What are some great novels and/or myths that feature two heroes?
April 13, 2004 10:51 PM   Subscribe

What are some great novels and/or myths that feature two heroes?

I use "heroes" mainly in the literary sense -- as in two main characters . . .
posted by _sirmissalot_ to Writing & Language (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Iliad features Hector and Achilles prominently (well, not to mention the rest). Achilles is arguably the protagonist, but Hector gets his share of the spotlight and is considered by many scholar's as the people's hero of the Iliad (that is, though Achilles is the actual hero, everyone loves Hector).
posted by rafter at 11:28 PM on April 13, 2004

Star Wars.
posted by interrobang at 11:36 PM on April 13, 2004

...the "myth", not the novel.
posted by interrobang at 11:38 PM on April 13, 2004

Christopher Priest's "The Prestige", which won the World Fantasy Award and is great, even if you hate Fantasy like I do. It's about duelling stage-magicians from the turn of the century.

Also "Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars", and both "Snarkout Boys" books by Daniel Pinkwater. All three use the first-person character as the sympathetic one that you learn from with a best friend who teaches you new ways to think.
posted by interrobang at 11:51 PM on April 13, 2004

Flaubert, Bouvard and Pecuchet

What about Fight Club? Haven't read the book.
posted by Hildago at 12:01 AM on April 14, 2004

Oh, and myths.

Even more than The Illiad, I'd say The Odyssey had two heroes -- Odysseus & Telemachus.
posted by Hildago at 12:03 AM on April 14, 2004

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which I did not expect to like at all, but found decent enough as contemporary literature.

(movie rights, I'm sure, have already been purchased. the plot's that good. the prose i was kinda 'meh' about.)

(that's right. I said "kinda 'meh'").
posted by fishfucker at 12:19 AM on April 14, 2004

One of my favorites: Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
posted by brool at 12:25 AM on April 14, 2004

Don Quijote, of course, though Sancho Panza was more a trusty sidekick than a hero on equal footing.
posted by PrinceValium at 12:29 AM on April 14, 2004

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Huck and Jim).
posted by planetkyoto at 12:47 AM on April 14, 2004

Darmok and Jelad at Tanagra.
posted by scarabic at 12:50 AM on April 14, 2004

Of Mice and Men? (George and Lennie)
posted by EatenByAGrue at 1:00 AM on April 14, 2004

How about the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pulman ? (Lyra and Will)
posted by swordfishtrombones at 2:23 AM on April 14, 2004

Gilgamesh and Enkidu.
This is the GrandDaddy of Buddy Movie Myths, being around 4000 years old.
Take That - You Greeks.
posted by seanyboy at 2:41 AM on April 14, 2004

Rushdie's Satanic Verses.
posted by saladin at 6:29 AM on April 14, 2004

Chabon's Amazing adventures of Kevalier and Clay
posted by jmgorman at 7:08 AM on April 14, 2004

Cold Mountain, a personal favorite.
posted by jdroth at 7:18 AM on April 14, 2004

Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels.

The recent film "Master and Commander" did not quite capture the importance of the character of Stephen Maturin to the entire series (even though I thought it did a creditable job).
posted by briank at 7:21 AM on April 14, 2004

Kerouac's On The Road

Willa Cather's My Antonia

Dave Eggers' You Shall Know Our Velocity
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:24 AM on April 14, 2004

Good Omens
posted by contessa at 7:47 AM on April 14, 2004

Joyce's Ulysses - Stephen Dedalus and Bloom. (And Molly Bloom, too).
posted by Pericles at 8:18 AM on April 14, 2004

A lot of the Narnia books, too - esp The Magician's Nephew (Diggory and Polly) and the Silver Chair (Eustace abnd Jill)
posted by Pericles at 8:35 AM on April 14, 2004

VALIS by Philip K. Dick
posted by clockwork at 9:18 AM on April 14, 2004

Response by poster: excellent, thanks all. these are great.

there is another i thought of after posting - "oscar and lucinda" by peter carey (wonderful novel if you haven't read it).

it's interesting to see how many of these have that two-person, two-lands dichotomy thing going on, wherein both characters are united/reunited somewhere at the middle or the end of the book, then must finish the action together. i suppose the odyssey, as pointed out by Hildago, is the template for this.

huckleberry finn - is jim on equal footing with huck? a fascinating question.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:18 AM on April 14, 2004

The majority of the Kalevala features the adventures/misadventures of the heroes Väinämöinen and Ilmarinen.
posted by ktrey at 1:20 PM on April 14, 2004

There's Sam and Frodo from LOTR, of course. Some would argue that Sam is really the true hero of the series.

There's David and Jonathan, Esther and Mordechai as great heroic twosomes from the Bible. And there's Ruth and Naomi, if you define heroism as their atypical inclusion and tolerance and dedication in the face of anti-Moabite bigotry.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:25 PM on April 14, 2004

Also, Holmes and Watson. But though Watson wasn't as much as a doofus as he was portrayed in the movie versions, he was a bit of a sidekick.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:27 PM on April 14, 2004

Nick Hornby's "About a Boy" (or film of same name) alternates between the adult and the child.
posted by ALongDecember at 1:44 PM on April 14, 2004

My favorite novel is Russell Banks' Continental Drift, which tells the parallel stories of two protagonists: "Bob Dubois, 30, who forsakes his deadend job as an oil-burner repairman in New Hampshire to begin a new life in Florida, and Vanise Dorinsville, a young, illiterate Haitian mother who seeks refuge from poverty by fleeing to America," writes Newsday.

Highly recommended.
posted by jeffmshaw at 1:52 PM on April 14, 2004

Look no further than the Hardy Boys.

As far as myths, Daedelus & Icarus?
posted by LionIndex at 2:06 PM on April 14, 2004

posted by casarkos at 6:23 PM on April 14, 2004

Look no further than the Hardy Boys.

Bullshit: Frank carried Joe's ass through those books.
posted by yerfatma at 7:07 PM on April 14, 2004

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