Books

Top 5 books with odd couples, chosen by Simon Mason

The author of juvenile and adult fiction selects five books that feature unlikely pairings

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde poster

Jekyll and Hyde: the original odd couple. Image: detail of a poster from Wikimedia CC0

1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

The original odd couple: delusional knight Don Quixote, brains addled by tales of chivalry, and his despairing but loyal manservant Sancho Panza. Hilarious, bizarre and very moving. 

2. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Outcast waif Huck teams up with Jim, a runaway slave, on a perilous journey by raft down the Mississippi to the ‘free’ state of Illinois – an adventure of danger and unlikely friendship. 

3. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

What on earth can the urbane scientist Henry Jekyll and the depraved creature Hyde have in common? Stevenson’s ‘shilling shocker’ remains a breathlessly mind-bending tale. The ultimate odd couple – in a single package! 

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4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Articulate investigative journalist (Mikael Blomkvist) meets misfit computer hacker (Lisbeth Salander). Natural enemies? They have to work together if they want to survive. 

5. Slow Horses by Mick Herron

There is no love lost between slovenly and offensive Jackson Lamb, head of the unit for disgraced spies, and Diana Taverner, ice maiden deputy director-general of MI5, forced to work together.  But are they co-operating or manoeuvring to bring each other down? 

The Broken Afternoon cover

The Broken Afternoon by Simon Mason is out on February 2 (Quercus, £16.99). You can buy it from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.To support our work buy a copy! If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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