Friday, November 9, 2007

Characters we know and love

One of the things I love about Daddy's Girl, featured in the current volume of Select Editions, is Lisa Scottoline's deft hand with certain characters, beyond the book itself. Meaning: I know those guys! Take Angus, the offbeat-but-cool professor. Angus has a ponytail and wears fisherman-knit sweaters. Students flock to him. Girls have crushes on him. Honestly, don't we all remember our "Angus" from college? At my school there were a few: the young English professor who was a rising poet, who wore a white scarf and a leather jacket around campus, and held office hours at the local coffee joint. Then there was the philosophy professor who cross-country skiied to class in winter, and held class (or should I say "held court:") outdoors under the willow trees in fall and spring.

My other favorite Scottoline character in this book is Paul, the little brother who speaks only in capital letters. Boy, do I know him! He's the sweet but clueless friend who interrupts your deepest confidences with sports updates; he's the sister-in-law who always talks but never listens at Thanksgiving; he's the guy everyone loves but wishes would take it down a decible or two. All it took was a few sentences in capital letters, and Scottoline was able to capture Paul. That's talent.


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