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190 of 205 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The years pass, and still a must-read
'The Westing Game' was my favorite book as a pre-teen, so when I returned to it years later, my expectations were low. Was I wrong! This book might be accessible to younger readers, but no one who loves a mystery with incredible characters should miss this for the world.
While the plot centers around a less than run-of-the-mill whodunit, the book mainly focuses on...
Published on May 29, 2000 by Ilana Teitelbaum

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was good, but...
I got overwhelmed and started loosing interest because there were just too many clues to keep track of. I wanted to read a story and have a handful of clues to figure out vs. needing to take down pages of notes.
I would be willing to read this again with my kids one day when they are old enough to enjoy it and want to take the extensive notes to try and figure out...
Published on May 29, 2002 by Erik1988


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190 of 205 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The years pass, and still a must-read, May 29, 2000
This review is from: The Westing Game (Paperback)
'The Westing Game' was my favorite book as a pre-teen, so when I returned to it years later, my expectations were low. Was I wrong! This book might be accessible to younger readers, but no one who loves a mystery with incredible characters should miss this for the world.
While the plot centers around a less than run-of-the-mill whodunit, the book mainly focuses on the characters: each unique, bizarre, and ultimately endearing. The author manages to make them quirky without making them caricatures. The developing relationships between the 'heirs' as they attempt to unravel the mystery, is, I think, far more important than the mystery itself; they also develop in their sense of identity. These are all themes any adult can appreciate, woven into the story with humor and sly understatement, yet in effect deeply moving.
The plot is complex and suspenseful, layered so impenetrably that at least one surprise at the end is inevitable. Yet even when wrapped in the most logical of puzzles, the author never loses the human touch. There are many scenes portrayed with hilarious, touching absurdity; and Raskin is dead-on with her take on human nature, even when her depiction seems exaggerated.
Read it for a good chuckle--but in the end it may be more than that.
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73 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Westing Review, May 4, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Westing Game (Hardcover)
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is a must read book. It won the John Newbery Medal and everyone can see how it won. It is a mystery about Sam Westing who was murdered on Halloween by one of his neices or nephews. In his will he gives out clues like when he says "May God let Gold Refine" and when he says "My soul will roam relentlessly untill that one is found! " The heirs who find the murderer will inherit his millions of dollars! The author of this book can make you twist and turn. You will almost know who the murderer is then she decides to say that person is innocent in some way. She has an excellent word choice and she is an even better author. This book was good and sometimes I read one to two hours past my bed time. This is one of the best mysteries ever. I hope you also decide to read this book! Enjoy!
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like reading a game of Clue; very entertaining and clever, March 4, 2009
This review is from: The Westing Game (Mass Market Paperback)
I got this book in a clearance bundle of books that I bought to get a different book. I was trying to decide if I should read it or swap it and after seeing it was a Newberry Medal book I decided to read it. This was a very entertaining book.

In this book a number of people are offered the chance to move into an exclusive condo building. Shortly thereafter they receive notice that they have been listed in the will of the founder of Westing Paper Company. Only it is a bizarre will and rather than being straightforward it requires the potential heirs to engage themselves in a game to find out who murdered Mr. Westing. Thus the Westing Game begins.

This was a clever little book. It is not necessarily a quick read, since the reader must pay attention to all the little details in the book. Nonetheless I found myself enjoying this book immensely. It is a very classic mystery type of book and reads a bit like I would imagine a game of Clue would (if you could read a game).

There are many twists and many interesting characters. It was fun to try to figure out how all of the characters are tied to Mr. Westing. This was the type of book that you could either read and let it give you the answers or you could exercise your brain along the way and try to guess the answers before the book gives them to you.

Well written and very clever I thought this was a very interesting and entertaining book. It makes me want to check out more of Ellen Raskin's books.
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54 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Harry Potter!!!, April 5, 2002
By 
Blah (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Westing Game (Hardcover)
When I was a kid, this was one of my famous books. It contains more plot twists than a soap opera and is just as good as most Sherlock Holmes stories. (except of course the magnificent Hound of Baskervilles) Furthermore, the ending is shocking. No one I have met has been able to guess at the ending but unlike other mystery books once you know the answer it all makes sense and seems so obvious. So if your kids have just read Harry Potter and you are looking for something else or if you just enjoy a good mystery pick this one up.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Mystery with a lot of humor, June 15, 2000
By 
This review is from: The Westing Game (Paperback)
THE WESTING GAME is an intelligent mystery packed with a great deal of humor. The dialog is snappy (my husband said it reminds him of CATCH-22), and the characters are entertaining. The book clips along at a brisk pace, and so many things are happening that it's impossible to get bored.
Basic plot: A group of people are gathered together at the mansion of a deceased tycoon and are divided into groups, given sporadic clues, with the opportunity to win a great deal of money if they can find out who killed Sam Westing.
The book is a madcap adventure, a stunning mystery (with plenty of clues and red herrings), and a wildly entertaining comedy. One feature that I especially liked was that the author included what happened when everyone "lived happily ever after."
I would recommend this book to: any kid who wants to be entertained, any parent who wants to interest her child in reading, any person who likes quality children's literature.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Lessons Learned in Raskin's The Westing Game, November 8, 2005
This review is from: The Westing Game (Paperback)
The first time I read this book I was in the fifth grade. I remember it as the first time I couldn't put a book down, and ever since then I have been a voracious reader. Ellen Raskin does something to a ten year-old's heart and mind in this book, and upon a second reading I have found that she holds those same powers over a twenty year old woman.

Through her novel The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin is able-like no other young adult author I know-to create a story that will engage and entice both young and old. She develops characters that charm us within a story that thrills us. By the end of the novel, you will learn how love can be shown in so many strange ways by so many different people. Told in the third person, the story reveals the thoughts and emotions of every one of the characters, except of course for the ever-elusive Samuel Westing. With so many different characters, this is a brilliant way for the reader to truly know each one of them.

In a short 192 pages you will meet and come to know sixteen heirs to the Westing fortune and their families, all of whom mysteriously end up living in the same apartment building, Sunset Towers. Two months after moving in, on the evening of Halloween, the body of millionaire Sam Westing is found in his mansion overlooking Lake Michigan. Sixteen of the inhabitants of Sunset Towers then receive letters requesting them to meet in the mansion for thereading of the will. And so the game begins. The heirs are paired off and then pitted against one another in a desperate attempt to find Westing's killer and win the two million dollar reward.

The book follows along most closely with a thirteen year-old girl called Turtle. Much of the story is seen through the eyes of this young but oh so strong-headed character who is brave enough to lead us into the very house of the dead.

We meet the cast of characters at an interesting time in their lives. It is a strange test of wills where two million dollars are involved. Relationships are tested, created, and broken throughout the course of the game they play. We see that love can be shown in a multitude of different ways, even where you expect to see it least, and I think for a young adult especially this is a precious lesson to learn.

The story is a mystery that unravels in ways you never expected it would. Through all the tangled suspicions, lies, and attempts to solve the puzzle, Raskin manages to keep the story simple enough for a ten year-old to follow and understand, but confusing enough to keep an adult guessing and unable to put the book down. So who ended the life of Sam Westing and why? Was it an unnoticed secretary? A jealous inventor? An angelic bride-to-be? A former employee? Perhaps even a thirteen year-old girl? It is more than worth while to read and find out.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY ALL TIME FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOK, March 4, 2002
This review is from: The Westing Game (Hardcover)
This book was absolutely amazing. For a children's book, it can capture even the adult imagination.
The book starts off with the careful manipulation of eighteen people into moving into an apartment complex. Of the eighteen there is a doctor, a restauranteur, a judge, a runner, and a birdwatcher. But there is a also a bookie, a bomber, and, quite possibly, a killer.
On a dare, Turtle Wexler agrees to spend the night in the Westing Manor. However, that night is shortlived as the body of the deceased (and possibly murdered) Mr. Westing is found in the house sending Turtle running in fear. But surprise of all surprises, the eighteen residents of the apartment complex have all been named as potential heirs to the Westing fortune -- but first they have to play The Westing Game.
Paired off the group goes on their merry way searching for clues. However, when the secretary's transcribed copy of the will goes missing and a mad bomber starts to terrorize the players the game takes a wild twist. At the same time, though, you come to realize that there is a bizarre method to the madness behind the game. People are being paired off for a reason. From people learning to bond with others, learning about differences, learning to love, and learning to be loved, each pair brings its own special allure to the game.
Now, I am not going to spoil the ending, however, I do urge you to read carefully if you want to figure out the big "whodunit." Just when you think the answer is there, there's a REALLY BIG monkey wrench thrown just to send you for a loop.
Although it's a mystery and there is talk of death, dying, bombs exploding, and you might have to explain what a bookie is to your child, this book really and truly captures the imagination of anyone who reads it and is truly a wonderful book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Westing Game Mystery Tops My FAVORITE Book Charts, May 13, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Westing Game (Paperback)
Barny Northrup didn't exist, yet he was still the one to deliver a message to 16 people. It was a message that informed them that they had been chosen to be able to live in "Sunset Towers". But who were these people? The 16 specialy selected tenants were mother, fathers, and children. They were a secretary, a dressmaker, a doctor, and restaraunter... And, oh yes, one was a bookie, one was a burglar, one was a bomber and one was a mistake. They were called to the Westing Mansion just a few days after their arrival at Sunset Towers. Poor "Uncle Sam" had died, and they were the 16 heirs to his 200 million dollar fortune! But he didn't die of natural causes, no he said this in his will. He was murdered; by one of the 16 heirs! It was up to them to find who the murderer was, like in a game: A Westing Game. The prize for winning: his 200 million dollor inheritance. The Westing Game is by far the best book I've ever read. Ellen Raskin pulls you in to her deliciously written novel with creative writing techniques. She developes her characters in such a way that you feel you know them. Its a spine-tingling mystery that keeps you on your toes. I couldn't put it down.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect book?, January 4, 1998
This review is from: The Westing Game (Paperback)
I love to read, and my friends know it. A couple of days ago, someone asked me what my favorite book was so they could read it. I really had to think about it. Out of all the books I have read, I almost said The Stand by Stephen King. But then I remebered a book I had read a while ago, The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Never before have I enjoyed reading a book more than this one. The characters are perfectly done, the story was thought out and delivered unlike anything I have read before, and it was unpredictable. I had my mind set on one character as to whodunit, but the "murderer" will surprise anybody. It amazes my how Hollywood wastes money on so-so books when this would make a wonderful movie. Oh, and just forget that it is a kids book. You just can't get much better than this. One last note: there are many characters, which, at first, may seem confusing, but stick with it! The more important characters are highlighted more than the other ones.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'd Never Guess It, October 21, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Westing Game (Hardcover)
The Westing Game starts out when a whole group of people are invited to move into a new apartment complex together. They don't know it in the beginning, but there is a reason that these certain people were selected. One day they receive an invitation to go up to the reading of the will of a man, Sam Westing, who has died. The will turns into a game and the tenants of the apartment building are split into pairs. They work together to solve the puzzle and try to win the 200 million dollars that is Sam Westing's inheritance. One of the tenants keeps setting off bombs throughout the apartment building. One of them has many different disguises. One person has an amazing motive to want to kill Sam Westing. The pairs are supposed to figure out who killed Sam Westing and who that person is going to attack next. The end of the book is a twisted turn of events that nobody will be able to figure out before they actually read it. I enjoyed The Westing Game tremendously and anybody would. It is just the right length to get the whole story in and not be boring. All the characters act just like normal people would and have the same reasoning. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, hope you enjoy it!
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The Westing Game
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Mass Market Paperback - June 1, 1997)
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