January 31, 2008

BBT: Quirky?

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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?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

To answer this question I had to check my Library Thing catalogue to refresh my memory. I seem to remember the normal characters more than the strange ones.

Bleak House: I just read this and already forgot the weirdos in it. Just about everyone is quirky. Jon Jarndyce is quirky but lovable. He's very giving but when he hears bad news he hides in 'the growlery' and complains the wind's in the east. Harold Skimpole borrows from friends pretending to know nothing of money since he's 'a child'. A most annoying character. Mr Guppy in love with Esther until she gets sick and loses her looks. He's a bit of a fool.

Anne of Green Gables: Anne Shirley falls into the quirky category. Her over active imagination gets her into trouble but nothing gets her down.

Master and Commander: Dr Stephen Maturin is a genius but his strange ideas raise eyebrows. He also has odd habits like carrying meat in his pocket and living like a slob. Captain Aubrey doesn't have much going on upstairs unless it's during battle. He has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth or causing offense without realizing it.

For the most part, I like quirky characters. It gives them life. I think most people have some quirky qualities, so why not fictional people too?


  1. One of my favorite appealingly quirky characters is also in Dickens: Wemmick, in Great Expectations.

  2. I agree with your take on quirky characters -- eccentricities often make them more real, and more memorable, too! :)

  3. My favorite pair of quirky characters has to be Bill James's detectives, Harpur and Iles. They're absolutely insane, but he writes them so well that they're just a delight to experience!

  4. I agree with Anne of the Green Gable. It one of my favorite books.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a good Thursday!

    Julia -Yen

  5. I just reread Anne of Green Gables - definitely a quirky character, and one I love!

  6. Good answers! Quirks, snark, and flaws make characters better.

  7. I haven't read any of those books, but I agree about the characters. Quirks make them seem more human, and three-dimensional.

  8. I agree about Anne, I just read it for the first time (a bit late I know) and she is a great character and very quirky.

  9. You're right about Bleak House being full of weirdos.

    I almost put Anne Shirley on my list but I decided she became less quirky over the course of the series so I decided not to add her.

    Happy BTT.

  10. Dickens certainly knew how to do quirky characters. I can name several.

  11. You're right about fictional people having to be a little quirky to become more "real", but if the author doesn't handle the characters properly, they do get annoying.

    Happy BTT! :-)

  12. Bleak House is my favourite Dickens, so I love those characters. Maybe not Mr Skimpole, though - I wouldn't want to know him.

  13. I enjoy reading about quirky characters too. It adds dimension to characters and draws me to them more. While sometimes eccentricities can make a person seem too over the top to be real, other times, it does just the opposite, and makes them even more real.

  14. I just picked up a copy of Anne of Green Gables from the library for 10p which I am looking forward to reading.


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