Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Westing Game (1978)

The Westing Game. Ellen Raskin. 1978. 182 pages. [Source: Library]

Characters matter more to me than plot most of the time, which is why I probably found The Westing Game a disappointment. I thought the book lacked characterization. Superficial characterization abounded: readers learned at least two or three facts per person. But did any one character EVER reach the point of humanity? In my opinion, not really. The characters that probably came closest were Angela (the reluctant bride whose wedding shower was bombed), and Turtle (the one who connected the dots that no one else was even looking for). So this is a plot-driven book, the focus being on sixteen (or so) people working together or against each other as the case may be to solve the mystery of who murdered Sam Westing. There are eight teams of two people each. Each team is given $10,000 and a handful of word-clues. The clues are a mix of letters, words, and numbers. On the one hand, if they work together and share resources, the inheritance might be won. But. If they do that, then the inheritance would be divided up. The book, I admit, has more than enough plot twists. At the end while I wasn't exactly overwhelmed or confused, I was still left saying WHY and HOW?! The book just did not make any sense to me. The rushed epilogue-of-sorts didn't help me make peace with it either.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 comments:

Suko 12:07 PM  

Becky, thanks for your honest review.

Lauri 9:54 AM  

I loved this book back in junior high. I need to reread it to see what I think of it as an adult.

Sherry 7:26 PM  

I dunno. I haven't read the book in a ing, long time. But it reminds me of one of my favorite movies, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, so it's can't be all bad.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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