Six characters I’ve love to have a drink with

I love characters that are so well-crafted I need to remind myself they’re fictional. All good novels have at least one such character.

If I did bump into one of these super-fictional characters at the supermarket, I’d be at a loss to know what to say. More hopefully I’d spy them at the local pub. Then I could buy them a drink and we’d easily settle into convivial chat.

Here are six characters from books I’ve read lately that I hope to run into at my local. I’d shout them their drink of choice. It’d be great craic.

A pushmi-pullyu book: The Way of All Flesh

Anyone who knows me, or this blog, knows that I’m a sucker for historical fiction. Since I picked up Alias Grace many (many) moons ago, I’ll always choose historical fiction over any other genre. So I was a warm target for The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry. Set in the 1840s, it fuses the medical world of Edinburgh with a series of violent crimes against women to produce an unusual historical crime novel.

Despite many 5 star reviews, publicity for the book seems overly reliant on the kudos of its authors. ‘Ambrose Parry’ is a pseudonym for a collaboration between the renowned Scottish author Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, a consultant anaesthetist. But does it work?

 

Ambitious and Astonishing: Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing is hugely ambitious in every way a book can be – it tackles the history of the slave trade, the story stretches across 400 years, it alternates its setting between two continents and has a different central character for each chapter. Given this scale of ambition, the book doesn’t always hit its mark, however it is a powerful, haunting read that will stay with me for years.

A Woman’s Place?: The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

Earlier this year I went to a book talk in which Clare Wright was part of the panel. I tried for the best part of an hour not to like her – she was hugely articulate, funny, intelligent and attractive. [Gahhhh!] I couldn’t sustain any genuine dislike though, she was just too darn charismatic. I resolved then to read her award-winning account of the Eureka Rebellion:  The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka. It’s a tome, but the most entertaining tome I’ve read in ages.