Thoughtful Thursday: Please pass the yams!

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Americans!

OK, we all know the traditional Thanksgiving main course is turkey, but we also know that what really makes a great Thanksgiving repast/buffet are the sides: acorn squash, roasted Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, pumpkin soup, curried, well, you get the picture.

Just like we know the protagonists of our favorite books and films do the heavy lifting, but the side characters add the rich flavor.

So let’s make a meal out of them (so to speak, this isn’t the Donner Party in Space): what three or four side characters would you put on the table? Who’s the yam to your main dish?

One random commenter will choose a book from our stacks.


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BILL CAPOSSERE, who's been with us since June 2007, lives in Rochester NY, where he is an English adjunct by day and a writer by night. His essays and stories have appeared in Colorado Review, Rosebud, Alaska Quarterly, and other literary journals, along with a few anthologies, and been recognized in the "Notable Essays" section of Best American Essays. His children's work has appeared in several magazines, while his plays have been given stage readings at GEVA Theatre and Bristol Valley Playhouse. When he's not writing, reading, reviewing, or teaching, he can usually be found with his wife and son on the frisbee golf course or the ultimate frisbee field.

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12 comments

  1. I’m cheating, because my “side-dish” character DID become the MC in book three. It’s Sigrud in Robert Jackson Bennett’s DIVINE CITIES series.

  2. Outside of the genre, in Craig Johnson Western Mystery series featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire, both Henry Standing Bear and Lucian Connolly are standout sidekicks and each could have a story of his own.

  3. Sandyg265 /

    Sort of outside the genre but Dracula’s three wives from the original book. Also Quincy Morris.

  4. Sharon Browning /

    There are so many wonderful side characters in the Expanse series (James S. A. Corey) that you could have an entire smorgasbord accompanied by a rural Iowa Protestant potluck supper and still have some waiting in the wings for their chance to shine, but I absolutely adored Dimitri Havelock (Detective Miller’s one time partner, later to have a starring role in Book 4, “Cibola Burn”) and Praxidike Meng, the botanist whose search for his daughter, Mei, was a key plot driver in Book 2, “Caiban’s War” (and who makes appearances later, as well).

  5. John Smith /

    Melanie Hamilton from “Gone With the Wind”…the cow from “The Restaurant At the End Of the Universe”…and J.D. from “Heathers.” Melanie would make dutiful small talk. The cow would add a touch of lugubriousness. And J.D. would blow everything up.

  6. Yardem from Daniel Abraham’s DAGGER AND THE COIN series
    Chade from Hobb’s Fitz series (and any animal character in the series)
    Almost any Guy Gavriel Kay side character

  7. I always wanted to see more Panamon Creel and Keltest from The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

  8. My character Thanksgiving would include non-human companions like Loiosh from Brust’s Vlad Taltos series, Mister and Mouse the cat and dog from Butcher’s Dresden Files and the Aeslin mice from McGuire’s Incriptid series. They would bring sarcastic commentary, loyal and quiet companionship and a serious celebration vibe to the table. We would have so much fun! I’d probably invite many more but these would be the stars.

  9. Sandyg265, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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