On more than one occasion reviewers have called the protagonist of The Thief (whose name, Nishimura, is only revealed once in the course of the novel) a Robin Hood-esque character, which got us thinking, who are the best examples of this archetype in popular culture? Off the top of our heads, this is what we came up with. Now who did we miss???
Day from Legend by Marie Liu
In post-apocalyptic plague-ridden L.A., the government keeps a cure under lock and key for a select few. Day is an indestructible (and hot) teenage boy who becomes infamous for taking on armies single-handedly. He pulls a Robin Hood when he breaks into the government hospital to steal medicine for his dying brother.
-Bronwen Hruska, Publisher
Mickey and Mallory Knox in Natural Born Killers
Stealing the lives of sensationalizing news types, sadistic prison wardens, murderous police detectives, incestuous comedians, and maybe a few innocent-ish bystanders all to give the wavy-haired, Lee Pipes-wearing 1990’s public what they need most…More violence!!!! YAAAaAaAaAAaaaa
-Rudy Martinez, Marketing Assistant
Eugenides from The Thief by Meghan Whalen Turner
He’s a thief and a con man, and even does his biggest theft while in a forest! He steals from the rich and gives to — himself (it seems). He steals for the fame of being remembered forever. You might also want to take a peek at The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley. I haven’t read that title yet, but I’ve absolutley loved all the other McKinley books I’ve read!
-Katie Hoffman, Intern
Tom Ripley, from Patricia Highsmith’s Ripliad (the books! Not the Minghella movie)
He’s the ultimate con artist, thief, and—to keep with the Robin Hood theme—he has a lot of issues about class (rich vs. poor etc). He’s not exactly lovable per se—he’s a serial killer. But he’s certainly, uh, a compelling narrator.
-Juliet Grames, Senior Editor
Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games
She’s an archer, after all… I also suggest this without having seen the film yet. And while she doesn’t exactly steal from the rich to give to the poor, she cleverly games the system from the inside. And above all she is a conflicted, heroic, bad-ass rebel.
-Daniel Ehrenhaft, YA Editor
Omar Little from The Wire
Robbed drug dealers and sometimes gave the stuff away just to spite the people who crossed him. And he never turned his gun on anyone who wasn’t in the game. But Omar still had difficulty operating within the law. Here’s a clip of Detective Bunk trying to guilt Omar into collaborating with the police (which he had done before, but on his own terms).
-Scott Cain, Editorial Assistant