Title Born Weird
Author: Andrew Kaufman (author website)
Publisher: The Friday Project, my favourite imprint of Harper Collins.
Publication date: 3rd January 2013
Paperback: 226 pages
Why did I choose to read this book? Andrew Kaufman is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and after reading, and loving, both The Tiny Wife and All My Friends are Superheroes I invested in Born Weird.
Where to read this book? On a journey preferably a road trip around the USA – failing that it’s short and light enough to add to your train journey home, or away, this bank holiday weekend.
Refreshments: Road trip snacks with a difference reach for a bag of lentil crisps – pretty much along the lines of a small poppadom I discovered these bad boys journeying back up to Yorkshire Easter weekend.
Meet the Weird children, they have always been a little peculiar, but not one of them suspected that they’d been blursed* by their grandmother. At the moment of their birth Annie Weird gave each of her five grandchildren a special power that she thought was a blessing. Richard, the oldest, always keeps safe; Abba always has hope; Lucy is never lost and Kent can beat anyone in a fight. As for Angie, she always forgives, instantly. But over the years these blessings have proved to be curses and ruined their lives. Now Annie is dying and she has one last task for Angie, to gather her far-flung brothers and sisters and assemble them in her Grandmother’s hospital room so that at the moment of her death, she can lift these blursings.*
My third outing into the weird (sorry) world of Andrew Kaufman has once again brought joy into my life thanks to his style, humour and utterly unique imagination. Likened to the literary version of Wes Anderson he has climbed the ranks to become one of my favourite go-to authors counting Jonas Jonasson and Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg as firm friends in this inner circle.
I told Andrew via the social medium that is Twitter that I wanted to become Kate Weird, he told me I didn’t, I maintain I still do. This isn’t because of any burning desire to have a blurse put upon me but more to be part of the inner sanctum that is the Weirds. I’m probably coming across as a massive groupie, however, I don’t care, Kaufman has created a brilliant family dynamic, none of them are given preferential treatment, even Angie who is pregnant, everything is put to ‘the vote’ which is the last word on all matters.
Without giving too much of the joy away I can assure you that Kaufman has once again managed to bring relevant life lessons to the table without one realising and provides a much-needed alternative to the traditional (and condescending) self-help bookshelves.
Bringing inspiration, sarcasm and distinctive characters to life ‘Born Weird’ will satisfy many of your literary cravings (plus it’s short so even those with ‘time’ or ‘attention-span’ complaints don’t have any excuse!)
*Blursing = blessing + curse (naturally)
Rating: 10 out of 10 – my second or perhaps third full marks!