Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Trivia Man by Deborah O'Brien

There is more than meets the eye in The Trivia Man, a light, easy read from Australian author, Deborah O’Brien. It is the story of Kevin Dwyer, who cleans up big time at the Clifton Heights Sports Club trivia nights because of his amazing recollection of general knowledge. With his head full of statistics he doesn’t need to join a team, he enters the comps as One-Man-Band, although several attractive women from other teams try to inveigle him into joining theirs. Only Maggie Taylor has any success.

Maggie is a member of Teddy and the Dreamers, and having Kevin on their team means their patronising team leader, Edward Clarke, has someone to take him down a peg or two, and she and Kevin begin to become friends. The story of their relationship runs through the book parallel to the on-going battle of the trivia teams towards the final. Meanwhile O’Brien fills in details Kevin’s growing up and his difficulties with people and Maggie’s struggle to get over the great love of her life, the caddish Josh Houghton.

While both characters make life-changing discoveries in the course of the book, there is also plenty of humour, especially surrounding the trivia nights and their ex-TV host MC, the Professor. But beneath all the fun, O’Brien tackles more serious issues regarding how difficult it is to fit in if you are a bit different. Although the author never uses the word Asperger’s, it hovers in the background, the elephant in the room. O'Brien uses a light touch laced with humour and sensitivity to create a bright and charming read.

Posted by JAM

Catalogue link: The Trivia Man

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