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My Friend’s Thoughts on The Westing Game

October 23, 2008

Like me (and the Westing Game) My Friend reading it aloud with me is 30.  It’s his first time reading it, though.  I’m having maybe too much fun, getting his impressions as we go along.  Because, of course, he’s piecing together the mystery I’ve already read dozens of times.

For others planning to read The Westing Game for the first time, don’t worry.  I’m not planning to spoil anything here.  I asked My Friend for his guesses about what would happen next, and his thoughts, in general on the plot.  And then I helped him justify every single one of his guesses, and agreed with their logic completely.  I’m very glad we’re having these conversations over the phone, so he can’t see my face.  I don’t have a poker face.  Anyway, I promise there aren’t any real spoilers here, but just to be safe- here’s a cut.   Read on, if you dare.

My Friend Says:  “Everyone in the damn book is lonely.  The Wexler family is four disconnected strangers.  Grace Wexler is the typical social climber who doesn’t like the view from where she is.  Turtle and Angela are the neglected children.  They want to be sisters, but they don’t know how.  Turtle’s neglected because her family doesn’t know her or pay attention.  Angela’s neglected, because, even though the bride-to-be is at the center of attention, nobody pays attention to what she really says, or wants.

“Angela and Chris are both paralyzed- just in different ways.   Grace Wexler is a cancerous growth around Angela.  Chris used to be normal, and will be again after his operation.  Maybe his disability is from a tumor.

“And Sam Westing is one of the heirs.  He’s the kind of jackass that would want to set up this elaborate game for people to play, and be there to watch people play it.  He wouldn’t make his whole elaborate will and then just die, and not stay and manage it.  He’s one of the heirs.”

And then My Friend came up with a guess as to which heir is, in fact, Sam Westing, and I just agreed with him enthusiastically.  (And tried to muffle my giggles.)  Because I don’t spoil plots.  I just agree.  And I giggle maniacally.  Yes, that was exactly the right guess.  Of course, that is the way the plot is going to happen.   You’re right.  It’s easier to sustain wholehearted agreement than a poker face.  Even over the phone.

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