Sally Flint

Book Review of Sara Pascoe's Weirdo


Sara Pascoe’s Weirdo presents a captivating exploration of contemporary fiction, resonating particularly with younger readers through its fresh, accessible style and relatable themes. Initially hesitant about delving into literature seemingly geared towards a younger demographic, I found Pascoe’s novel to be a delightful surprise, offering a blend of humour and insight that appeals to a broad audience.

At its core, Weirdo follows the journey of Sophie, a somewhat relatable protagonist navigating the complexities of life and love. From her escapades in Australia to her struggles with debt back in Essex, Sophie’s experiences resonate with the reader, evoking both laughter and empathy.

Pascoe’s narrative style is accessible and engaging, skilfully combining humour and introspection to keep the pages turning. The novel’s themes are multifaceted: while it touches on familiar topics of popular literature, such as love, friendship, and self-discovery, it also delves deeper into the essence of human existence. Pascoe infuses the story with a tragicomic angst that reflects modern comedic writing.

What sets Weirdo apart is its seamless transition between moments of levity and deeper emotional resonance. It bears resemblance to a more profound and philosophical version of Bridget Jones. Pascoe adeptly navigates the complexities of human relationships, exploring themes of acceptance, forgiveness, and the pursuit of happiness through the lens of a protagonist who can easily be perceived as a “weirdo” due to her idiosyncrasies.

Structured with a mix of first-person narration, emails, and letters, Weirdo offers a fresh and dynamic reading experience. Pascoe’s comedic timing shines through even in vulnerable and introspective moments, adding depth to the narrative. It’s worth noting the thematic connection to Gaarder’s Sophie’s World, as both titles delve into philosophical reflections on life.

In conclusion, Weirdo is a charming and entertaining exploration of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. With its witty prose and endearing characters, Sara Pascoe’s debut novel is sure to leave readers smiling long after they’ve turned the final page.


Book Club Questions on Sara Pascoe's Weirdo

• Sophie entertains the idea that Australia might be fake, with everyone being actors. What does this reveal about Sophie’s character, and what broader insights does it offer about human nature and perception?

• Cariad Lloyd likened Weirdo to a book Camus might have written if raised in Essex. What do you think he meant by this comparison, and how does it reflect on Sara Pascoe’s novel?

• The title Weirdo can be interpreted in various ways. Did it intrigue you or deter you from reading the book? Discuss your thoughts on the title’s significance.

• Reflecting on the novel, what scene or moment did you find the funniest, and why did it resonate with you?

• What societal observations do you believe Sara Pascoe is making through Weirdo? Discuss any themes or critiques of society you identified while reading.

• While Weirdo can be enjoyed as a romantic comedy about a quirky adult, it also delves into deeper philosophical themes. How do these two aspects of the novel intersect, and what philosophical insights did you glean from the story?

• The book concludes with Sophie texting herself, highlighting her sense of isolation. What does this action signify about Sophie’s character, and how does it relate to the broader themes explored by Sara Pascoe?

• For readers who recall the Christmas day fiasco at Sophie’s mum’s house, discuss the blend of humour and tragedy in that scene and what it reveals about family dynamics.

• If given the choice, would you be more inclined to pick up Sara Pascoe’s Weirdo or Jostein Gaarder’s 

Book Club Questions on Weirdo (for those who haven't the book)

• Sophie ignores increasing debt collector letters throughout the novel. Are you someone who tends to avoid confronting problems like Sophie, or do you tackle them head-on?

• Sophie’s mum engages in an affair with a married man, Ron, finding his humour attractive. What do you think is the most important component of a successful relationship, based on this dynamic?

• In one amusing scenein Weirdo, Sophie’s religious education school report is replicated. Share the funniest comment you remember receiving in your own school report and discuss its impact on you.

• In Weirdo, Sophie recalls an uncomfortable situation on the train where she attempted to play down her vomiting incident while feeling the scrutiny of others. Would anyone like to share their own embarrassing stories, whether alcohol-related or not?


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