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The Westing Game (1978)

by Ellen Raskin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,862302557 (4.09)2 / 301
The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.
  1. 120
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (infiniteletters, Anonymous user)
  2. 50
    The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (bezoar44)
    bezoar44: The Mysterious Benedict Society features a team of kids working to solve puzzles and unravel a dangerous mystery at a claustrophobic boarding school; the Westing Game pits several teams of kids and adults, residents of an apartment building, against one another in a race to decode a will and solve several related mysteries.… (more)
  3. 31
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (chinquapin)
  4. 10
    The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan (cmbohn)
  5. 10
    Father's Arcane Daughter by E. L. Konigsburg (ansate)
  6. 10
    Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (infiniteletters)
  7. 10
    Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein (trollsdotter)
  8. 00
    The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (g33kgrrl)
  9. 00
    The Clock Without a Face by Eli Horowitz (sduff222)
  10. 00
    The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman (foggidawn)
  11. 00
    The Spider-Orchid by Celia Fremlin (sietsmareadinglist)
  12. 02
    The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (SFRFS335)
    SFRFS335: Both books are amazingly written.
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» See also 301 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
Author Ellen Raskin sounded more interesting in the introduction by Ann Durell than almost all of her characters. Turtle Wexler was a hoot, but the rest were pretty flat, there were too many of them and their relationships to each other and magnate Sam Westing (making them heirs) took way too long to discern. Many reviewers have compared this to Agatha Christie, but I don't see it, except possibly for the book's basic premise. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
I loved that you had enough information to solve the mystery upon your first reading. Unlike Sherlock Holmes' mysteries, you could actually find the conclusion. Even if you didn't you found yourself immersed in the story. ( )
  ednasilrak | Jun 17, 2021 |
I love this book so very much. I love all of the characters and the plot is quite amazing. ( )
  PMoran | May 24, 2021 |
Sam Westing, a millionaire businessman, has been murdered, or so he claims in his will. His 16 heirs are also the suspects, and to collect the inheritance, they must solve the mystery of who killed him, relying on the clues provided to play the Westing Game. ( )
  TAPearson | Apr 18, 2021 |
An aged millionaire dies, and his will is an elaborate puzzle to be solved by 16 people he has named as his heirs. Many of them don't seem to know why he even named them. Some are successful, some are not; some are wealthy; some not; most are adults; but a few are teenagers, the youngest being Turtle, who is only 13. Whoever can solve the puzzle stands to inherit $200 million.
This is a book that needs to be read all at once... or at least in as short of a time as possible. There are so many characters to keep track of, and so much going on, and the narrative leaps frantically from one group of characters to another so frequently, that if one tried to read this over a period of several days, one would likely miss too much. A fun and clever book, though I don't think I'd go so far as to say brilliant. ( )
  fingerpost | Apr 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
The book seems to suggest that the real American inheritance is transformation, and that American transformation is a mercurial thing.
 
 
Ultimately, although the story is an exciting who-done-it, the emphasis on the ‘who’ is what keeps readers coming back. The characters make the story interesting, and they make the reader think, and that is exactly what a powerful book should do.
 
If Raskin's crazy ingenuity has threatened to run away with her on previous occasions, here the complicated game is always perfectly meshed with character and story. Confoundingly clever, and very funny.
 

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ellen Raskinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Durell, AnnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Summerer, Eric MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
for Jenny who asked for a puzzle-mystery and Susan K.
First words
The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that), but Sunset Towers faced east. Strange!
Quotations
Clues, they had to work on those clues. Behind closed doors. Whisper, someone may be listening.
Remember: It is not what you have, it's what you don't have that counts.
A dressmaker, a secretary, an inventor, a doctor, a judge. And, oh yes, one was a bookie, one was a burglar, one was a bomber, and one was a mistake.
Purple waves.
“Take stock in America, my heirs, and sing in praise of this generous land. You, too, may strike it rich who dares to play the Westing game.”
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
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Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Sixteen people were invited to the reading of the very strange will of the very rich Samuel W. Westing. They could become millionaires, depending on how they played the game.

The not-quite-perfect heirs were paired, and each pair was given $ 10,000 and a set of clues (no two sets of clues were alike). All they had to do was find the answer, but the answer to what?

The Westing game was tricky and dangerous, but the heirs played on, through blizzards and burglaries and bombs bursting in air. And one of them won!

With her own special blend of intricacy, humor, and upside-down perceptions, Ellen Raskin has entangled a remarkable cast of characters in a puzzle-knotted, word-twisting plot. She then deftly unravels it again in a surprising (but fair) and highly satisfying ending.

Available online at The Internet Archive:
https://archive.org/search.php?query=t...
Haiku summary
Would you play a game

against a dead man for a

large inheritance?

(legallypuzzled)
Was Sam Westing killed

By one of his sixteen heirs

Looking for windfall?

(benscripps)

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Rating

Average: (4.09)
0.5 3
1 18
1.5 2
2 79
2.5 28
3 320
3.5 103
4 584
4.5 95
5 783

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