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The Trivia Man

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  31 reviews
From the author of Mr Chen's Emporium comes a quirky and heartwarming tale about finding your true place in the world, set against the backdrop of a weekly trivia competition.

‘Trivia is a serious business, not a social occasion' Kevin Dwyer, the 'trivia man'

Dubbed ‘brainbox' by his peers and ‘weirdo' by his sister, Kevin Dwyer is a middle-aged forensic accountant who has n
Paperback, 298 pages
Published June 1st 2015 by Bantam Australia
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3.67  · 
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 ·  144 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Dale Harcombe
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars.
Kevin Dwyer, a middle aged forensic accountant is seen as weird by his sister, adored by his eight year old nephew Patrick and considered a little odd by the majority of people. He is compulsive about learning and retaining facts and as a result does well in trivia contests. When he joins The Clifton Hill Sports Club Trivia competition, he joins on his own as One Man Band. When he starts to do well, other teams try to convince him to join them instead of being a loner. But
The main character in this beautifully crafted novel is Kevin Dwyer, an eccentric and socially inept man who works as a forensic accountant at the Tax Office, but whose real passion is facts and figures. He loves participating in trivia quizzes and enlists in a competition taking place at the Clifton Heads social club, where he meets Maggie Taylor and the other members of her team. Eventually he is persuaded to join them, and together they make a highly competitive outfit.

Kevin’s backstory is in
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Trivia Man is the fourth novel by Australian visual artist, teacher and author, Deborah O’Brien. Ever since he can remember, Kevin Dwyer has liked facts and figures more than people: facts and figures he can master, put into order, record in his notebooks; with people, he always feels like an alien, unable to decipher the nuances of language, gesture, or intonation. He’s perfectly suited to his job as a forensic accountant, and trivia quizzes are his favourite (make that “only”) leisure acti ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

'Trivia is a serious business, not a social occasion'

Kevin Dwyer is a socially awkward middle aged forensic accountant whose obsession with collecting information informs his only hobby - trivia. When Kevin, on his own, blitzes the other teams on the first night of competition at the Clifton Heights Sports Club he is feted by his competitors, but Kevin isn't a team player, until he meets Maggie Taylor.

Deborah O'Brien's novel unfolds from the perspectives of Kevin, Maggie and Kevin's sister, Eliz
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a digital copy of this title from the publisher for review.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Kevin is a socially awkward trivia machine. He's always played as a one-man team, but perhaps it's time to branch out and share the knowledge.

Given that this book is by an Australian author, features a main character who may have some characteristics synonymous with a certain social-emotional syndrome, and has a blurb indicating some romance, the comparisons with Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project are inevi
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was sooo unsure about this one and about the middle of Chapter 3 decided to give it up ... As I went to put it in the reject pile I suddenly knew I had to finish it, I realised I had become attached to knowing what had happened to these people. Thank goodness my other self knew there was a lot more going on and not finishing was not an option. So many people will be able to relate to this novel and maybe find empathy and understanding of others.
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 , fun and uncomplicated. Not my usual. In my mind's eye, Kevin looked just like Kevin Rudd.
Amanda Lenon
Oct 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
A nice premise with poor execution. The writing feels laboured and clumsy. Two chapters in was more than far enough.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. ❤ The quirky characters, the wit, the humour, the trivia backdrop, the relationships - so many things to love about this book. The flashbacks from their youth reveals more about their characters and why they are where they are in this stage of their lives. There is plenty of references to disorders, syndromes or special needs. Reading this novel would help people to understand and relate to those that are 'different'. Different doesn't have to equal bad, it simply means it's not the no ...more
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun easy read, interesting quirky characters, reminded me of The Rosie Project
Evan James
Really enjoyed it
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars - much like a meringue, this book is light, sweet, and not much to it; handles 'syndromes' and people 'on the spectrum' with tact and humour.
Chris McGuigan
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Deborah O'Brien has crafted and polished another gem for readers to cherish, impossible to put down and guaranteed to warm your heart and fire synapses in your brain.

Ever wondered what the collective noun for trivia buffs is? A tragedy? A triumph? A tally? Perhaps all three are apt for the trivia team cast at the core of Deborah O'Brien's newest release. Strutting their stuff at a local sports club every Tuesday night, they flex their grey matter to participate in a competition presided over by
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Trivia Man tells the story of Kevin, a quirky middle-aged loner whose life revolves around collating information in his notebooks and attending trivia nights as a one man team. Kevin has always been odd, or as his sister would say ‘a nerd’, and his one and only friend is his nephew Patrick with whom he shares many characteristics.

The story revolves around Kevin’s weekly attendance at a trivia competition. Usually content with his own company on his one man team, Kevin meets Maggie. A middle-
Terry Barca
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just in case you have to be somewhere, but you really want to know if I liked this book; I really did.
My favourite part of being a writer is creating characters.
This book is full of beautifully drawn characters.
Revealing the characters by using a Trivia Competition, played over several weeks, was pure genius.
The back of the book says that it is entered as a love story, and I guess that is fair enough, but it is a lot more than that.
I suspect that whoever wrote the blurb about this book either di
Jo-Ann Duff (Duffy The Writer)
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Duffy’s Review

The Trivia Man

This book is one, quirky, fast and funny read. The chapters are short and sharp without any filler in-between to distract from the stories of the main characters. Trivia underpins the whole story, as a regular trivia team group,who seem happy and normal on the outside (apart from Kevin), have their own struggles and anxieties behind closed doors. Autism and Aspergers are eluded to throughout the book in different ways and in the way Kevin behaves, but it is never spel
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing

'Trivia is a serious business, not a social occassion'

Kevin is a middle aged forensic accountant, many people get that role extremely confused, he doesn't have any friends except for his young nephew. Kevin likes his own company and even has gone as far as entering into a team trivia competition solo, his group named the one-man team.

The teams around him realise he would be a tremendous wealth of knowledge for their own teams and try to poach him into their teams. Eventually Kevin decides to joi
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Trivia Man is a highly entertaining read about a misfit of society .He is a highly intelligent individual with a particular love ,in this case trivia .He is not understood by many but at the same time he is a funny and somewhat interesting character that consistently reminds us of people we encounter in our lives and sometimes even ourselves in many ways.I have read all of this author's
books and this is certainly a different read but highly recommended.
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! So easy to read and connect with the characters. I loved that there was one main character yet the reader was privy to the other people in his life, without getting confused by the plot. Good on Deborah O'Brien for exploring the presence of syndromes/disorders in people's lives today, without establishing an unnecessary label.
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
If you liked The Rosie Project then this might amuse you too. Our Trivia Man likes trivia, and lists, and writing down weather reports for a reason ......

It's a quicker read, and a little more didactic, but still a 'nice, little romance'.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work-purposes
A nice Rosie Project-esque book, except the main character Kevin is interesting, and not annoying.
I really enjoyed the Trivia Man.
I had only expected to read the first few chapters for work, but once I started, I didn't want to put it down. I breezed through it!
Carole Hazell
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookclub-books
I approached this with some trepidation; maybe it was the title! But once started it was hard to put down. I enjoyed the characters, their stories & dilemmas. I thought the author had structured the novel in an interesting way, the narrative flowed well. Overall a very enjoyable read, recommended!
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lovely book, easy to read, reminiscent of The Rosie Project.
Jo Bryant
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Book club.
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, romance, adult
Quirky funny and warm read with delightful characters especially Phillip
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quick enjoyable read . Similar concept to the Rosie Project but I think a nicer story .
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sorry - didn't think it was all that good!
Apr 09, 2017 rated it liked it
A quick, easy light read.
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Easy quick read which went into areas that I did not expect. The one thing I really craved was the answers to the trivia questions and if the team got it right.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Trivia + unexpected romance = great easy read. Would give it 4.5 stars if I could
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Deborah O’Brien is an Australian writer, visual artist and teacher. She is the author of four novels for Penguin Random House: the bestselling 'Mr Chen’s Emporium', its sequels, 'The Jade Widow' and 'A Place of Her Own', plus 'The Trivia Man'.

Her latest novel, 'The Rarest Thing' is set in the Victorian High Country in 1966 and is published by Lomandra Press. The signed gift edition print book is
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