Share Sexy, Smart and Charming: Book Characters That Benedict Cumberbatch Made Better

Sexy, Smart and Charming: Book Characters That Benedict Cumberbatch Made Better

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From Christopher Tietjens to Smaug and Sherlock has any actor managed to bring to life so many roles from great literature quite so well and winningly as Benedict Cumberbatch? I think publishers around the world – not to mention the BBC and PBS – owe him big time.


Parade's End
by Ford Maddox Ford

Widely considered one of the best novels of the twentieth century Parade's End explores the world of the English ruling class as it descends into the chaos of the first World War. In the BBC/PBS mini-series a blonde Benedict portrays Christopher Tietjens an officer from a wealthy family who is torn between his unfaithful socialite wife, Sylvia, and his suffragette mistress, Valentine. Heartbreaking, terrifying and beautiful.

Parade's End
Ford Maddox Ford

Widely considered one of the best novels of the twentieth century Parade's End explores the world of the English ruling class as it descends into the chaos of the first World War. In the BBC/PBS mini-series a blonde Benedict portrays Christopher Tietjens an officer from a wealthy family who is torn between his unfaithful socialite wife, Sylvia, and his suffragette mistress, Valentine. Heartbreaking, terrifying and beautiful.

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Small Island
by Andrea Levy

The interlocking stories of Bernard, a timid British man, his wife, Queenie, and Jamaican immigrants, Hortense and Gilbert. A courageous novel that tells, with tender emotion and sparkling wit, the cost of lost opportunities and the price of love. Benedict is heartbreaking as the stumbling Bernard in the BBC/PBS series. You just want to shake him and hug him at the same time.

Small Island
Andrea Levy

The interlocking stories of Bernard, a timid British man, his wife, Queenie, and Jamaican immigrants, Hortense and Gilbert. A courageous novel that tells, with tender emotion and sparkling wit, the cost of lost opportunities and the price of love. Benedict is heartbreaking as the stumbling Bernard in the BBC/PBS series. You just want to shake him and hug him at the same time.

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Rites of Passage
by William Golding

This first book in the great sea trilogy won the Man Booker in 1980. The extraordinary story of a warship's troubled journey to Australia in the early 1800s. The trilogy was adapted into the BBC/Masterpiece series, To The Ends of The Earth, and starred Benedict. The sun wasn't the only thing blisteringly hot on that ship.

Rites of Passage
William Golding

This first book in the great sea trilogy won the Man Booker in 1980. The extraordinary story of a warship's troubled journey to Australia in the early 1800s. The trilogy was adapted into the BBC/Masterpiece series, To The Ends of The Earth, and starred Benedict. The sun wasn't the only thing blisteringly hot on that ship.

MENTIONED IN:

Sexy, Smart and Charming: Book Characters That Benedict Cumberbatch Made Better

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 22, 2014

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
by John le Carre

After a disastrously botched mission in Hungary forces Control's resignation, George Smiley is brought out of retirement to hunt for the Soviet double agent embedded at the top of the British secret service. As Peter Guillam, the handpicked assistant that Smiley believes he can trust, a blonde Benedict holds his own against a stellar cast.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
John le Carre

After a disastrously botched mission in Hungary forces Control's resignation, George Smiley is brought out of retirement to hunt for the Soviet double agent embedded at the top of the British secret service. As Peter Guillam, the handpicked assistant that Smiley believes he can trust, a blonde Benedict holds his own against a stellar cast.

MENTIONED IN:

A Classic Spy Novel with No Heroes or Villains

By Yasmin Majeed | February 29, 2016

Sexy, Smart and Charming: Book Characters That Benedict Cumberbatch Made Better

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 22, 2014

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The Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien

The enchanted adventure tale of Middle Earth, Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Smaug the Magnificent and, of course, the Ring. The classic that has thrilled millions and launched two film franchises. Who but Mr. Cumberbatch could have voiced that dragon?

The Hobbit
J. R. R. Tolkien

The enchanted adventure tale of Middle Earth, Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Smaug the Magnificent and, of course, the Ring. The classic that has thrilled millions and launched two film franchises. Who but Mr. Cumberbatch could have voiced that dragon?

MENTIONED IN:

Concerning Hobbits

By Sarah Jane Abbott | March 2, 2015

Sexy, Smart and Charming: Book Characters That Benedict Cumberbatch Made Better

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 22, 2014

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Atonement
by Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose. Benedict is the icky Paul Marshall. His scene with the candy bar is worth every penny.

Atonement
Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose. Benedict is the icky Paul Marshall. His scene with the candy bar is worth every penny.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

12 Contemporary British Novels We Can’t Live Without

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | April 26, 2016

9 Favorites from the Shelf of a Treasured Author

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 23, 2015

Remembrance of Things Past: 12 Moving Novels of the Second World War

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | May 7, 2015

Revisiting Ian McEwan’s Masterpiece

By Courtney Brach | February 13, 2015

Sexy, Smart and Charming: Book Characters That Benedict Cumberbatch Made Better

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 22, 2014

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12 Years a Slave
by Solomon Northup

The story that inspired the Oscar winning Best Picture of the year, this first person account is a harrowing, vividly detailed, and utterly unforgettable account of slavery. Benedict portrays a minister who understands the immorality of owning another human being but does not stop. Offered an opportunity to save Solomon he instead hands him to the devil.

12 Years a Slave
Solomon Northup

The story that inspired the Oscar winning Best Picture of the year, this first person account is a harrowing, vividly detailed, and utterly unforgettable account of slavery. Benedict portrays a minister who understands the immorality of owning another human being but does not stop. Offered an opportunity to save Solomon he instead hands him to the devil.

MENTIONED IN:

Sexy, Smart and Charming: Book Characters That Benedict Cumberbatch Made Better

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 22, 2014

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The Other Boleyn Girl
by Philippa Gregory
Although Mary was the first Boleyn to share Henry VIII's bed, it was her sister, Anne, who snagged the King and wore the crown. A rich tale of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue. In the film, Benedict plays Mary's husband, William Carey, who allows, and benefits from, Mary's relationship with the king. The scene where he betrays their love is heartbreaking.
The Other Boleyn Girl
Philippa Gregory

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War Horse
by Michael Morpurgo

The story of the abiding love between the farm horse, Joey, and Albert, the boy who raised him. Sold to the English Army at the beginning of WWI, Joey is wrenched from Albert and shipped into battle. Benedict plays the officer who buys Joey and in his moments with Albert he brings a perfect upper class noblesse oblige tinged with genuine kindness. He is by far the best human in the film.

War Horse
Michael Morpurgo

The story of the abiding love between the farm horse, Joey, and Albert, the boy who raised him. Sold to the English Army at the beginning of WWI, Joey is wrenched from Albert and shipped into battle. Benedict plays the officer who buys Joey and in his moments with Albert he brings a perfect upper class noblesse oblige tinged with genuine kindness. He is by far the best human in the film.

MENTIONED IN:

Sexy, Smart and Charming: Book Characters That Benedict Cumberbatch Made Better

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 22, 2014

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The Complete Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Where would we - and Benedict for that matter - be without Sherlock? The complete works are truly great fun. Start reading now so you are ready when Benedict brings back his high-functioning sociopath for season 4 and we find out if he really did miss Moriarty.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Kerry’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Sherlock Holmes

I’d invite to dinner the canon Sherlock Holmes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. Aside from having fascinating experiences to provide scintillating conversation, Holmes is also witty, eccentric, and enlightened. Sure, he may deduce something about you that you’d rather keep secret but unless it’s a crime, he wouldn’t care. He could bring Irene Adler, too.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Fictional Characters We Want to Invite to Our Next Dinner Party

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 10, 2017

Sexy, Smart and Charming: Book Characters That Benedict Cumberbatch Made Better

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 22, 2014

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