Mark Reads ‘The Westing Game’: Chapters 23 / 24

In the twenty-third and twenty-fourth chapters of The Westing Game, I AM SO DONE WITH THIS BOOK. HOLY SHIT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Westing Game.

Chapter Twenty-Three: Strange Answers / Chapter Twenty-Four: Wrong All Wrong

NEVER HAVE I BEEN SO PREPARED FOR A BOOK AND YET SO WRONG AT THE SAME TIME. OH MY GOD.

  • “Turtle did not want to look adorable. She wanted to look mean.” WELCOME TO 90% OF THE REASON I LOOK THE WAY I DO AND WHY I LOVE TURTLE FOREVER. Oh my god, this is the second paragraph, and I already can’t deal with this book.
  • Then Flora shows Turtle a photo of Rosalie and I can’t do this anymore.
  • Both of these chapters are just utterly ridiculous, full of an ungodly number of plot twists and revelations and character development, and I think it’s kind of neat that they happened to get paired up with one another. Because as much as this answers a great deal about what the Westing Game was, Raskin doesn’t ignore that these are still people who all have their own lives and motivations. They may have been pawns in a game, but that doesn’t mean we must dismiss their own agency.
  • For example, we’ve got the growth between Angela and Turtle, who have come to understand one another much better throughout this experience. Of course, that’s largely due to Turtle taking the fall for her, but I got the sense that she knew why her sister had planted all the bombs.
  • Sandy’s comment about Judge Ford’s outfit being “ethnic” is NOPE. NO. DON’T DO THAT.
  • (Sandy SANDY SANDY!!!)
  • I still don’t particularly care for Grace, but I’m glad that Jake and Grace were able to find it within one another to celebrate their relationship and their love together. That is awesome.
  • Grace not recognizing her own daughter regardless of the new haircut? UGH.
  • Judge gave her new check to Sandy without hesitation, which now makes me want to scream. It doesn’t negate what a nice gesture it is, but NO.
  • Goddamn, the reading of the answers was SO TENSE. But it also provided more evidence that Sam Westing was alive because all the titles for the heirs changed. Jake Wexler was now identified as a bookie. Turtle was a financier.
  • Even though they were wrong, I loved Turtle and Flora’s answer.
  • Despite disagreeing with him, I really respect Chris’s answer. For him, the Westing Game was an adventure, a chance to experience new things and get access to the medicine that helped him just a little bit with his ailment. It’s in complete contrast to Judge Ford’s answer, but I still like it.
  • “Crow knows she is the answer, she knows she is the one.” Can we discuss the brilliance of this line? It’s a fascinating way to build suspense because Raskin reveals the answer before the climax of the story, and we’re forced to wait in agony to see what will happen when the answer is revealed to the others.
  • HOLY SHIT THEY USED GRACE’S REAL MAIDEN NAME.
  • Bless Ed Plum’s confusion. He has no idea what’s going on. I’m sure he has spent this whole book thinking, “I don’t get paid enough for this bullshit.”
  • “Berthe Erica Crow, mother.” HAHDSAJFHA HOLY SHIT. HOLY SHIT.
  • I also adore that Theo refused to indict Otis because of what he saw that day when Otis accompanied Crow to the soup kitchen.
  • “Angela Wexler, person.” WELCOME TO ME BEING CONTINUALLY DONE WITH THIS BOOK. What a powerful set of three words, y’all.
  • WHY WAS BERTHE TOLD TO GO TO THE KITCHEN? I still don’t understand that one????
  • I WAS FREAKING THE FUCK OUT AT THEO’S CHESS GAME. OH MY GOD, THE QUEEN’S SACRIFICE. DON’T DO THAT THEO. DON’T DO IT.
  • I wasn’t surprised, then, when the fifteenth part of the will revealed that everyone was wrong. We knew that! Even if Sydelle and Angela got close, they still weren’t all the way there. They didn’t have all the info that Sandy and Judge Ford did. But locking the heirs in a room with just enough time to identify the real murderer? EVEN IF YOU’D FIGURED THIS MYSTERY OUT ON YOUR OWN, IT STILL WOULDN’T HELP. And that’s the brilliance of chapter 24. It’s clear now, going back to my review for chapters 7/8 and my theory that all the directional names belonged to the same person, that I not only convinced myself AWAY from those theories, but that it wouldn’t have mattered if I had wholly believed them. That’s the trick in the suspense that Raskin brilliantly utilizes here.
  • Because seriously, the moment Judge Ford realizes that Sandy McSouthers IS SAM WESTING HIMSELF, this book just becomes SOMETHING ELSE.
  • Right as they figure out what they don’t have spells out the answer (Berthe Erica Crow), it doesn’t matter that Judge Ford knew she was the real answer. In fact, she gives an impassioned speech about why they shouldn’t accuse Berthe of murder because a game is NOT EVIDENCE OF MURDER!
  • And then Sam Westing/Sandy dies
  • And then Dr. Sikes (THE MAN WITH THE LIMP OH MY GOD) shows up to pronounces Sandy/Sam dead.
  • And Turtle is crying
  • AND THIS IS THE WORST FUCKING GAME IN THE UNIVERSE WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU SAM WESTING
  • “After all, who would buy a product called Windkloppel’s Toilet Tissues? Would you?” Okay, that made me laugh.
  • Just… the final scene of chapter 24 is unreal. Like I said, you can’t see it coming, and that’s the genius of the suspense. If you’d figured all of this out, would you expect Crow to name herself as the answer and the winner and give all of her inheritance to Otis and Angela?
  • NOPE
  • BECAUSE I DIDN’T
  • WHAT THE HELL IS THIS BOOK.

Please note that the original text/videos contain uses of the words “stupid,” “mad,” “crazy,” and “insane.”

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

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About Mark Reads

Vegan cyclist, Internet community nerd, atheist bookworm, high-five purveyor.
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