Quirky January 31, 2008
This week’s question is suggested by (blogless) JMutford:
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?
I read a book a few years ago about this half-Apache/half-white boy who had his head crushed when he was run over by a mail truck. His family (drunks and losers, as I recall) abandons him during his lengthy recovery in the hospital, where he befriends another quirky character. He then gets bounced around until he ends up in a horrible Indian hospital/school, living in the basement with the janitor, and is bullied and teased mercilessly. More misery and chaos ensue until the end, when someone from his past that he doesn’t really remember rescues him. There’s a happy ending, although the details are fuzzy. Anyway, the story and the character were definitely quirky, but in a good way. What the heck was the name of that book?? (Leaving the room to check my shelves….) Ahhhhh yes. The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall.
I like quirky characters in general, but things can definitely go too far in the quirk department. I’m blanking on a real good example of what would be too far, but I can usually tell pretty early on if a character is going to bug me with their unbelievable off-beatness (if that is, in fact, a word). I suppose I prefer characters I can relate to, with fewer quirks.
What quirky characters have you enjoyed? Which ones were too quirky to like?