Kevin struggles to make sense of the world. Women in particular are extremely confusing but his social awkwardness doesn't worry him because he prefers his own company. Even when he plays in the trivia competitions he loves, he’s happiest as a table of one.
The only person Kevin is comfortable with is his nephew, Patrick. Kevin’s sister, Elizabeth, is dismissive and barely tolerant of her brother, amazed when one of her friends takes an interest in him. She disapproves of his friendship with Patrick because she is afraid that her son will grow up to be like his uncle.
At a trivia game, Kevin meets Maggie. Maggie is entangled with an old boyfriend, who uses their past relationship and her desire to rekindle it, to his advantage. Kevin and Maggie are nothing alike but they understand each other.
The Trivia Man is narrated from multiple viewpoints – Kevin, Maggie, Elizabeth and Patrick – which cleverly gives the reader three different insights into who Kevin is and why he behaves the way he does. Maggie’s clear perception, Elizabeth’s derisive disdain and Patrick’s childhood innocence add layers to Kevin’s characterisation.
This is a warming story of friendship and family – and fitting in – even if you are a square peg.
Reviewed by Sandy Fussell
Title: The Trivia Man
Author: Deborah O’Brien
Publisher: Bantam, Random House
Publication Date: $32.99 RRP
ISBN: 9780857988027Type: Adult Fiction