Born Weird

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Born Weird

by Andrew Kaufman

Random House of Canada | December 26, 2012 | Trade Paperback

Born Weird is rated 4 out of 5 by 6.

The Weirds have always been a little off, but not one of them ever suspected that they''d been cursed by their grandmother.
 
At the moment of the births of her five grandchildren Annie Weird gave each one a special power. Richard, the oldest, always keeps safe; Abba always has hope; Lucy is never lost and Kent can beat anyone in a fight. As for Angie, she always forgives, instantly. But over the years these so-called blessings ended up ruining their lives.
 
Now Annie is dying and she has one last task for Angie: gather her far-flung brothers and sisters and assemble them in her grandmother''s hospital room so that at the moment of her death, she can lift these blessings-turned-curses. And Angie has just two weeks to do it.
 
What follows is a quest like no other, tearing up highways and racing through airports, from a sketchy Winnipeg nursing home to the small island kingdom of Upliffta, from the family''s crumbling ancestral Toronto mansion to a motel called Love. And there is also the search for the answer to the greatest family mystery of all: what really happened to their father, whose maroon Maserati was fished out of a lake so many years ago?

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 0.8 in

Published: December 26, 2012

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307357643

ISBN - 13: 9780307357649

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Weird and Wonderful! This is a short and sweet tale of estranged siblings forced to come together under unusual circumstances. At birth each child was bestowed a blessing by their grandmother and over the years these blessings have become a curse. With their grandmother on her deathbed, it's a race to get to her in time to life the curse forever. It’s an oddly lighthearted story with an underlying serious tone about the importance of family. I think you’ll like the Weirds.
Date published: 2014-02-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Weird and Wonderful! This is a short and sweet tale of estranged siblings forced to come together under unusual circumstances. At birth each child was bestowed a blessing by their grandmother but over the years these blessings have become curses and the only one who can break the curse, is their grandmother, who is on her deathbed. It’s an oddly lighthearted story with humour and an underlying serious tone about the importance of family. I think you’ll like the Weirds.
Date published: 2014-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simultaneously Hilarious and Heart Warming Born Weird is everything you would expect based on the description. It’s a very fun and quite enjoyable read. A group of five siblings travelling all over Canada (and the kingdom of Upliffta) to try and lift their blursings (blessings+curses) that were bestowed upon them at their birth. And they have to do it all before their grandmother dies. The chemistry among the characters was just excellent. Exactly as it would be among siblings. And I loved all their back and forths, arguments and set backs as they undertook this journey together. Andrew Kaufman has excellent characterization skills. Each character – all the siblings, the grandmother and even Paul – have such clear personalities. And it’s accomplished without letting them fall back into clichés or boring archetypes. Born Weird is a short book (and a fast read!) but by the end of it all you feel as though you know them all intimately. You have things you like and dislike about all of them, just like people in real life and you truly feel like you’ve been through an incredible journey alongside them. At its core this book is about family and I loved that. It’s about what it means to be a family. About always having someone there when you need them – and in turn being there for them. And more specifically about the special relationship that exists between siblings. Which means a lot to me because despite all of our differences my siblings are very important to me. I liked that even though Kent was always angry and started throwing things the moment he saw them, they stayed and waited because he was their brother. And even though Abba hasn’t called or wrote in ages they still go to her and it is like they have been together the whole time. Family. They’re always there. For better or for worse. In addition to the truly touching approach to family, and the bursts of humour that had me giggling, Born Weird also has these brilliant insights into humanity. And they would come out of no where and just floor you. For example there’s a bit where Kent is talking to Richard about photography. It was so honest, so thought provoking. Probably my favourite moment of the whole book. Recommendation: A quick, quirky read that is guaranteed to brighten your day. It will make you laugh and simultaneously touch your heart. Born Weird is one beautiful book.
Date published: 2013-12-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Book Review from The Bibliotaphe Closet: Born Weird by Andrew Kaufman Born Weird by Andrew Kaufman is a light-hearted fictional tale about a creative and quirky family named The Weirds after a misspelling of the original name of their ancestor, Sterling D. Wyird, in the process of emigrating from England to Canada. It’s a story of the grown children’s quest to gather themselves together to meet their grandmother who they all cynically refer to as the Shark, before the deadline of her own prophetic death. Why must they do this? Because much to what they’ve guessed about themselves, their grandmother reaffirmed their beliefs about being “cursed” with special gifts they each received from her and promises to lift each curse upon her death. Though the premise of the story sounds absurd, its telling is easily readable and entertaining enough for the reader to be drawn into its fantastical plausibility. The Weird Family consists of intelligent, witty, and creative, imaginative siblings, though different in personality, are all bound by the sentimental act of building a model city together as children from cardboard boxes and their vivid imagination—and also by the trauma of an absent father who is tragically killed in a car accident. The five siblings—Richard, is given the ability to keep himself safe; Lucy, is never lost; Abba, never loses hope; Angie, is given the power to forgive anyone, anytime; and Kent, has powerful physical strength in order to defend himself. And while these “gifts” appear as blessings, bound by the absolutism of them, the bearers are hindered and the gifts become a curse. It’s in their quest to search out and gather each sibling to make the deadline to visit their dying grandmother that they’re able to cope and come to terms with not only the bafflement of their individual gifts, but also the mental deterioration of their mother who lives in a janitorial closet in a nursing home, and the mysterious nature of their father’s missing body. To finish reading the rest of my review, you're more than welcome to visit my blog, The Bibliotaphe Closet: http://zaraalexis.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/book-review-born-weird-by-andrew-kaufman/ Thanks, Zara The Bibliotaphe Closet http://zaraalexis.wordpress.com
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So weird. Be weird. From the opening chapter, I knew I was going to really enjoy "Born Weird." What was supposed to be a couple of pages before bed, turned into 60 pages. I was hooked, and I couldn't stop delving into the weird weird world of the Weirds. There is something so easy and fluid about the words Andrew Kaufman used. It instantly grabbed and connected with me, along with this offbeat story of five siblings who are each blessed and cursed ("blursed") by their grandmother, whom they fondly call The Shark, at the time of their births - Richard stays safe, Abba holds hope, Lucy is never lost, Kent has physical strength, and Angie always forgives. Tasked with gathering all the Weird siblings to their grandmother's deathbed so that she can set them free from the blursings, so begins Angie's reconnection with her family, herself, and what it means to be Weird. Although the interest did peter off towards the end, this quirky family saga had me smirking silly and had me guessing what weird turns it would take and how weirdly it would end. Weird.
Date published: 2014-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So heartfelt! What a heartfelt book! The story of five siblings who are "blursed" at birth (blursed = blessing & curse) by their eccentric grandmother, Annie. After the death of their father shakes their family to the core, the Weird children disperse throughout the world and continue their lives on their own. But on her deathbed, Annie calls the five grandchildren to her hospital room in Vancouver so that she may lift their blursings before she meets her very timely end. I loved every single character in this book. That part of me that watched all those superhero shows as a kid jumped for joy at Kaufman's sharp, witty prose, laced with the magic of super powers. You need to read this book!
Date published: 2014-03-05

– More About This Product –

Born Weird

by Andrew Kaufman

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 0.8 in

Published: December 26, 2012

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307357643

ISBN - 13: 9780307357649

From the Publisher

The Weirds have always been a little off, but not one of them ever suspected that they''d been cursed by their grandmother.
 
At the moment of the births of her five grandchildren Annie Weird gave each one a special power. Richard, the oldest, always keeps safe; Abba always has hope; Lucy is never lost and Kent can beat anyone in a fight. As for Angie, she always forgives, instantly. But over the years these so-called blessings ended up ruining their lives.
 
Now Annie is dying and she has one last task for Angie: gather her far-flung brothers and sisters and assemble them in her grandmother''s hospital room so that at the moment of her death, she can lift these blessings-turned-curses. And Angie has just two weeks to do it.
 
What follows is a quest like no other, tearing up highways and racing through airports, from a sketchy Winnipeg nursing home to the small island kingdom of Upliffta, from the family''s crumbling ancestral Toronto mansion to a motel called Love. And there is also the search for the answer to the greatest family mystery of all: what really happened to their father, whose maroon Maserati was fished out of a lake so many years ago?

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.

Editorial Reviews

FINALIST 2013 – Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour

“Kaufman’s stories are whimsical, gentle and reassuringly upbeat…. This novel rests firmly on a vision of hope and imagination.”
—Patricia Dawn Robertson, The Globe and Mail
 
“Fantastical, quirky, full of wordplay, and laugh-out-loud funny…. With humour, sensitivity and insight, Kaufman reveals how we all spin fantasies to survive the setbacks in life. He creates extraordinary, unreal scenarios in which he is able [to] poignantly illuminate the very real pitfalls and pain of human connection.”
—The Chronicle Herald
 
“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.”
—Jennifer Hunter, Toronto Star
 
“With razor-sharp wit and…quirky characters, Andrew Kaufman’s novel conveys the importance of family through a delightful modern-day quest.”
—Chatelaine
 
“Spending time with the Weirds is enjoyable, and Kaufman has a gift for quick repartee among his characters.”
—Quill & Quire

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