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Happy Mardi Gras! Literary Characters You Would Love to Party with off the Page

What better way to celebrate Carnival than with a parade of characters who know how to get down?

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Mardi Gras was originally created for people to feast before fasting for Lent, but these days, Fat Tuesday simply has a reputation for showing people a good time. Even if you don’t celebrate Carnival, it’s easy for the festivities to put you in the mood for an epic party.

Naturally, every good party requires good company. It’s always a safe bet to go out with your closest friends, but sometimes you’re better off having crazy nights with people you might not necessarily hang out with by day — those who are impulsive, who don’t heckle you with questions about health, work or family. These are the people who can hook you up with an invite to the best parties, who cheer you on as you chug that seventh drink. Of course, the most ideal party companions are a great mix of the two: close friends who are whimsical enough to stir up a little trouble. With that in mind, here are a dozen characters in literature who fall along the entire spectrum of great party-goers and would undoubtedly show you a good time:

1. The Narrator of Bright Lights, Big Cityby Jay McInerney

Hell, you don’t even know this guy’s real name, but that really doesn’t matter. There’s no doubt you would have a crazy night hanging out with him and his friend Tad Allagash at the Heartbreak nightclub. Expect to snort a ridiculous quantity of “Bolivian Marching Powder” and hear about a dozen made up death scenarios for the narrator’s ex-wife. Warning: The hangover at work the next day is sure to be brutal.

2. Mel, Terri, Nick and Laura of “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” by Raymond Carver

There’s no doubt Carver’s charactersknow how to handle their alcohol. Sometimes there’s nothing better than ditching a fancy restaurant to gather around a bottle of gin and philosophize about love. Not all parties have to be crazy — exposing yourselves to the core by discussing the sordid romances of your past can be therapeutic, epiphanic even. Not only would they be great drinking buddies at a party, but they’d be a great group to have a real conversation with at the end of the night when everyone else has called it quits.

3. Raoul Duke from Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

If you’ve never experimented with psychedelics before, partying with Raoul might freak you the hell out, but one thing is for sure: You won’t ever forget it. Any party with him would likely sprawl into days of drinking and tripping on the various drugs recommended by Raoul’s attorney. All you have to do is buy the ticket and take the ride. Caution: Beware of bats. And remember, it’s all — mostly — in your head.

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