The latest fiction from Andrew Kaufman is substantially longer than his much loved “All My Friends Are Superheroes”, but Born Weird thankfully shares a lot of the charm and quirky goodness that made his debut such a bookshop favourite (and a genuine word-of-mouth hit).
The five Weird siblings, Richard, Lucy, Abba, Kent and Angie, don’t know they were “blursed” (blessed and cursed) at birth by their grandmother, Annie – “The Shark”. The special powers she bestowed haven’t enhanced their lives in the way she intended, and as adults each of them struggles.
Predicting her own demise, Annie instructs Angie to gather her brothers and sisters in Annie’s hospital room at the moment of her death, when she will remove the powers. What follows is a very filmic romp as Angie attempts to round ’em up in time. I can see this as one of those cool indie movies; it’s very Little Miss Sunshine.
Along the way there’s the mystery of their father’s disappearance to solve, dodgy haircuts courtesy of the mother who fails to recognise them, a car chase, a pregnancy, a couple of love stories and a fake town. It’s a big hearted, entertaining and charming read, which is just as we’d expect.