The 9 Best Dads From Books

Dad's are ace, so are books. Check this lot out as nominated by our Saboteurs...
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Dad's are ace, so are books. Check this lot out as nominated by our Saboteurs...

Harry Silver from Man and Boy by Tony Parsons.

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When I first read this book I absolutely balled my eyes out about half way through. This is something that pretty much never happens to me and so the moment has kind of stuck with me, I've lost count of the amount of people I've tried to force this book upon. I think that I like the character so much because it reminds me of what I'd have liked to believe my own Dad would have done after his affair if it wasn't for the fact that he was so busy having fun instead.

By Jordan Waller

The Pursuit Of Love by Nancy Mitford

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My favourite novel is The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford. The story is told by Fanny, who stays with her cousins during the holidays and is terrified of the "roaring, whacking" Uncle Matthew, father of the book's heroine Linda. Uncle Matthew was based on Lord Resdale and is my favourite literary example of a true English eccentric. He is suspicious of guests, foreigners and people who say "toilet" instead of "lavatory", but despite his gruff exterior he's a warm, adoring father who is determined to do the best for his children.

I also love Mr Woodhouse, father of Jane Austen's eponymous Emma and the seventeenth century archetype of the grumpy old man. Mr Woodhouse's inability to settle down when he senses phantom smells, draughts and visitors reminds me of my dear old Dad. As does his fondness for lightly boiled eggs.

By Daisy Buchanan

He is suspicious of guests, foreigners and people who say "toilet" instead of "lavatory", but despite his gruff exterior he's a warm, adoring father who is determined to do the best for his children.

John Strang from Irvine Welsh's Maribou Stork Nightmares

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Psychotic shot gun toting schemie who kills feral dogs with his bare hands and keeps a paranoid crackpot diary of his neighbours movements and motives.

God, from John Niven's Second Coming. Sends his only son back down to Earth to sort out American Pop Idol and teach everyone how to be nice again.

By Russ Litten

Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Atticus Finch is one of the greatest literary dads a feminist could want. Not only is he a single-parent father (be still my beating ovaries) he supports his daughters decision to be different eg. wear overalls, climb trees etc. at a time when that would have been a massive taboo. Without trying to sound too mushy, he goes to great lengths to insill a love of reading, books and strong morals to equip her for later life. You get the feeling that she's going to turn out alright.

By Periwinkle Jones

“A message for children who have read this book: When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: A stodgy parent is no fun at all. What a child wants and deserves is a parent who is sparky!"

Cool by Michael Morpugo

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I remember reading Cool! by Michael Morpurgo in my younger years and being inspired by Robbie's dad, who organised a visit from his son's favourite footballer, Gianfranco Zola, in an attempt to bring him back from his coma. Robbie eventually comes to, and although it's not exactly a piece of classic literature, it's a simple story which depicts, in part, a father's immense love for his son. It also shows how football can bring a father and son together like few other things, which I can really relate to

By Sam Drew

WIlliam from Danny The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl.

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A beautiful evocation of the father/son relationship that follows the widowed William bringing up his son Danny following the death of his wife just four months after giving birth. No money, electricity or bricks and mortar – they live in a gypsy caravan – Danny’s world is an exciting realm of adventure with his father (petrol attendant by day/land-owner-annoying poacher at night) at its very centre. It strikes right to the core of a child’s infatuation and devotion to a parent, warts and all. The end...

“A message for children who have read this book: When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: A stodgy parent is no fun at all. What a child wants and deserves is a parent who is sparky!"

By Andrew Woods

Thomas Schell from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close


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Thomas Schell is present only in flashbacks in this stunning novel, with the narrative occurring predominantly in New York post 9/11, in which he died. He sends his son on elaborate treasure hunts with even more elaborate clues, as well as fostering in him a love of The Beatles and The New Yorker. The brilliance of the character is that he's written in such mythic terms it makes his presence, or absence should I say, all the more powerful. Also, do not be fooled by the saccharine, manipulative, oscar-hounding, bad-wank of a film that came out earlier in the year, this book is marvellous, and is completely devoid of both Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.

By Harry Harris

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