MILAN – It often happens to an author to write a novel inspired by a fact, which really happened or invented, which is beyond his activity or his daily life. What happens instead when writers decide to write a book in which the protagonist and… another author
Mikel Santiago, thriller writer in bookstores with “ La strada delle ombre ” knows very well. Defined by the press as the “Spanish Stephen King” for the style and for some themes that recur in his books, or rather the “cursed” writers who are the protagonists of novels, the experience of Mikel Santiago gave us the cue to create the ranking of the most famous protagonists of the novels. From Paul Sheldon of Misery (Stephen King) to Column of “ Number Zero“(Umberto Eco), let’s discover them together. 1) Stephen King – Paul Sheldon in Misery
Of all the leading writers in King’s novels – and there are so many of them – one of the most memorable is Paul Sheldon, bestselling author whose fortune is (in spite of himself) linked to the character of Misery Chastain, the heroine of low-key sentimental novels. quality. When Paul finally “kills” her hated creature, he unleashes the wrath of admirer Annie Wilkes: obsessed with Misery, and willing to do anything to read another adventure of her heroine … even to kidnap and torture the creator of she. Like Sherazade, Paul will only survive if he gives Annie the story she wants. And, if the metaphor were not transparent enough, King himself has confirmed that the novel reflects the drama of a writer tormented by the peremptory requests of certain fans. 2) Umberto Eco – Column in Number zero
Eco’s latest novel is unsettling even by the standards of such a multifaceted writer, able to reinvent himself and amaze the public with each of his new works. The protagonist of Numero zero, Colonna, is a failed writer and a ghost writer who, to try to get back on track, decides to recycle himself as an editor in a newspaper. But Domani is not just any newspaper: he does not tell the events that have taken place, but those that will happen. At the dawn of the Clean Hands investigation, Colonna not only faces an absurd and impossible task, but also juggles plots, intrigues and conspiracies; the novel is a critique of sensationalist journalism, in which the 90s become a precise mirror of the present. 3) Carlos Ruiz Zafon – David Martin in The Angel’s Game
The second book of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books trilogy takes us to the Barcelona of the 1920s, where David Martin, a young man of humble origins who became a successful writer, lives locked up in his ivory tower to meet editorial deadlines. To the bitter sentimental disappointments and setbacks in his career is added a shocking discovery, which brings David to the brink of depression. With no more hopes or prospects, the young man accepts the ambiguous, almost Faustian proposal of the diabolical publisher Andreas Corelli: to write a kind of sacred text, a book different from all the others. And, page after page, the boundaries between reality and dreams are getting thinner … 4) HP Lovecraft – Randolph Carter in Randolph Carter’s Saga
Very few people estimate Randolph Carter: a humble and crepuscular figure, a penniless and unsuccessful author whose works no one reads, a scholar of the occult, a sensitive soul. But Randolph is also one of the few humans who can keep a cool head in the face of the unnameable. Protagonist in the saga of the same name, made up of four short stories and a novel, and the most autobiographical character of the Lovecraftian corpus. Unlike its creator – who spent most of his life in Providence, Rhode Island – Randolph is able to travel into the World of Dreams, a dreamlike parallel dimension with a precise and detailed history, geography and mythology … and horrors beyond imagination. 5) Arthur Conan Doyle – John Watson in Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories
Arthur Conan Doyle begins writing while studying medicine in Edinburgh; to fascinate him and above all the theme of mystery. When he decides to tell the adventures of a private detective named Sherlock Holmes, he uses the ploy of having a secondary character, Dr. John Watson, tell his stories about him. But Watson is more than a literary gimmick, and he becomes as important as Holmes, of whom he is a roommate, confidant, assistant and biographer. Her insight and good will in him earn him the respect and friendship of the impassive detective. And it is impossible not to glimpse, in the figure of the doctor who becomes a writer, the shadow of his creator. 6) Joel Dicker – Marcus Goldman in The Truth About the Harry Quebert Case
When you’re a brilliant young author and have to write the sequel to your bestseller, the worst thing that can happen to you is writer’s block. At least, Marcus Goldman (who finds himself in this situation) is convinced of it. Then he discovers that Harry Quebert – friend, former professor, colleague and mentor – is accused of murdering a girl who disappeared thirty years earlier. Marcus can’t believe Harry could really be the culprit, and begins exploring the quiet New Hampshire town where Harry lives. Between a flashback and a reflection on the craft of writing, he will be able to discover the truth and exonerate his friend Di lui 7) Jack London – Martin Eden in Martin Eden
Early twentieth century: Martin is a sailor who dreams big, a poor boy who fights against the obstacles imposed by his own social class, an aspiring writer who, in order to marry rich Ruth, must first conquer fame. Self-taught like London himself, the young Martin pours all his energies into the studio. He has to commit the bicycle, the only asset he owns, to be able to send his stories to the magazines from which he never receives a reply. It is only when Ruth leaves him forever that the much coveted success arrives; publishers now want his works at any price, but Martin doesn’t care anymore. The sad parable of him and a reflection on social injustices, individualism and capitalism, themes deeply felt by the author. 8) Mikel Santiago – Bert Amandale in The Road of Shadows
The protagonist of the Road of Shadows, Bert Amandale, really has many things in common with its author, Mikel Santiago: both are musicians devoted to writing, with a large audience and a novel at the top of the charts. And who knows if Mikel is also experiencing a drama similar to that of Bert who, under pressure to write another bestseller, decides to leave chaotic London to rediscover creativity in the peace of Provence. But that’s where the unexpected happens: Chucks, a dear friend of his, is found dead, and suddenly Bert finds himself embroiled in an intrigue worthy of one of his novels. And it’s not a good prospect, given that he is one of those writers who love to let their characters die …

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