Bernard Black

Bernard Black

    Black Books
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… in complete squalor. Bernard’s bookshop/home is filled with dust, dirty dishes, and leftover food. There is even a strange, unidentified critter living under his bed. But Bernard doesn’t mind. He thinks “it is a lovely place” and vetoes all attempts to renovate or clean.

Profession… shop owner. Bernard runs a second-hand bookshop called Black Books with his assistant/lackey, Manny Bianco. Well, Manny actually does most of the work while Bernard sits behind his desk reading or insulting customers. He hates most people who walk into Black Books and tries to shoo them off. Yeah, Bernard isn’t really suited to retail.

Interests… smoking and drinking. Bernard smokes so much that he has lost his sense of taste. He once scarfed down an entire coaster, thinking that it was a biscuit. Bernard also enjoys consuming large amounts of alcohol and often comes up with creative ways to indulge. Wine ice lolly, anyone?

Relationship Status… single. Bernard loathes most humans with a passion, so he’s certainly not about to fall in love with one. He did believe himself to be gay once, but that inclination didn’t last long: “I found out about the prohibitive standards of hygiene and all that dancing.”

Challenge… suffering fools on a daily basis. For Bernard, that means all people. He gets annoyed when they try to purchase books or converse with him. Unfortunately, running a bookshop means Bernard frequently has to endure human contact.

Personality… lazy, cynical, and misanthropic. Bernard Black is the ultimate curmudgeon. Everything bothers him: customers, beards, cleaners, taxes, other bookshops, movie popcorn…the list goes on. As a result, he spends most of his time nestled in the back of Black Books, sleeping to avoid the public and life in general: “Half ten? I’ve never been up at half ten! What happens?”


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