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8 Books With The Weirdest Character Names

One of the advantages of being an author is that you can invent your own characters and the worlds that they inhabit. However, all of these characters must then be named as well, which is something that certain authors are better at than others. Sometimes characters are given bizarre names to emphasize the fact that they exist in worlds vastly different from our own while other times we are left wondering what the author was thinking. The fantasy genre in particular is fond of characters with names containing almost more apostrophes than letters, but here are some other books featuring pretty peculiar character names as well.

1. The Golden Age

by John C. Wright

When it comes to not only the weirdest, but possibly also the longest name in fiction, there are few books that come close to The Golden Age. It is the first book in the three-part Golden Oecumene series by John C. Wright and features a protagonist who discovers parts of his past appears to have been removed from his mind. The full name of the protagonist is “Phaethon Prime Rhadamanth Humodified (augment) Uncomposed, Indepconsciousness, Base Neuroformed, Silver-Gray Manorial Schola, Era 7043”, but most people stick to simply calling him Phaethon.

2. Even Cowgirls Get The Blues

by Tom Robbins

The protagonist of Even Cowgirls Get The Blues is Sissy Hankshaw, a woman with enormous thumbs. Instead of seeing this as a defect Sissy considers her thumbs a gift and use them to become a hitchhiker who travels across the United States. Although Sissy isn’t really that unusual a name she does at one point encounter the improbably named cowgirl, Bonanza Jellybean.

3. Oliver Twist

by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens could probably fill every spot on this list with the number of strange names he came up with for his character. One example is Charley Bates, from the novel Oliver Twist. While the name doesn’t sound very peculiar it is the fact that he is regularly referred to as Master Bates that might raise a few eyebrows. Then there is also the schoolteacher in Hard Times, known as Mr. M’Choakumchild and Lord Lancaster Stiltstalking from Little Dorrit to name a few.

4. Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

Another novel that is bursting at the seams with weird character names is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. First Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder is bad enough because it sounds like some type of comic book villain, but then we also have Major Major Major. Major when on to attain the rank of Major, making him Major Major Major Major. The book itself is about the airmen of the 256th Squadron who try their best to not take part in combat missions and is widely regarded as a literary classic.

5. Valis

Philip K. Dick

One of the narrators of Valis has a name that is almost as strange as the story itself. His name is Horselover Fat and he is contacted by a divine being of some sort via a pinkish ray of light. If this wasn’t bizarre enough, the author Philip K. Dick is also in the novel and is probably also the same person as Horselover Fat. You see, Philip means “lover of horses” in Greek and Dick is German for “Fat.”

6. The Selection

by Keira Cass

The selection is set in a world that is divided into eight castes based on economic and social status. The protagonist of the book is part of the Five caste, which is the entertainers. When the Crown prince holds a competition to select his future wife, the protagonist is pressured by her family to enter in the hopes of her becoming a princess. With the novel set in a type of dystopian America and the protagonist being a singer it seems a bit bizarre that the author chose to literally name her America Singer.

7. The Outsiders

by S. E. Hinton

The Outsiders is a coming of age novel that is made even more impressive by the fact that the author wrote the book before she was even 18 years old. The story is a powerful portrayal of what happens when two completely different social groups clash, which is a very mature topic for such a young author. While the oldest brother of the narrator is blessed with the ordinary name of Darrel, the two younger siblings were not as fortunate. Somehow, they ended up with the names Ponyboy and Sodapop, respectively.

8. Very LeFreak

by Rachel Cohn

The author of Very LeFreak seems to be so happy with the name that she came up with for her character that she even made it the title of the book. It is a story about a girl named, yes you guessed it Very LeFreak, who has a bit of a problem. The problem isn’t even her bizarre name, but the fact that she is absolutely addicted to technology. Very is actually short for Veronica, but the author must have been a fan of the 70s album, C’est Chic, to come up with that surname.

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