Jon Snow and Samwell (another Sam) Tarly are another unequal friendship. Sam is a coward and he’s the first to admit it. Jon has shown his bravery repeatedly. So it’s more like the guy that’s proven himself in the class taking the nerd that everyone shuns under his wing. The friendship equalizes but when Jon is ‘promoted’ that equality is threatened.

    In ‘Middlemarch’ there’s a friendship of sorts between the sexes–Dorothea and Lydgate. Lydgate is so used to categorizing women and none of the ones he’s acknowledged as attractive so far has exhibited the intelligence and self-possession of Dorothea. So he doesn’t know how to process this at first. As Dorothea proves to be one of his last and most loyal defenders at which point she attains the status of ‘saint’ in his mind. Again, an unequal friendship.

    I don’t know if many friendships in literature or life can ever be considered totally equal. More often than not one is more aggressive, confident, dominant than the other. Yet the ones that come to mind for literature all contain some imbalance in the interpersonal equilibrium.

    BTW, I like the fact that comments here don’t have the restricted length limit of Huffington Post. But enough HP bashing. I still look at the site. I just haven’t posted anything on it since your last article a couple of months ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian, thanks for your wonderful and wide-ranging comment about friends, unequal or otherwise. Friendships indeed are almost never exactly equal.

      One of the many great points you made especially struck me — Dorothea and Lydgate were indeed friends of a sort in “Middlemarch.” I hadn’t thought of that when reading that superb novel a few months ago. 🙂

      And Ishmael and Queequeg of “Moby-Dick” were indeed kind of friends across a very wide cultural chasm, starting with that amazing scene in the inn bedroom.

      Thanks, also, for all your other insights.

      Yes, the HP word limit could get frustrating at times. I don’t visit that site much more myself; occasionally I’ll comment under a blog post by someone I know. I just feel HP mistreated commenters and freelance bloggers in all sorts of ways.

      Like

      • I, on the other hand, visit the Books section of HP daily, in search of something I never find– I’m pretty sure just about all of what I’m missing has migrated: here.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, jhNY! Very kind of you to say! Many superb commenters — including yourself — did indeed migrate here, which I’m grateful for and happy about. 🙂

          I haven’t looked at HP’s “Books” section since about a month ago. Did have withdrawal symptoms for a while, after looking at that section multiple times a day for three years. I imagine there’s still some good stuff here and there amid the…not-so-good stuff.

          Like

          • The Books section, like the NYC section, seems a bit deadish now– as if it’s being run part-time on automatic pilot from a remote location, though there are certain reliables, chief being “Amazing New Sculptures of Kittycats Made by Carving Nasty Old Books With a Paring Knife You Probably Already Have Lying Around in a Drawer–Check Your Kitchen!!!” or something close. And shorter.

            Liked by 1 person

            • LOL! Those “clickbait” headlines sure get tiresome after a while. I liked the mix of serious and trivial content HP’s “Books” section used to have (if I’m remembering correctly and not romanticizing the past), but I think the balance tipped toward the more trivial.

              I think you’re on to something with the partly automatic-pilot thing. I wonder if there have been editorial staff reductions or more content dictates from top HP/AOL execs not versed in books, or a combination of both.

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                • So true, jhNY! The AOL purchase in 2011 was the start of HP’s descent. AOL is among the worst of the worst media companies.

                  It’s interesting to wonder what would have happened if HP remained independent. I suspect it still would have become more corporate, tabloid-y, and reader-and-blogger unfriendly, but probably at a slower rate.

                  Like

  15. Dave, what a thoughtful topic! Unsurprisingly the first friendship that came to my mind was Anne and Diana’s! But not their childhood friendship, as deep and enduring as that was, but this line about them as 30-something adults, after they’d spent a rare day together visiting old haunts and walking down memory lane together:

    “They went quietly, silently, lovingly, home together, with the sunset glory burning on the old hills behind them and their old unforgotten love burning in hearts.”

    When I was young I found that moving and knew they were friends forever, but I didn’t really understand its meaning the way I do now and it’s one of those lines that has always stayed with me.

    I love your mention of the friendship of Jane Eyre and Helen Burns (who her biographer Elizabeth Gaskell claimed represented Charlotte Brontë’s older sister Maria) – that was such a heartbreaking and much-too-short one, but one that proves length does not determine a true friendship.

    Also, I love love LOVE your mention of human/animal friendships!!! I read and loved many of Albert Payson Terhune’s books as a child plus countless other animal books, and to this day I would chose animals over the majority of humans.

    On a lighter note – I always loved the friendship between Cathy and Charlene in the Cathy comic strip. My best friend’s name is Charlene, I used to be a lot like Cathy, and there were times that things happening with us paralleled the fictional Cathy and Charlene’s lives to a kind of unsettling degree!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the wonderful comment, Lily!

      Superb quote you excerpted about the older Anne and Diana! And great point about how it (and other literary passages) affect us differently at different ages.

      There were definitely some wonderful moments in the many “Anne of Green Gables” sequels. And, as you know, L.M. Montgomery could write like a dream.

      I didn’t know Helen represented Charlotte Bronte’s older sister! (Thanks for that information!) But it makes sense. What an emotional experience it must have been for Bronte to write about the Helen-Jane relationship. And you’re absolutely right that a friendship doesn’t have to be long to be true.

      Albert Payson Terhune was such an excellent, poignant writer. I actually like “His Dog” better than his better-known “Lad: A Dog.” Animals are indeed more appealing than many humans.

      Last but not least, I loved you “Cathy” comic paragraph. I thought the strip got a bit tired after a number of years, but in its prime it was wonderful — and, as you note, the characters (with all their humor, insecurities, etc.) definitely seemed real.

      Like

  16. Just saw this wonderful post…the first book comes to my mind is ” Of Mice and Men ” by one of my favorite author John Steinbeck. The complex friendship of George Milton and Lennie Small the two migrant ranch workers..
    George was bright and intelligent and Lennie a strong man in his stature but mentally challenged. George is always looking after his companion and the trouble they encountered of Lennie`s childlike fascination of touching soft objects to touch was totally unaware of his physical strength.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words, bebe! “Of Mice and Men” contains a VERY memorable friendship — among several great ones in the great Steinbeck’s novels. Other examples would be Tom Joad and Jim Casy in “The Grapes of Wrath” and Lee and Adam in “East of Eden” — though the latter stretches the bounds of friendship a bit because Lee is Adam’s servant/housekeeper. Yet they were essentially equals and pals.

      Excellent description of the George/Lennie relationship! (Will “like” your comment as soon as I move to my newer laptop in another room; the old one I’m on now doesn’t allow me to “like”!)

      Liked by 1 person

    • LIKE: (I still still didn’t fix the bug about liking, dear 🙂

      A good example from a wonderful book, indeed, bebe. A good example of friends as people looking after each other.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Hi Dave, The Count of Monte Chgristo again! I was missing the mention of the book 🙂

    Eric took away the two examples that came to my mind when I read your article. So I want to mention a German writer, not considered “good” literature by some, a bit controversial, and his books considered kids, rather youth literature (like that would be no art)… Anyways, one of the reason he’s controversial is that he wrote travel adventures, but never ever was in the places / countries he wrote about. All imagination from books he had read and his own fantasies. And these fantasies took him to create two famous couples of friends. One series of books in “Wild West” is dominated by the friendship between a German engineer/fighter and an Apache Indian chief. Though, of course, not anthropologically correct and all romantic picture of Indians (first nations), his books did a lot for a positive view on Indians in general. The other couple is another German scholar (of what, I forgot) who is travelling through what was the Osman empire mainly, and north Africa, and his Arabic guide-friend, living through books full of adventures. Both series of books and the friendships – though unrealistic – make for a lot of interest in foreign regions in young people. They may be a bit unreal for young kids nowadays, and awfully moralistic, but still, great friendships and adventures!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, there are some novels that do get multiples mentions in my posts. 🙂 And if I ever write a post on “Enemies in Literature,” I can mention “The Count of Monte Cristo” again!

      Fascinating paragraph about that German writer. What’s his name? I’m impressed with authors who can compellingly depict places they’ve never been to and people (of certain ethnic groups) they’ve never met — even if those depictions have certain inaccuracies. Imagination (hopefully combined with some research) is an amazing thing.

      Thanks for the great comment, littleprincess!

      Like

      • The writer to whom littleprincess refers is very likely to be Karl May, beloved of Einstein and Hitler, to name but two in his legion of mostly male admirers.

        The wikipedia entry for him is fascinating.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you very much for naming that author, jhNY! Somehow I had never heard of him. His Wikipedia entry is indeed compelling reading. Interesting fan-base diversity, with Einstein and Hitler!

          Like

        • jay, that’s unfair to the author, he wrote way before this idiot started out to shape his crude .. I don’t know if it can be called an ideology.

          May on the other hand had his ideology, it looks Christian on the first glance, but I think it is more close to the kind of deism (?) that Goethe stands for (no, I am not comparing their literature). If you know May, do you happen to know Arno Schmidt who wrote this wonderful book “Sitara” about him?

          And btw, as a girl I found May’s travel stories and adventures very luring to go and see the world and meet people from different cultures, and I know other girls felt like that, too.

          I must go and look up the wiki entry, thank you.

          Liked by 1 person

          • little princess, I see on Wikipedia that Karl May died in 1912, long before Hitler’s rise, so thankfully he didn’t know he had a gruesome mass-murderer as a fan. And, as you note, having Hitler as a fan was in no way May’s fault! Plus the other fan (Einstein) mentioned by jhNY was a genius and humanitarian who fled Hitler. Ironic…

            Very interesting thoughts about May’s ideology, appeal, and more. Thanks for sharing them.

            I look forward to seeing jhNY’s response!

            Like

          • I do not blame May for his famous fans, and was not trying to tie May to Hitler’s politics. Nor do I blame Wagner for Hitler’s very public enthusiasm for his music (though Wagner’s anti-Semitism, tinged though it is by his own secret belief that he was the bastard son of a Jew–later disproved by geneologists– is in itself repellent).

            May might be “blamed” for his inventive exoticism, in that he helped maintain a wordview for millions in which the distinction between the white European and the colorful savage is ever-emphasized. The European project of colonialism, begun long before May’s birth and contnuing however humbly to this day, gave rise to such constructions in popular entertainment.

            As I write this, I am reminded of the French painter Rousseau, championed but bewildered by Picasso and other Paris-based radical painters in the early years of the 20th century. He never left the city, but painted many jungle and desert scenes, using picture books and stategic visits to botanical gardens to realize his visions. May did something similar, but with a great deal more success to show for it in his lifetime. Of course, now, Rousseau is far more well-known than May.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Stellar comment, jhNY. Writers can usually control what they write and composers can usually control what they compose, but they can’t control who their fans are or will be. Of course, as you allude to, there can be parts of a writer’s or composer’s worldview that attract “crazies,” but, heck, some “crazies” are also attracted to creators with completely admirable worldviews!

              Like

      • Also good for columns on “Great Escapes in Literature”, “Interesting Prison Cells”, “Revenge and Forgiveness”……. oh, I wish I had the time…

        I see jayhNY has already given his name and told you about him. I should add the scandal at the time was that May pretended to the audience that he indeed had been at those places, experienced those adventures and presented objects to prove that. You could say he was a fraud, or that he dived to deeply into the realm of his imagination.
        I think for us, more than a 100 years later, that’s irrelevant, we can enjoy the fact that someone’s imagination can take him that far without getting risiculous. Had he written sci-fi instead of travel books he wouldn’t have gotten into trouble.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, many column ideas come to mind. 🙂 Thanks for naming some excellent ones.

          What a fascinating literary life May had, with his astounding imagination and with the pretending he was at places he wrote about. I’ll see if my local library has a book of his.

          Great point about sci-fi authors, littleprincess. The ones who wrote/write about outer space certainly couldn’t have been there. Well, maybe the moon. 🙂

          Like

  18. Hope you had a great vacation, Dave.
    When I think of literary friendships that subject spans ages and civilizations. The first friendship in literature just might be between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Not only are they friends, but they are both typical foils: Gilgamesh, reason and culture; Enkidu, wild, and emotional.
    Down through the ages, there have been Holmes and Watson, another pair of typical foils. George and Lennie from “Of Mice and Men” could also be in that category, but they might border on more dependency rather than true friendship. Aramis, Porthos, D’Artagnon, and Athos from “The Three Musketeers” could also be friends, but more colleagues than true friends. Elizabeth and Charlotte, and Charles Bingley and Mr. Darcy from “Pride and Prejudice” are additionally great friendships.
    Scout, Jem and Dill Harris from “to Kill a Mockingbird. Telemachus and Peisistratus from the Odyssey come to mind along with other people from The Iliad that I don’t think I could spell properly right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for mentioning Gilgamesh and Enkidu, it is interesting that the first (that we know of) piece of literature makes friendship a strong theme.
      And soon as I saw that Dave found an opportunity to include Dumas 🙂 , I thought of the three musketeers. And I contradict you: I think they are true friends, they stay apart in much of their lives, yes, but isn’t that friendship, too – to be there for each other, but go about things also that are important to yourself only?!

      Liked by 1 person

      • In “The Three Musketeers” saga, I think in “20 Years Later,” or whatever you consider to be Book 2 of the Musketeer chronology, I think they mention that they are bound by their duty to the Musketeer Code and not to friendship, though they do become better friends in “The Man in the Iron Mask”, the final book in the Three Musketeers saga.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m sorry, it’s been a while since I read the books, and I wasn’t aware of what they said. Maybe it was my imagination and wishes that created the friendship? I remember I liked that friends can be without doing everything together all the time.

          Liked by 1 person

      • littleprincess, that was a wonderful description of friendship in “The Three Musketeers” and an eloquent take on friendship in general! Thanks! You made great points about how friends can be apart for a long time yet the connection is still very much there, and that friendship often works best when pals are independent of each other in significant ways.

        Like

        • Here in Japan, I had a few harrowing experiences when instinct just takes over and I find myself on the wrong side of the road. I don’t even feel comfortable driving while seated on the right-hand side of the car.

          I wasn’t able to remember one of the greatest friendships in the Classical Age, that of Achilles and Patroclus. I think I just mentioned “The Iliad”. Movies always portray them as relatives. I think it is because their friendship, along with that of the characters of Watson and Holmes, might be perceived as being something more than they are.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Eric, I can imagine how harrowing that would be, when you first learned to drive on one side of the car and road and now drive on the other. In all my trips abroad I never rented a car, so I haven’t experienced that.

            And thanks for your very interesting second paragraph! My reading of the ancient classics is unfortunately limited; I would like to remedy that one day. Yes, friendships can be complicated, and might be perceived as something more. Excellent point!

            Like

          • In fact Homer says they were cousins (on father’s side, of course), and many scholars say they were lovers. Which would explain Achilles’ outrage so much better IMO.

            Liked by 1 person

          • And as you’re in Japan, perhaps it would be also appropriate to mention those Samurai tales which are still read there today, in which friendship is a matter of honor and life and death, and sometimes a bit more intimate than we in the West might expect when we happen upon a translation…

            Liked by 1 person

            • There were certainly some deep and complex friendships in “Shogun,” a Samurai tale that was of course written by a non-Japanese author. I thought James Clavell’s novel was mesmerizing.

              Like

    • Thanks, Eric! I did have a good vacation, albeit one with too much driving. I never want to get in a car again. 🙂

      Excellent comment — and you certainly went way back. Holmes and Watson and George and Lennie are great additions to this discussion, and illustrate a fascinating subcategory of friends in literature — those who may not be intellectual equals, but still get along for the most part.

      The four men from “The Three Musketeers” — definitely! And I loved the way Dumas depicted their relationship(s) in the various sequels (including those you mentioned). Whether the Musketeer Code or friendship or both, very memorable — and poignant as the four grew much older.

      Jane Austen was amazing at depicting friendship (as well as family) in “Pride and Prejudice” and other novels. And her fictional friendships could be quite complex, as in the fraught relationship between the at-first meddling Emma and the meek Harriet in “Emma.”

      Like

  19. Howdy, Dave!

    — Who are your favorite friends in literature? —

    Humans being social animals, I found at least a single set of my favorite friends in all but one of the great works of literary art that came to mind. Among them are Alonso Quixano and Sancho Panza in Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, Herman Cohen and Jimmy Pepp in Tom Rachman’s “The Imperfectionists,” and Lenny and Squiggy in Lowell Ganz’s and Mark Rothman’s “Laverne & Shirley.” Sorry, I forgot where I was for a moment: I meant to say, “Lennie and George in John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men.’”

    This side of Samuel Beckett (e.g., “Krapp’s Last Tape”), I flashed on only one great work without at least a single set of my favorite friends: Jerzy Kosinski’s “Being There.” Given the author’s personal history, I have to wonder whether Chance was not alone in his aloneness.

    J.J. (Alias MugRuith1)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Superb serious/funny comment, J.J.! Great last line, too. Never heard “Of Mice and Men” and “Laverne and Shirley” mentioned in the same breath before — and loved it! 🙂 If Steinbeck ever became a sitcom writer, would his show be called “George Knows Best”?

      Thanks, also, for the very relevant mentions of several other characters and literary works. There are indeed many memorable friendships in fiction — enough to write a book on this topic.

      Like

    • Thanks, Telly! And a well-done comment by you! Twain indeed created a memorable fictional friendship of very different people in “The Prince and the Pauper.” He also did the class juxtaposition thing in “Pudd’nhead Wilson,” though things were hardly friendly in that case. 🙂

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  20. Dave, for ones you haven’t mentioned, I must go with Inigo Montoya and Fezzik, from “The Princess Bride.” The Spaniard lost while looking for revenge for 20 years and the Turkish wrestler with a gift for rhyming. I won’t say more for spoilers but the two of the need each other and form a lasting friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Geoff, I never read the William Goldman book, but did see and greatly enjoy “The Princess Bride” movie. That was indeed a memorable friendship. I hope the film did the novel justice.

      Thanks for your excellent comment!

      Like

      • The movie did the book justice, though I suppose it helps that William Goldman wrote both. Much like Michael Crichton and “Jurassic Park.” When the books author is involved in the writing of the screen play we seem to get better movies.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Great point! You’re right that when the author writes the screenplay, there’s usually a better chance the movie will retain some of the book’s literary merit. Though I suppose it’s hard for the author to eliminate so many of his or her own words!

          Like

  21. I don’t even know where to begin! The wondrous friendship between Woody and “Lady” immediately comes to mind. She gave a lonely boy the most precious gift of his childhood – her undivided time and attention. Then I think about Scout, Jem, and Dill in “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Even though Scout and Jem were siblings, they were lifelong friends. I know they were because my twin brother and I still are lifelong friends. Then I think about Idgie and Ruth from “Fried Green Tomatoes”. They may have indeed been lovers, but they were the closest of friends. The amazingly close friendship between Andy and Red in “The Shawshank Redemption” crosses racial and social barriers. I guess prison is the great leveler. I could go on and on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary, you named several excellent books! Thanks!

      I definitely should have mentioned “Lady,” the terrific Thomas Tryon novel you recommended back in 2012. I did think about the superb “Fried Green Tomatoes” novel (which you also recommended) when writing my blog post, but decided to shy away from the friends/lovers combinations to avoid the post being too long. 🙂

      “To Kill a Mockingbird” was also mentioned by Pat below, and, as I said in my reply there, I should reread Harper Lee’s classic. Will try to do so this year.

      “…prison is the great leveler” — well said! Somehow I’ve never read “The Shawshank Redemption” novella by Stephen King or seen the movie.

      I appreciate the great comment!

      Like

  22. Since I appear to be first I’ll be going with the Four Hobbits the three Hogwart’s students and also from epic/fantasy genre Hazel and Fiver two unforgettable inseparable Rabbits courtesy of Watership Down Richard Adams ,if you are ever looking for a novel to turn a curious bright young reader onto that you as an adult can also enjoy this one tops my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Donny! The Hobbit friendships were indeed wonderful, and I appreciate you mentioning the third member (Ron) of J.K. Rowling’s iconic trio.

      “Watership Down”! I read it many, many years ago, and remember loving it — but now remember little about it. Friendships among animal characters are also a big part of the “Winnie the Pooh” books (which are of course much different than “Watership Down”).

      I enjoyed your comment, as always!

      Like

  23. Hi Dave. I hope you’re getting somewhat rested up from your road trip. Driving long distances can be enjoyable, but exhausting 🙂 In answering the questions you pose to us, I tend to go with the first thing that comes into my mind. Tonight, my first thought was of the friendship between Scout and Jem Finch and their little summertime friend, Dill (based on Harper Lee’s long term real-life friendship with Truman Capote) in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. But then it immediately occurred to me that the most poignant friendship in that book is the very delicate one between Scout and Jem and Boo Radley. Although Mark Twain is my favorite author — and I love your comment about “Huckleberry Finn” — my all-time favorite book is, and always will be, “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pat! You’re absolutely right about the pros and cons of driving. I ended up clocking 2,900-plus miles in 11 days — which is insane. 🙂 New Jersey to North Carolina to Florida and back to New Jersey. But there were two family visits involved, which made it all worth it.

      Great mention of the friendships in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and the Harper Lee and Truman Capote inspirations that I was not aware of! I love information like that. I read Lee’s superb novel so long ago that I tend not to think about it when I write posts. Obviously, I need to reread it!

      Like

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