Study Guide

Tales of the Madman Underground Characters

By John Barnes

Karl Shoemaker

We will now take a brief break from our story for a little field trip to the Cynical Young Adult...

Beth Shoemaker

At some point or another, every teenager thinks his or her mom is a little nuts. Let's put it...

Bill

Beth has been through a long line of boyfriends since Karl's dad died, but based on where we...

Bonny

Karl's former love interest in the Madmen bunch, Bonny is kind of a cross between a preppy...

Cheryl Taliaferro

Cheryl holds the distinction of being not only the most popular girl in the school but Queen of...

Coach Al Gratz

Of all the adults Karl relates to throughout the book, Coach Gratz, his English teacher, is the...

Martinella "Marti" Nielsen

Why is it that whenever a new kid shows up in young-adult novels, things get majorly shaken up?...

Paul Knauss

Paul and Karl have practically been best friends since they were in the womb since both of their...

Darla Pilsudski

Move over, Daria Morgendorffer. Take a seat, Luna Lovegood. Jessica Day, there's another New Girl...

Doug Shoemaker

The only time Karl's dad makes an appearance in the book is in flashbacks to Karl's childhood....

Esquibel "Squid" Cabrillo

One of the Madmen who serves as a supporting player in Karl's story, Squid ended up in the group...

Danny

In the world of the Madman Underground, Danny is kind of the male version of Cheryl, "a one-man,...

Mr. Philbin

Mr. Philbin owns Philbin's Drugstore, which is one of exactly three restaurants in Lightsburg....

Harris and Tierden

Bobby Harris and Scott Tierden are Lightsburg High's school bullies, "two real hateful guys who...

Larry O'Grary

We imagine there were a lot of guys like Larry in high schools across America during the early...

Rose Lee Nielsen

Marti has a ton of problems, and her mom is definitely one of them. For some reason that's beyond...

Tom Browning

One of Karl's numerous bosses from his five jobs, Karl helps Mr. Browning out with his upholstery...

Leslie Schwinn

The latest addition to the line of therapists who have led the Madman Underground, Leslie Schwinn...

Dick Larren

Dick is "a nice old guy, forty or so" (6.42) who works as a cook at Philbin's. His main...

Neil

Neil is Beth's much younger, on-again, off-again loser boyfriend. He graduated in 1961 and has...

Rose Carson

Apparently, Rose Carson was a real dish when she was younger, kind of like that lady from...