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Born Weird Paperback – 26 Sep 2013

29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: The Friday Project (26 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000744141X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007441419
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'I gobbled it up in two days. I absolutely loved it. Another fantastic premise, brilliant characters, witty dialogue, it was just so so good and I am once again jealous that I didn't come up with the idea. As soon as I finished it I missed the characters so I hope he hurries up and writes another one quickly.' CECELIA AHERN

‘If you enjoy Wes Anderson films you’ll find a character to love here.’ EMERALD STREET

‘Touching, witty, and with downright addictive prose.’ HELLO

‘Wild, wacky, wonderful.’ THE GLOBE & MAIL

‘Kaufman has the enviable ability to zing his writing with humor. I often found myself laughing aloud at the Weirds’ fractured reality and the silliness that ensues.’ THE STAR

‘As a novelist he has set a certain unique course for himself, created a certain unique domain.’ NATIONAL POST

‘Wonderfully weird’ SAINSBURYS MAGAZINE

About the Author

ANDREW KAUFMAN is the author of, All My Friends Are Superheroes, The Tiny Wife, and The Waterproof Bible. He was born in Wingham, Ontario, the birthplace of Alice Munro, making him the second-best writer from a town of 3000. His work has been published in 11 countries and translated into 9 languages. He is also an accomplished screenwriter and lives in Toronto with his wife and their 2 children.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sugarteets on 21 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
I was a bit irritated by the premise of this book before I even borrowed it from the library, but the blurb and reviews pulled the wool over my eyes. I should have trusted my instincts. The whole thing revolves around the joke of the family name, which wears thin immediately. The characters remain wafer thin caricatures to the end, despite the fact that their every move is spelled out in painful detail by the author, who I'm not surprised to read is a screenwriter (not a criticism of screenwriters, but it read like a film. A bad one, mind you). It's a poor man's Wes Anderson in book form, really - trying very hard to be quirky and failing, failing, failing so miserably to be anything but a collection of worn cliches and bad jokes. The final line made me throw the book across the room in disgust. I wasted valuable life on this. Avoid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J on 25 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book based on its premise - a family of siblings each cursed with something from The Shark (their grandmother) which was supposed to aid them in life but has ended up with them being afflicted rather than helped.

One sibling gathers the others, and what follows is a strange but enjoyable look into how their lives have developed apart from each other and with their respective curses.

The characters however feel rushed and thin, and the language used in dialogue is somewhat simplistic at times. If it weren't for the adult themes, I'd say it was written as a young adult novel.

I did struggle to finish it, I wanted to know more and more about The Shark but I was left with that wanting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've loved Andrew Kaufman's books since the superb "All My Friends are Superheroes" and was really looking forward to "Born Weird", but sadly I found it rather disappointing.

The book tells the story of the Weird family - their name the result of a misspelling in the past - specifically the five children. When they were born their grandmother gave them all special abilities - nothing exciting like flight or invisibility, more the ability to forgive, always win in a fight, never lose hope and so on - and now, years later, the grandmother is close to death. She gives Angie Weird an instruction to gather her brothers and sisters together and return with them to the hospital in three days as that is when she will die, and at the moment of her passing she will take these gifts from them, gifts they have come to see as neither blessings nor curses, but "blurses". Angie sets off to find her siblings and the book details the story of the family, their father who disappeared and is presumed dead, their mother who is mentally ill and has a fixation on cutting peoples hair badly, and best of all "Rainytown", the model village of sorts, made of cardboard in the loft of the family home on rainy days to keep them occupied, although this great creation only features a couple of times.

Unlike Kaufman's other books I didn't really find any of the characters appealing, nor did I find the story particularly amusing or touching ("Superheroes" and "The Tiny Wife" both made me laugh and cry, and "The Waterproof Bible" was often moving) and in the last third I felt it ran out of steam, as though Kaufman didn't quite know what to do or how to end it. It's an enjoyable read, but for me it was a big let-down compared to his previous books.
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Format: Paperback
The 5 siblings of the Weird family were (unbeknown to them) blessed at birth by their Grandmother. Unfortunately these blessings became more of a curse and they lived difficult lives. Their Grandmother is now dying and plans to remove these blessings/curses at the moment of her death provided they are all present. Angie, the favoured Grandchild, has to round up the rest & get them there on time.
This is a very unusual book & it is best if belief is left at the front cover. No explanation of how the blessings are made or where the magical power comes from is given. Just accept it or you will get very irritated by the book's total lack of explanation. Fortunately I was looking for a relaxing rather than complex book when I started this so had no problem settling back and accepting things at face value.
This is rather a light weight book - apart from the continuing requirement to believe what is written no real effort is required on the part of the reader. It isn't just the blessings that need to believed it is the vast number of coincidences (also due to their Grandmother's influence) and the surreal lives that these siblings lead with their very strange habits. The story flows very well and it is a very easy to read book - ideal for a quiet holiday afternoon at the pool or if you are likely to get interrupted. It was easy to put down and pick up again without needing to focus very hard. You don't need to keep track of each of the siblings life stories as very little information is provided as to how they arrived in their current position. A small amount of back story exists about their childhood but that is all. How Abba came to be Queen of Uplifftia and build a large fairytale castle is left to the readers own imagination!
The characters in this book are really quite shallow.
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