Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Men of L'Engle #2: John Austin

Today's L'Engle male is one who was never presented as a romantic lead in the books he appeared in -- because his little sister was doing the narration.

But there's still enough information about John Austin for an outsider to get a sense of what Izzy Jenkins sees in him.

John makes at least a passing appearance in all the Austin books. He's the reason Adam Eddington practically joins the family (don't get your hopes up; Adam doesn't get his turn for a while), and basically he serves as a solid, down-to-earth foil to Vicky (kind of like Suzy, only John's loads less annoying).

Leading characteristics:
  • Nerd. In the most adorable way, though -- when we first meet him, he's a high school kid who's built a spacesuit in the barn. And then he goes off to MIT to study astrophysics -- plus pre-med, just because.
  • Protective big brother. He lets Vicky and Suzy do their own thing, and they squabble a bit, but he's got everyone's back.
  • Not a fan of Zachary Gray. And probably not just because of the she's-my-little-sister thing. (Ah, Zachary, we'll get to you later. Stop trying to take over all the other entries.)
Pull quote(s):
  • "Okay, so maybe I am old-fashioned, but I don't want just a relationship. Relationships aren't real unless they end in bed, and they don't have to go any further than that. What I want is the real thing, and I'm not ready for it yet."
  • "Don't let him be too important to you, Vic. You're too young."
  • "Hold it while I get my glasses. I was so scared I forgot them."
So where's John now? Being a Boston resident, I'd like to think he stuck around Cambridge, and is currently working on a post-doc at the CFA. He stays in touch with his family, but doesn't plan on going back to Thornhill. He's still not ready for "the real thing," as he puts it, but once he gets a few more papers published, he might have time for romance. I still haven't decided whether he went with Lasik, for convenience, or whether he's rocking a pair of black hipster glasses. (I was trying to find a picture of the Apollo 13 character I think he resembles, but apparently no one else found him as adorable as I did.)

Tell you one thing, though: he's welcome to borrow a book any time.


Gina Choe said...

I'm going to overlook the fact that you're not even pretending that a post on Adam Eddington is coming in the near future:P

But you're so right, where Suzy is annoying and bratty*, John is the voice of reason, although he does have his moments of "I'm older and wiser, silly girl."

Isn't it funny how Zachary Gray just pops up, unexpected and unwelcome? In that hearse car of his, no less.

*I've reread A Ring of Endless Light a bajillion times so that's the Suzy that I'm most familiar with--and in that particular novel she is unbearable. But I do recall finding her more likeable (I'm thinking of another word, it's on the tip of my tongue) in The Young Unicorns.

Gina Choe said...

Hearse, not hearse car. I might as well say "truck car" and "4-wheel drive car" while I'm at it!

Sarah Rettger said...

I really thought I was going to be more sympathetic to Zachary after all this -- but when I reread An Acceptable Time, I disliked him just as much as ever.

Ever read A Severed Wasp? There's a brief cameo by a grown-up and married Suzy. That'll make a brief appearance in an upcoming post.

Gina Choe said...

I haven't read A Severed Wasp. Hmmm, do you know when you'll have the grown up Suzy post up? I might be able to read it before if it isn't in the next 2-3 weeks....

Sarah Rettger said...

Okay, for that, I'll schedule it farther out!

It's one of her adult novels (which, now that I think of it, I should probably reread before I do my writeup on Canon Tallis. Okay, it's definitely going to take a couple weeks before I get either of those posts done.)

Gina Choe said...

Just requested it from the library!

aquafortis said...

Oh, Adam Eddington! Oh, bad news Zachary!! Always trying to sneak in on posts that aren't about them. :)