Weird by Gene Kemp
Published by Faber and Faber, 2003
by Newmarket-on-Fergus book club
story is about a boy named Troy, who is very weird. He is obsessed
with, though brilliant at numbers, is undisciplined, erratic and
violent, though also lovable. The novel portrays the effect he has
on his family, neighbours and school, and shows how other people
respond to people who are different. His family thinks he is completely
mad, all except for his Mom, who pretends there is nothing wrong
with him. The family are both fascinated and frustrated with Troy’s
weirdness as he proves a constant problem and embarrassment to them.
is the narrator of the story and the middle child, with an older
sister and her younger brother, Troy. Claire is helpful and considerate
at home, especially where Troy is concerned. She is constantly challenged
by her siblings, her mother who places a lot of responsibility on
her, and her inner voice Clarry, who insists she looks out for number
one. She resents the responsibility that is placed on her as she
battles to keep the family normal in abnormal circumstances.
fact, the whole family falls apart with Troy’s ever increasing
strangeness. The teachers, neighbours and family members cannot
cope with Troy and are frustrated with him. It is only when Troy’s
Dad leaves home that his mother eventually admits that he is different
and needs professional help. Troy thinks he is going to be locked
up and so disappears. While everyone is searching for him a man
in a gold and purple outfit turns up to say he has won first prize
in a competition to guess the number of chocolate beans in a jar.
the end, there is hope that Troy’s genius will be recognised.
His weirdness turns out to be an integral part of his genius. This
is a very funny and lively book, enjoyed by all the members in the
7 out of 10.