23 November 2009

Review: The Westing Game

I am not even a tiny bit above reading a children's book. One of my all-time favorites is Nortan Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. So when I was at the Mt. Pleasant library the other day and saw a copy of Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game, I thought I'd give it a try. It's a tiny book (literally: only 6.9x5 inches and 219 pages), and I had meant to read it back in middle school. I changed my mind about it several times.

The premise of the books is as follows: Samuel Westing has died and left his estate to 16 strangers (or are they?). They must play his game with the winner receiving the estate. I don't want to give away the plot, but allow me to talk about why this book changed my mind not once, but twice. In the beginning it seemed like a great idea, and I was all for the book. But then I realized that I pretty much hated all of the characters. Scheming, rude, untrusting people. Not the kinds of characters who make for pleasant reading.

This goes on for quite some time, and then right at the end of the book, Raskin turns things around and leaves you thinking that Turtle Wexler (the girl I thought would be the protagonist at first) is indeed a nice person and not a terrible hellion.

It's a hard book to review, because I don't want to give anything away. Suffice to say it's cute and worth your time (mostly because it is such a quick read).


  1. Ok,
    1) This was not the other day, it was weeks and weeks ago :)

    2) This sounds like a not so funny (because it lacks Tim Curry) version of the Clue movie.

    3) I think you mean not the kinds of characters that make for pleasant reading not the kids :)

  2. 1) True!

    2) Now that you say that... with the exception of being spread over a longer period of time (rather than just one night) you're exactly right.

    3) I did indeed!