Ten Worlds I Don’t Want to Live in or Characters Whose Lives I Don’t Envy


toptentuesday Today, the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list the Top Ten worlds that I’d never want to live in, or characters I’d never want to trade places with.

This was so easy to put together, people! Of late, I realize I have read so many books about unpleasant places and people in unpleasant situations that I could write a whole book on them. A blog post is nothing!

  1. The first place I never want to live or visit or do anything other than obsessively read about it is Westeros/Essos from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R.Martin. Obviously, who in their right mind would want to live in a world where winters last for years, and the danger of being killed by weird frozen zombies? And that is just the tip of the iceberg and please excuse the bad pun.
  2. Westeros and Essos

    I don’t plan to get a visa to Westeros or Essos anytime soon

  3. I also don’t want to travel back in time to any era from the past. I definitely don’t want to do a Claire Randall and jump into 1700s Scotland like she did in Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Apart from the obvious dangers, I am not jumping into any era without in my opinion adequate personal hygiene. No chamber pots for me. This automatically rules out any era before the 1900s.
  4. Definitely very pretty, but in the 1700s? No thanks

    Definitely very pretty, but in the 1700s? No thanks

  5. But of course, I wouldn’t want to live during World War 1 (or 2 for that matter) like poor Alfie from Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne.
    It just struck me while I was writing this post that this is a particularly horrible era to live. In case you somehow dodged the tragedy bullet from World War 1, within the next 12 years, World War 2 was out to get you.
  6. I don’t know what exactly happened in The Road by Cormac McCarthy and why the whole of America was covered in dust and filled with roaming cannibals, but I want none of it.
  7. I don’t want to visit the sewers of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman either.
  8. I would never want to attend the school that Nau goes to in Tokyo in A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.
  9. Places and Times I Never Want to Visit

    Places and Times I Never Want to Visit

  10. Nor would I like to live in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe or be an illegal immigrant in America like poor Darling had to in We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo.
  11. Being a slave in the cotton plantations must have been a hellish place to live. I would never want to trade places with Sethe from Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
  12. Pretty covers but such horrible incidents and guess what all the protagonists are women. Guess we really have it tough in literature, huh?

    Pretty covers but such horrible incidents and guess what all the protagonists are women. Guess we really have it tough in literature, huh?

  13. Nor do I envy Namima’s fate (from The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino) forced to live in an eternal undying with a wrathful goddess in some dark, dingy cave
  14. And last but not the least, oh, the poor, poor narrator in The Handmaid’s Tale. I can’t imagine having to abandon my children and live in as a handmaid in another family. Worst fate ever!

So, that’s my list people. Of late, I haven’t been feeling the top ten tuesdays. I’ve skipped quite a lot, but this one was just too fun not to take part.

Which are the top ten literary places you’d never want to visit or characters you would never want to trade places with?

  • Some great picks there and I totally agree with all your choices. The generation that lived through World War I and then World War II really had to show some fortitude!

    • Nishita

      @disqus_mUBrEiIQ5D:disqus Yes. They must have been very stoic. My elders keep reminding me how much our generation has to be grateful for.

      • So very true….

  • Shweta

    So many of your choices I agree with! I would definitely not want to live in any corner of George RR Martin’s world. Scary and all sorts of weird.

    • Nishita

      @disqus_W3bZsBdKXf:disqus There is no one in those books that’s in a good position right now. Seriously bad situations. Have you read all the books?

      • Shweta

        Yes, I have! Seriously those characters have the worst fate EVER. Not one of them is spared dire consequences.

  • Haha yes, I wouldn’t want to live in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. And I like things like electricity and running water too much, so no trip to the past for me either. I wouldn’t mind visiting the future though πŸ™‚
    I’d also pass living as a slave/handmaid or in a time of war (obv.). And yes, Namima’s (as well as Izanami’s) fate was pretty horrible too.

  • This is such a great topic! The top of the list for me would be Wuthering Heights (which I’m re-reading now as part of a read-along). The characters are awful people, and they live in a society obsessed with death because, well, the life expectancy is just so low. I wouldn’t even want to trade places with any of Jane Austen’s more palatable characters for this reason. Modern medicine is important to me. πŸ™‚

    • Nishita

      @disqus_TZfUAHiCge:disqusHeartily agree with you. I am all about modern living πŸ™‚

  • Jenny @ Reading the End

    Hahaha, this is a great post. If I had to choose one of those worlds and call it the number one world I don’t want to live in, I’d definitely go with the one from The Handmaid’s Tale. At least in Westeros there would be the possibility of living quietly somewhere distant, you know?

    • Nishita

      @Jenny @Reading the End: Yeah that is possible. But what would be the point of it? Just like the modern world, we would be getting second hand communication about what happened. It would be nice to go as an invisible person, I think. That and have your escape option into the present world handy πŸ™‚

  • Avada Kedavra

    A song of ice and fire would top my list too πŸ™‚ I think Road will also be there on my list. I haven’t read the rest of them on your list but I would not want to go back to WWI or WWII time frame for sure.

    • Nishita

      @Avada Kedavra: WW1 and WW2 are exciting times for sure, but so turbulent. Overall, pretty tough times!

  • Words for Worms

    This list is genius! I agree with every single one of your selections that I’ve read. How did I leave Neverwhere off my list? I mean really. Those sewers were basically the opposite of fun.

    • Nishita

      @wordsforworms:disqus Yeah, at first I didn’t think of Neverwhere. It’s quite a sweet story and all, but just the thought of following anyone into a sewer. Ick.

  • DI from foreverinbluejeans

    Hi Nishita! I have seen your likes a couple of times on my blog and I wonder how I never reached the blog itself! I think it has to be cos self hosted pages don’t open at work 😐
    In any case, I m in awe of your reading list! And I miss the good old reading days πŸ™‚ I am definitely picking up references from here! Adding you to my reader rightaway!

    • Nishita

      @DI: Thanks for adding me, I love your blog :). That’s weird that self-hosted pages don’t work at office but wordpress.com does, anyway, glad you found good book recommendations from here.

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