By Michael J. Ritchie
Dexter has a complex over the fact that all his friends are getting married and moving in with their partners – but when aliens invade, it puts a lot of things into perspective.
Saturday, 2 September 2017
Meet the Characters
As we all know, a book is nothing without its characters. They could be blood-sucking vampires, wealthy socialites, Belgian detectives or ex-gods and witches, but they all bring the story to life in their own unique ways. In The Third Wheel, the characters we're following are little more grounded. Here's a quick glance at who they are.
Dexter is our narrator and hero. He's a teacher who is struggling with the idea of growing up and change. He likes things as they were, and now all of his friends are coupled up, he feels like he's been left behind and feels slightly abandoned by them. He's a good friend, but lonely, and stubbornly doesn't want to conform to society's insistence that he should be with someone else.
Jay and Kay are a married couple who met on a science fiction forum and work for rival publishing houses. Their extensive knowledge of science fiction is perhaps the most useful asset in the fight against the aliens, providing they can survive long enough to pass on all that they know. Dexter refers to them as the kindest people he knows, after they take care of him while he's on a bender to end all benders.
Shell has known Dexter for years, and their relationship is one based on a system of bartering and trading, whether its sweets, cigarettes or shoulders to cry on. When she starts dating Terry, hypnotised by his huge arms, something slips away from Dexter and he finds himself jealous that he's no longer the main man in her life. Shell, however, hasn't forgotten what Dexter means to her, even if he thinks she has.
Peregrina was introduced to Dexter with a bloodied nose, but what's a little blood between friends? Now a successful journalist and engaged to the wise and effortlessly calm Pete, she is a voice of relaxed rationality in a mad world - provided she isn't pushed too far, of course.
Lara and Steve are perhaps on record has having the shortest disaster-free marriage ever, as their wedding takes place the day before first contact is made. Before anyone's realised how serious the situation is, they've already taken off on their honeymoon and so will be facing down the invasion in Spain. Lara and Dexter have a relationship bound on debauchery and drunkenness, but they'll have to sober up to get out of this alive.
Gavin is Dexter's closest male friend; a man with no qualms about telling you where you're going wrong in your life and how you should solve it. Even more irritatingly, he's always right. He lives with his blind partner Frederik and his guide dog Oscar in London, and while there's a physical distance between him and Dexter, it's clear that they've both had quite an influence on one another over the years.
Priti and Art met on a Greek island and while no one could claim it was love at first sight, their relationship has bumbled along quite nicely ever since - at least, as far as anyone can tell. Priti is Dexter's oldest friend, and they have over two decades of history together, meaning that they know each other well: sometimes too well. Priti isn't one to sugarcoat the truth, and her realism often clashes with Dexter's wistfulness.
Ruby and Dexter bonded after a potentially traumatic incident at primary school, and have been friends ever since. Eternally optismistic and rarely bothered by events in the wider world, perhaps the end of it will be enough to crack Ruby's sunny disposition. She's been dating Alex for years, and either their relationship is perfect or they're great liars. With aliens surrounding them, perhaps they've left it a little too late to move onto the next step though.
Annie and Matt have only been dating for a few months before first contact and more than anyone else seem annoyed that it's all going to be over too soon. Was it all just a fling, or was something deeper going on here?
Georgina is Dexter's ex-girlfriend and still seems to be carrying a torch for him, despite the fact she's now dating someone else. Dexter never took their relationship as seriously as she did, and it all ended in disaster. With the end of the world looming, is now really the time to give it another go.
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