Thursday, January 31, 2008

Booking through weird characters

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?

First quirky character that comes into mind is Mr Goon, the village policeman in the Enid Blyton's five find-outers series of 15 books. He is grumpy, pompous and too full of himself. He hates the children and their dog. As a kid I simply detested him.

In Charles Dicken's novel, David Copperfield, there was a character named Uriah Heep, a snakelike young man who often involves himself in matters that are none of his business. A two-faced, conniving villain who puts on a false show of humility and meekness to disguise his evil intentions. Uriah is motivated by his belief that the world owes him something for all the humiliations he suffered as a young man. Though Uriah is raised in a cruel environment similar to David’s, Uriah’s upbringing causes him to become bitter and vengeful rather than honest and hopeful. Dickens’s physical description of Uriah marks Uriah as a demonic character. He refers to Uriah’s movements as snakelike and gives Uriah red hair and red eyes. Uriah and David not only have opposing characteristics but also operate at cross-purposes. Somehow Uriah Heep has stayed in my mind with a strong a sense of revulsion.

In Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason books, who can forget the long limbed lanky detective, Paul Drake who is always drinking endless cups of coffee and eating burgers out of cardboard boxes. For all his apparently lazy movements, he is a brilliant detective, perfectly matched with the brains of Perry Mason.

I think Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot are too well known. We are all aware of their weird mannerisms.