Posted by Angelica R. Jackson
Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors and followers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their blogs. You can hop from destination to destination through the YA Highway site and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This week's topic: A long-awaited kiss, a surprise ending, a character's sudden decision… these are the moments that make us smile, gasp, and LOVE a book for the rest of our lives.
What is your favorite literary moment?
All the specific examples I could think of for this were too spoilery (the squiggly red underline said spoilery is not a word, but I flashed it my literary license), so I had to think in more general terms.
What came to mind is Christopher Moore's mastery of absurd humor that turns expectations on their head. I love all his books, but the one that best demonstrates it is A Dirty Job. The MC is Charlie, who lost his wife just after she gave birth to their child. As if that wasn't dark enough, Charlie has just been recruited as a Death, one of many reapers that hold onto souls until they move on. Only he doesn't know about his new role right away, and his grief over his wife is interrupted and complicated by all the weird things happening to him now.
My favorite scene is when Charlie goes over to a home to assess some clothing for his thrift shop. An elderly man takes Charlie into his late wife's closet, where in his own grief the old man says he wants to die. Charlie can absolutely sympathize--he still misses his wife, who "still occupied that place in his heart, and when he turned in the kitchen to say something to her and she wasn't there, it took his breath."
The old man is trying to speak through his own grief to tell Charlie about his wife, and finally gets out, "She was so phenomenally stupid."
They then have an exchange wherein it's revealed the old man's wife died of eating the silica gel packets (yes, the ones that say "do not eat" right on them) and the internal dialogue as Charlie processes this is hilarious. Even if I transcribed the entire scene here, it wouldn't have the same impact, so I guess you'll have to take my word for it or read the book yourself. I highly recommend it!
Don't forget to go to the comments on the YA Highway RTW post to see everyone else's answers!