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All his friends are superheroes
Happy New Year! I can already sense that 2013 is going to be a good year for London book events.
Waterstones Piccadilly. Image sourced from Wikipedia
Waterstones Piccadilly are kicking off their New Year event diary on 16th January with an in conversation and signing with bestselling Canadian author Andrew Kaufman to celebrate the release of his new novel, Born Weird.
Kaufman is a funny and imaginative writer who combines all the highs and lows of the everyday with a teensy bit of magic, thoroughly exploring each corner of his characters' psyches while providing extensive humour and warmth to his dedicated following of readers.
Born Weird, released on 3rd January 2013, is about five siblings who were each blessed with an unusual ability at birth. Richard always keeps himself safe, Lucy can never get lost, Abba always has hope, Angie forgives everything and Kent can overcome anyone in a physical fight. In a deathbed moment of insight, the Weird siblings' grandmother Annie, who bestowed these gifts upon them at birth, realises that it is highly probable that these "blessings" have ruined her grandchildren's lives. She entrusts her favourite of the five, Angie, with the Herculean task of gathering them all together again so she can remove the gift before she kicks the bucket at a very specific time, less than two weeks away.
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of Born Weird and so I can promise wholeheartedly that it's worth a gander. Full of all the drama and riot of a family holiday, the Weirds face their pasts together and through hilarious experiences and touching conversations they adventure to save their ruined lives and figure out who they really are.
While he's around and signing you might also want to look into Kaufman's backlist.
All My Friends are Superheroes is about an ordinary man called Tom whose friends are all superheroes, including his wife, the Perfectionist. At their wedding the Perfectionist's ex boyfriend, Hypno, hypnotises her so that she can no longer see him. After six months the Perfectionist gives up and decides to move to Vancouver and use her powers to make her forget about Tom. He boards the plane beside her but he only has the length of the journey to convince her he's there or she will forget him completely.
The Tiny Wife begins with a robbery. A thief enters a Toronto bank and, in asking for their most treasured possession, steals a fragment of the soul of each victim. While at first unscathed by the ordeal the victims soon start to notice that strange things are happening to them, such as when a woman's husband turns into a snowman. In the case of the narrator's wife, Stacey, she begins to shrink until it appears she might disappear.
The Waterproof Bible is the story of three characters who are all troubled by loss in some way or another. Rebecca broadcasts her feelings to people around her and so has to lock her emotions in a storage unit. Lewis loses his wife and decides that running away is the only solution. During his escape from the situation he runs into a woman who claims to be God. Aby, a frog woman who belongs to a religion called Aquaticism is about to lose her mother and is on a mission to save her dying soul.
All of Kaufman's work is incredibly strange but demonstrates an uncanny ability to climb inside his characters' minds and lay their souls bare, making them identifiable and lovable in the extreme. Doing all this while providing ample humour and imagination makes him high up on my to-meet list.
The event will take place at 6:30pm on Wednesday 16th January on the first floor of Waterstones Piccadilly. Tickets are £5, or £3 with a Waterstones loyalty card. You can buy tickets in store, by calling 0207 851 2400, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.