The Trivia Man 3



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This is essentially Kevin Dwyer’s story.

Kevin is a middle-aged forensic accountant in his late 40s who is obsessed with collecting facts on all manner of things but most especially, the ebb and flow of the changing tides. He also has a terrific memory for events past and present and decides to join the Clifton Heights Sports Club trivia competition where he excels. He prefers to work on his own and decides to play on his own team called “the one man band”. ttm

However, he is finally persuaded by Maggie Taylor, a Latin Teacher, aged 54, to join their team. Maggie is good at her job but unlucky in love and is persuaded by her friend Carole to join the trivia team founded by her husband Edward.

Maggie’s long time first love, Josh Houghton, is forever in her mind as she struggles to free herself from her dependence on his affections. As the story evolves, Kevin and Maggie begin to appreciate each other’s point of view and feel comfortable in each other’s company as they negotiate the various problems in their separate lives.

Kevin’s only friend seems to be his nephew Patrick, his sister Elizabeth’s son. Patrick considers Kevin his best friend, much to Elizabeth’s chagrin, as she thinks her brother is decidedly weird; she worries Kevin is a bad influence on Patrick. However, Kevin and Patrick share some similar traits and understand each other on their own level.

Each chapter of this story takes on a different aspect of the main characters lives, both past and present. Despite the many references to trivia and the many scenes which take place at trivia nights, this book is not about the game of trivia. Rather, The Trivia Man is about complex personalities coming to terms with their differences in an effort to feel “normal” and to be accepted by mainstream society.

The characters are all really engaging and I found myself keenly turning the pages in the hope that enlightenment would dawn on them before too long. The Trivia Man is ultimately an uplifting story with a positive ending, easy to read and thought provoking too.

Starts at 60 Book Club members read, reviewed and recommended two earlier novels by author Deborah O’Brien, The Jade Widow and A Place of Her Own; I am happy to add my voice and recommend her latest offering, with thanks to Random House Australia for providing my ARC.

This review is one stop on the Random House Blog Tour for The Trivia Man. To read more see Monday’s stop here and tomorrow’s visit here.


The Trivia Man by Deborah O’Brien

Available for $27.75 via Booktopia

Laraine Fisher

Retired from Monash University, Faculty of Medicine as Personal Assistant to the Faculty Manager and assisted the Dean with Policy documentation (2006). Went back to work part-time in 2008 for Michael Hill Jewellery as an Office Assistant for 3 years and then finished up to work with my husband part-time for a Labour Hire company as an Admin Assistant. Qualified as a Professional Counsellor in 1999 and worked as a counsellor for 12 months before being offered a full-time position at the Faculty of Medicine. Prefer reading : Murder/mystery thrillers with a psychological twist. Also enjoy novels well researched and based on history. My favourite authors are Ken Follett, Kate Atkinson, Peter James, Gillian Flynn, Peter Robinson, Jeffery Deaver, Lynda Le Plante, David Baldacci and Jodi Picoult.

  1. Thanks Laraine. I am not heavily into stories of human relationships but, if well written, I am happy to read. I think, from your review, this is one about which I should see my bookman!

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