This week's Booking Through Thursday question
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?
Quirky huh? Lets start with a definition:
Quirky - having or full of quirks
Hmmm, that doesn't really help
- A peculiarity of behavior; an idiosyncrasy: "Every man had his own quirks and twists" (Harriet Beecher Stowe).
- An unpredictable or unaccountable act or event; a vagary: a quirk of fate.
- A sudden sharp turn or twist.
- An equivocation; a quibble.
- Architecture A lengthwise groove on a molding between the convex upper part and the soffit.
When I was trying to think back to books that I have read not in the not too distant past and which I have quirky characters, the first series I thought of was the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich - her books are chockful of them! I do wonder if in some cases the quirkiness that started in her earlier books have not become the characters in the later books. By that I mean that there are certain things that you know the characters are going to do in every book. Lula is going to maneuvre herself into clothes that are too tight and too skimpy, Stephanie is going to be inept, Grandma Mazur will be just a tad crazy! Not that I don't like that, because I know now what to expect, but in a lesser series it could definitely become tiresome.
How about some other examples - Amelia Peabody and family from the mystery series of the same name by Elizabeth Peters. I definitely don't get tired of them. It seems that cozy mystery series seem to give us more than their fare share of quirky characters. Another one that came to mind was Phryne Fisher from the Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerrie Greenwood. Maybe it is that quirkyness gives the author a hook to carry a book on - something that can carry through a series of books without having to come up with completely new characteristics every time.
Thank goodness that there are some authors out there that are skilful enough to come up with quirks, and quirky characters, that don't irritate after a while. There are some that just don't have that skill, or who think that being quirky equate to being bitchy or horrible in other ways!
I am sure that there are loads of examples, but for now this will do!
*Definition from Dictionary.com