The Most Interesting Character Names I’ve Read


I found the most interesting combination of character names in Luis Alberto Urrea’s The House of Broken Angels which I read more than a year ago.

In the book, we find characters with the following names: Big Angel, Little Angel, Perla, Minnie, La Gloriosa, Paz, Ookie among others. Most of these names like Perla and Gloriosa are actually words in Spanish.

Perla means pearl in English, La Gloriosa means the glorious one, and Paz means peace. Ookie sounds like the name of someone child-like. Ookie turns out the be a grown man with child-like qualities. La Gloriosa is known for her beauty. And Paz has an ironic name because she isn’t all that peaceful.

As for Big Angel and Little Angel, I admire the connection the names have with the topic of death that is present in the book. It’s also an interesting way to represent the son-father relationship.

What’s the most interesting character you ever read? Why do you find it interesting?

Tio Beto

Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea

I have a new favorite author, and I am absolutely grateful for The New York Times, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s recent book review of The House of Broken Angels, and of course one of my five free “ARTICLES REMAINING” left. As I read Nguyen’s book review, I found myself thinking I’ve never read this type of book which has character names like Big Angel, Mama America, and Minnie. The review spoke to my Mexican-American identity, so I bought the book that same day, and I’m reading it at a slow place—not because I don’t like it, but because I love to savor my books, especially the good ones (and I also probably have a short attention span).

After I read Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, I thought it’d be hard to find an author that could ever be as cool or funny as him, and I was wrong. I have found an author which I think is just as cool as Diaz, and his name is Luis Alberto Urrea.

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