Friday, February 12, 2010

Literature Loving Characters

I’ve recently read several really great books that star well read characters. Three of these books have been YA books with male protagonists. The bookworm boy is rarely represented in fiction, but it makes sence that boys who read books would enjoy reading about boys that read books. The way that these authors brought literary refrences into the novels was a lot of fun.

In SLEEPING FRESHMAN NEVER LIE, Scott goes out for the school paper hoping to get face time with his latest crush. Only she ends up leaving the paper staff after one issue. Scott really wants to write book reviews, but ends up getting stuck working as a sports reporter instead. The guy can’t win. But he does have lots of commentary on the horrible book reviews that do appear in the paper and lots of ideas about the books he would review if given the chance.

In KING DORK, Tom hates CATCHER IN THE RYE. Every English teacher he’s ever had has forced him to read it and he is just playing sick of Holden Caulfield. That is until he finds a beat up copy of Catcher in his basement, that belonged to his deseast father. Tom attempts to get to know his father by decoding the criptic notes written in the margens of his dad’s copy of Catcher. Oh and Tom’s life tends to mirror Holden’s a lot too. Drat.

But my favorite novel about a well read teen is SPANKING SHAKESPEARE. The main character in this novel is named Shakespeare, his parents are freaks. Shakespeare isn’t really all that much of a reader, but he does have the hots for a very well read girl. As a result he writes her a 16 stanza poem that compairs himself to several literary masters with the final conclusion that Shakespeare needs to get laid. It’s one of the funniest passages I’ve ever read. You should definately go buy this book, but I’ll tease you with one of my favorite stanzas.

Shakespeare (the first) while writing King Lear
Got totally hammered guzzling beer.
And in between poems, word has it that Keats
Liked to cavort betwixt oft-soiled sheets.

So what about you fellow writers, do any of your characters like to quote passages from Catcher, or write pornographic poems about Keats? If not, I think you’re slacking.

Joke of the Day
What’s big and gray and wrote gloomy poetry?
T.S. Elephant


CKHB said...

My main character quotes Hemingway, and her best friend is a Shakespearean actor!

Heather Kelly said...

Thanks for the great reviews and insight! I'm putting some of them on my must read list.