Tuesday, 24 April 2012

TOP FIVE: Book dads

Now some time ago I decided I would like a new book family to look after me and I auditioned a second mum. After a hard-fought battle Mrs Weasley won the very exciting prize of me as a new daughter. (Main winning points: makes jumpers and I think she would kill a witch for me). 

Today I thought I would audition a dad to keep her company. There have been many famous literary dads, but maybe not all of them would be chaps you'd want in your house - e.g. King Lear. (OMG Reagan, Dad's outside shouting at the wind again. And he's naked. He's SOO embarrassing. Am also pretty sure he named one of us after an STD.)

Or e.g. Lord Azriel. (This is partly because I read HIS DARK MATERIALS after they'd announced the film casting and so I imagined him as Daniel Craig and so it would be a bit odd to have a dad that you thought looked quite nice in little pants.) Also because he is evil. But mainly the pants. 

One last e.g. Lucius Malfoy, who would be a supremely crap dad. Mainly because of bad hair.   

Here are the good dads!

1. King Arthur from SWORD OF LIGHT by Katherine Roberts
(Templar, 2012. Amazon link). 

You can find out more about this magical and just plain great adventure of a book by reading my review here

Now Arthur is a bit of an absent father (this is not his fault, he is dead). He has been killed by his nephew, Mordred, and Merlin arrives with his body in the fairy realm of Avalon at the beginning of the book. The heroine of the story is Rhianna Pendragon, Arthur's secret daughter. It is up to Rhianna to find Arthur's sword Excalibur and to lead her father's knights in the battle to take back Camelot. 

So it might seem an odd choice to pick a dad who barely appears in the book, but Arthur does feature in some key moments and Rhianna's connection to her famous father was, for me, one of the most interesting parts of the story. She has to take his place and continually hear about him from the people who knew him well, all the while wondering if he ever thought of her. The glimpses of Arthur she gets imply he is looking out for her - and are pretty powerful stuff.  

2. Ben and Cillian from the CHAOS WALKING trilogy by Patrick Ness
(Walker, 2008-2011. Amazon link)

Now I know it is a bit greedy to want two dads, but I very firmly feel that Ben and Cillian are the BEST DADS EVER. They would do anything for Todd and to fulfil their promise to his mother to take care of him. And even though Todd fights with Cillian you can tell how much  Cillian loves him. And they have a farm. I often forget they are not real and get quite emotional talking about them. 

3. The dad from DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD by Roald Dahl

Because he is an eye-smiler:

“I was glad my father was an eye-smiler. It meant he never gave me a fake smile because it’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself. A mouth-smile is different. You can fake a mouth-smile any time you want, simply by moving your lips. I’ve also learned that a real mouth-smile always has an eye-smile to go with it. So watch out, I say, when someone smiles at you but his eyes stay the same. It’s sure to be a phony.”

4. Mr Bennet from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen

Because of this:

5. Uncle Gee from THE 10PM QUESTION by Kate de Goldi
(Templar Books, 2010. Amazon link)

I have raved and raved about this book(see here), but I just think it's so damn good. It is the story of Frankie and his family, who are hilarious and lovely and I would like to live with them. Frankie's dad Uncle Gee probably makes me laugh the most because he likes to go round the house wearing a t-shirt that stops just above his genitals, which his kids find really embarrassing. And I find hilarious. Oh my, we've come back round to King Lear again!


  1. Oh I loved Danny's Dad as a kid! He was totally awesome, what with the poaching and everything. And Uncle Gee - well, he's just so quirky, who wouldn't love him? (Except maybe his own daughter).

    And I have to speak up for Lucius, he did have very impeccable hair in the earlier movies. It's just later when Voldermort arrives on the scene and they all have to run around killing people that he lets himself go a bit. I guess he can be excused for that right?

  2. Can't decide between Danny's dad and Ben and Cilian. Spoiled for choice! What an ace idea. And you're right, there is no better fictional Mum than Mrs. Weasley :)

  3. Come to think about it, if you have a really great dad then you're safe and happy...and you aren't going to make it into a book.
    It's not easy being a hero, you know.

  4. I know that he's more of a granddad-type than a dad but Tom Oakley in 'Goodnight Mister Tom' always brings a tear to my eye. Perhaps you could audition for a new granddad next?