Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quirky Characters - part one

I must admit there is nothing that I enjoy reading more than is a book about eccentrics, whether it is in fiction or non-fiction. I have a quote that hangs by my desk "do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric". I love it! After all the world would still be considered flat if not for forward thinking. There would not be the technological advances we now have. Who would have thought just a decade ago that we could read an electronically received book? So bless those eccentrics who keep this world spinning.

Here are some of the novels that are listed in our catalogue under Eccentrics and eccentricities - fiction.

Winner of the National Book Award : a novel of fame, honor and really bad weather (M) by Jincy Willett. You have to love an author who will have the Chutzpah to entitle their book "Winner of the National Book Award". Just that title alone that got my attention. Plus the fact that an author I admire, Augusten Burroughs, stated that this novel "is the funniest novel I have read.....ever." Burroughs is known for his real life full of funny and quirky characters, so I believed his judgement.

This novel portrays the complex relationship between twin sisters, Dorcas (a librarian) and her sister Abigail. It is during a storm that Dorcas stays at the library after hours to do some work. In a shipment of new books is Abigail’s true crime/biography. To find out why Abigail is awaiting trial, read this funny book.

I do like British humour and it does have its fill of quirky characters. Lissa Evans is a British television producer, director and author. She has worked on shows such as Father Ted (which has won a BAFTA for best comedy) and Crossing the Floor (for which she won an Emmy). Her book Their Finest Hour and a Half (this title is out of print but may be available through inter-library loan) was long listed for the Orange Prize. With these qualifications, I was interested in reading her novel, Odd One Out (M). This novel was filled with so many eccentric people that it had me wondering who is the odd one out since they all were odd.

The characters include Netta, who is considered odd by association to her family, which include Glenn (whose main interest is rubbish) and her mother (who teaches tap to 8 year olds). Other characters include Dr. Paul Gooding, who has an embarrassing past and his roommate Armand, who is obsessed with foot hygiene. As the cover states "some people are born odd, others practice".

Please view tomorrow's post for more quirky characters...

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