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The Westing Game, By Ellen Raskin Book Report
The book I chose to read is titled ‘The Westing Game’. The author of this book is Ellen Raskin. It was published in 1978 by Penguin Books USA.
The genre of the story is mystery. I think it is a mystery because it is about tracking down a murderer. The book was turned into a movie in 1979.
I inferred that the setting of the story took place in the late 20th century. Where it took place was in Michigan. Specifically, it took place in the Sunset Towers near Lake Michigan, in the hospital, and in the Westing House library. I would not like to live in the setting of this book, because it is spooky.
In this story, there isn’t really a main character because it is about 16 people trying to track down a murderer. Yet, there is one character who brings the story together, Turtle Wexler, also known as Tabitha Ruth, and Alice.
Turtle is about thirteen years old. Her mother describes her as “not the prettiest child”. Turtle has a long braid which is often pulled. Later in the book her hair is cut short. Turtle’s hobby is kicking people in the shins.
The other characters in this book are Jake Wexler, Angela Wexler, Grace Wexler (also known as Gracie Windkloppel), Berthe Erica Crow, Flora Baumbach, Doug Hoo, James Hoo, Sun Lin Hoo, Christos Theodorakis, Theo Theodorakis, Denton Deere, Josie Jo Ford, Alexander Mcsouthers, Otis Amber, and Sydelle Pulaski. Berthe, Sydelle, Flora, Otis, and Alexander are all lonely people. When they get a free apartment in the Sunset Towers, they make friends with the rest of the sixteen people. Denton and Jake are doctors. Denton and Angela are engaged. Josie Jo Ford is a judge. Theo is studying to go to college. Theo is also the elder brother of the crippled stuttering Christos. Doug is the mile star of the state. Sun Lin is a Chinese cook who owns the restaurant on the fifth floor. James is a businessman. And Angela is the pretty daughter of Grace Wexler. Grace is, in her opinion, a decorator.
The characters I liked were Turtle Wexler, Sun Lin Hoo, Doug Hoo, and Christos Theodorakis. I like Turtle because she has a sense of humor. Sun Lin Hoo is also funny because she does not speak English well and often makes hilarious mistakes. I like Doug Hoo because he proved his father wrong; he isn’t a loser. And I like Christos Theodorakis because he did not give up on his disease being cured. I do not like the rest of the characters because they are arrogant. Sam Westing did the wrong thing pretending he was dead. I also think that Josie Jo Ford, Sydelle Pulaski, and Berthe Erica Crow could have done a better job trying to fit in.
Sixteen random people, and their families if they had any, were given a free apartment in the Sunset Towers. The Sunset Towers are located near Sam Westing’s house. One day, the sixteen people received a postcard saying they are invited to attend the funeral of Sam Westing. At the funeral they are told that they are all heirs, destined to receive his money, if they can find out who killed him. He also mentions in his will that his life was taken by one of the sixteen people. They are partnered into eight pairs, each pair given a set of clues. They try to figure out what their clues mean. Three of them are almost killed, and many valuable items were stolen, but by who? Some even tried to steal the clues of others. Some suspects are Otis Amber, Berthe Erica Crow, and James Hoo. After a long period of time, they are called to gather once more in the Westing House. No one gives the correct answer. All of a sudden, Alexander Mcsouthers falls to the floor. He is not dead, but taken to hospital. Berthe Erica Crow filled the flask he was drinking from with something, but what? She is taken to jail, and then shortly released, and proclaimed innocent. Turtle Wexler figures out that Berthe is married to Sam Westing and that Westing is disguised as Alexander Mcsouthers, and under many other names. Alexander was drinking medicine, accidently the wrong dose. Life went on though. Christos is cured. Angela gets a degree, Doug wins two gold Olympic medals, and some neighbors die.
The problem in the book was that the killer of Sam Westing was unknown. I think that Turtle wanted to find the killer, because she wanted to prove to her mother that she is smart since her mother did not think highly of her. She tried very hard in doing so, and in the end succeeded.
From this story, I learned that some people like to make life difficult for themselves and for others. When Sam Westing complicated life for himself and sixteen innocent people, he caused injury and death.
The moral of this book is to be perseverant, and not give up. Although some characters gave up, most didn’t. The lesson in life taught in this book is to not make life complicated by lying.
I liked this story very much because it is filled with action, humor, and suspense. The book gives you the valuable chance of trying to solve the mystery yourself. I also liked it because the clues are really smart, well hidden, and camouflaged.
Article posted April 30, 2011 at 02:35 AM •
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