Thursday, 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?
It depends upon the skill of the writer, I think. Anne Tyler wrote the best quirky characters of all back in the 70s and 80s--the Tulls, the Pecks, Macon Leary, Charlotte Emory, Jeremy Pauling. I've just finished Jessica Mitford's Hons and Rebels, a memoir of growing up in an extremely eccentric aristocratic family, that I loved and I would actually come down completely in the Quirky = Good column were in not for awful, awful fare like Billie Letts' Where the Heart Is. I'm sad to report that plenty of People Who Are Not Me enjoy Letts and believed in her characters--my friend A.'s bookclub claimed that that this book showed just how some people are. Flannery O'Connor would not have been amused.
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