Sunday, February 3, 2008

Booking Through Thursday 1/31

Sometimes I find eccentric characters quirky and fun, other times I find them too unbelievable and annoying. What are some of the more outrageous characters you’ve read, and how do you feel about them?

Well, I hated Dobby in Harry Potter (til the last book...), always going off on tangents and hitting himself and screaming, blah, but I think a house elf starts off rather unbelievable already. Hmm.

I suppose Jonathan Saffron Foer comes to mind, and then his wife Nicole Krauss. The young narrators of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The History of Love were both precocious eccentrics, as was brother Bird in Love. Actually most of the characters in those books are. And Leo G especially. I really enjoy these characters because I think we all feel odd and bizarre, compared to what's so often presented as normal behavior by the commercial media and mimicked by the pretty people. So even if it seems random, it's more real than something common. I like the imagination that it not only displays but imparts, reminding us to live the way we feel like living, whatever it may look like.


Hippie Housewife said...

I really liked Dobby - he was so enthusiastic and sincere and well-meaning. I was so sad when he died.

Rachel said...

ever read any tom robbins? his heroines tend to bother me. he writes them as sexy little darlings with adorable little flaws and quick wits. they speak volumes about the author. he really over-sexualizes his characters, in my humble opinion. funny thing is, i started reading his books in early high school, and it wasn't until i re-read them recently that i became bothered by his take on women... at least what he considers "desirable" in women. i don't know. maybe i've become a prude in my old age.

(btw, dobby drove me bonkers, too.)

Brynn's Mama said...

Ooh Rachel, I agree. I started reading him in college and loved them at first, and liked each one less and less. By Fierce Invalids, I was like, yuck.

I couldn't read Confederacy of Dunces because I so disliked the main character. I know - every literate American should read that book - especially one from New Orleans! I just couldn't stand him though.

Unrelatedly: Leanne, I think you live in the town where I used to live as a teenager! Well, I lived in the town just inland of you, and then in your town after high school. Crazy huh? PM me on MDC so we can dish about it! (I'm *Amy* on MDC). :)