WEEK 2 DISCUSSION - Update! :)



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  1. #1
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    Default WEEK 2 DISCUSSION - Update! :)

    I know I did not cover all the chapters, but I had so many questions before I made it past ch. 16 - I don't want to bombard everyone with TONS of questions.. I think this is more than enough, probably too many!!

    Pg. 89 (roughly) Last pg of Ch. 11: Her father glares at her when she gets him to reveal that he’s been to Istanbul – why does he want to hide this from her? Do you think she had an agenda in getting her father to admit/reveal he’d traveled to Istanbul? If so, why/what agenda?

    Do you agree with Prof. Rossi that Hedges was killed as a mere warning? Who/what do you think told Hedges to tell Prof. Rossi that he would “brook no trespasses”?

    At the end of Ch.12, who do you think the dark figure was that the artist painted sitting behind Paul at a table the daughter clearly saw as empty? If you think this is related to the dragon book/research, do you think this is a form of intimidation and if so, meant for whom – Paul or his daughter, or both?

    Pg. 101 (roughly) in Rossi’s last letter to “his dear and unfortunate successor” Rossi says that the first time he spoke aloud regarding Dracula in Istanbul he conjured up “some terrible presence” and the second time he mentioned aloud Dracula’s tomb his friend Hedges was attacked – do you think Rossi is correct in thinking these two incidents are related? Do you agree with Rossi’s theory that speaking aloud regarding this topic summons whatever force he is dealing with?

    What do you make of Rossi’s peculiar encounter with the curator who he sent his dragon book to for answers? How did he know things that Rossi had never told him? Why did Rossi at first think he was ill and haggard looking with odd teeth and then after their meeting was finished Rossi saw the man as he was before?
    What do you think about the map that the curator told him was in the book – the one that has Rossi’s name where the tomb of Dracula is supposed to rest? Do you think the curator has something to do with this – is he one of Dracula’s minions or is it Dracula himself and Dracula is playing with him?

    After finding the map with your name in place of a tomb of a dead man, would you have made the same decision Rossi did – cease and desist your search for answers, including possible revenge for your friend, or would it spur you on further? Do you think Rossi is a coward or wise?

    If you were Paul, would you have picked up the search upon reading the last line of Rossi’s last letter: “You must choose, too. I have given you every shard of knowledge that I possess, where these horrors are concerned. Knowing my story, can you refuse me succor?” What would you choose to do?

    Since each time Rossi spoke aloud something bad happened, do you think Rossi knew the night Paul came to him to discuss the dragon book that something would happen to him?

    What do you make of the “dark and stately shape” that Paul’s daughter sees in the castle window after her father tells her of Rossi’s last letter? Any theories of who/what it is? Do you think it is the same person showing up in all these places?

    What do you think happened to Mr. Binnert? Who’s bloody handprint was on the wall? Do you think this is another incident that can be chalked up to the danger surrounding research/the quest for Dracula? Was it a warning like Hedges (Rossi thought) and if so, who is it meant for – Paul or his daughter, or both?
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  3. #2
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: WEEK 2 DISCUSSION

    OK I have 3 things that I have been dying to discuss, although I feel a little odd about the 2ND item.

    I think I liked the week's reading a little more, because there was a lot that I felt could be discussed. Considering the 1st items was in Chapter 11 in the first paragraph in the last sentence. "It touched me to be trusted with something terrible." In the first weeks reading, I couldn't figure out why the narrator felt the need to push so hard on her father to tell the story, to the point of anger if he didn't say anything. This sentence really got me to thinking that maybe this explained it all. If her father didn't tell her the story, he didn't trust her, he doesn't like her going to the library because he doesn't trust her, and it infuriates her.

    The 2ND item is I'm reading from a library book. And the pages are so yellow, and the book has an unusual smell. It's not unpleasant; it just seems like exotic spices that I can't place. So occasionally I'll read that a character unfolded an old piece of paper, or someone went to Istanbul and then I get a whiff of this book. It's an odd experience, then I wonder if this happens to anyone else reading this book. Of course, if your on a Nook you don't. Luckily when Rossi, recounted how his book began to stink like rot and death, I still got the pleasant spice smell.

    Any theories on the Rossi not remembering his experience in Romania? And why he wouldn't even have recounted this odd letter he received that he had been there? Do you believe Helen Rossi's story?

  4. #3
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    Default Re: WEEK 2 DISCUSSION

    Quote Originally Posted by turtlenook
    OK I have 3 things that I have been dying to discuss, although I feel a little odd about the 2ND item.

    I think I liked the week's reading a little more, because there was a lot that I felt could be discussed. Considering the 1st items was in Chapter 11 in the first paragraph in the last sentence. "It touched me to be trusted with something terrible." In the first weeks reading, I couldn't figure out why the narrator felt the need to push so hard on her father to tell the story, to the point of anger if he didn't say anything. This sentence really got me to thinking that maybe this explained it all. If her father didn't tell her the story, he didn't trust her, he doesn't like her going to the library because he doesn't trust her, and it infuriates her.

    The 2ND item is I'm reading from a library book. And the pages are so yellow, and the book has an unusual smell. It's not unpleasant; it just seems like exotic spices that I can't place. So occasionally I'll read that a character unfolded an old piece of paper, or someone went to Istanbul and then I get a whiff of this book. It's an odd experience, then I wonder if this happens to anyone else reading this book. Of course, if your on a Nook you don't. Luckily when Rossi, recounted how his book began to stink like rot and death, I still got the pleasant spice smell.

    Any theories on the Rossi not remembering his experience in Romania? And why he wouldn't even have recounted this odd letter he received that he had been there? Do you believe Helen Rossi's story?
    I agree with you on your first point.. I hadn't thought of that before and I don't remember reading that line (sometimes I read too fast for my own good lol) but I think you are dead on. I also think that she feels like she has missed out on a lot of her father over the years because he travels so much being a diplomat, and this is something that allows them to spend time together and is showing her father that she is old enough now to travel with him.

    I love library books! That must be really awesome to have a book that smells so intriguing everytime you read it - esp this book in particular!!

    The first time I read this book I got it as a Doubleday book club selection so it was a hardcover and I gave that copy away to my cousin to read, and I never get books back that I lend to her (so basically I know I am giving a book to her whenever I send one).. but I do miss my paper book with this book club because it is hard to look back and check and reread things on the nook. I think there is also something that feels satisfying to read an actual book while reading a book that is about another book. It somehow feels closer to you when you are holding the book in your hand versus reading on the nook. I love my nook though and wouldn't trade it for the world, I just think in SOME instances the real thing feels nicer.
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  6. #4
    Puck
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    Default Re: WEEK 2 DISCUSSION - Update! :)

    Turtlenook...Perhaps also, for this generally docile and accepting girl (in the early 1970s in Amsterdam, a very progressive place), this is her form of rebellion?

    Clearly, I think Binnert, the curator and Hedges were attacked by Dracula. I believe also that it is Dracula in the cafe and in the castle window. Can Paul not see him? Is Paul seeking him? Is he seeking Paul or the girl? Is he trying to make sure Paul does not find Rossi? If so, why has he not attacked Paul too? Perhaps because Paul is a book recipient and something else happens to those folks (a la Rossi?)

    I think Rossi is, although clearly loyal, perhaps misguided in his pursuit. Maybe his name on the map is a warning, cross this line and all bets are off? It certainly foreshadows Paul's quest for Rossi and the daughter's quest essentially for her father.

    Also I find the Helen Rossi thing interesting. Very un-Rossi like to abandon the girlfriend/child and lie about it. Something's definitely up here. Rossi, at least to date, has been portrayed as a pretty loyal and honorable fellow. After all, he is risking his life on a search for justice for a friend....

  7. #5
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: WEEK 2 DISCUSSION - Update! :)

    Clearly, I think Binnert, the curator and Hedges were attacked by Dracula
    I agree. I wonder if Binnert was killed for the book he was looking at, or for something else he had found and was ordering for the narrator's research. I'm thinking the later since if Dracula can make a whole person disappear, he must be smart enough to take a book.

    And your right the abandonment thing was very un-Rossi, which is why I also wondered if Helen came with her own agenda. More than likely, since the mother was named Helen this is going to be the same Helen. But for now, I don't find her a very likeable character, and her fidgeting with her gloves got on my nerves. I one point while I was reading I yelled the dang gloves alone lady. For now, it's much easier to believe she is a planted character or minion to pump Paul for info to see what Rossi has told him.

    I do believe that Dracula is that shadowy figure in the background of all these instances. If his omnipotent enough to harass Rossi in Istanbul, kill some college kid in England, kidnap him in America, bash a librarian's head in Amsterdam, then he can be in all those other places too.

  8. #6
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    Default Re: WEEK 2 DISCUSSION - Update! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by turtlenook
    And your right the abandonment thing was very un-Rossi, which is why I also wondered if Helen came with her own agenda. More than likely, since the mother was named Helen this is going to be the same Helen. But for now, I don't find her a very likeable character, and her fidgeting with her gloves got on my nerves. I one point while I was reading I yelled the dang gloves alone lady. For now, it's much easier to believe she is a planted character or minion to pump Paul for info to see what Rossi has told him.
    Concur on Helen's likeability - she is not sounding like a pleasant person at all. I thought something else though, not that she had an agenda, per se, but a mission of sorts. At first I thought that she might work for Dracula, but after the church episode that an undead person could not have endured, I am now wondering whether Rossi actually is her father? Maybe Dracula pretended to be Rossi? Maybe Rossi was somehow possessed or under a spell to have forgotten? Perhaps he was transported away before and no one noticed, this time Paul did.....

    Quote Originally Posted by turtlenook
    I agree. I wonder if Binnert was killed for the book he was looking at, or for something else he had found and was ordering for the narrator's research. I'm thinking the later since if Dracula can make a whole person disappear, he must be smart enough to take a book.
    Thinking too, that if the book was used in some inappropriate way by - or perhaps merely in the possession of - someone for whom it was not intended (Binnert, curator, etc), that this somehow invites attack?

  9. #7
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    Default Re: WEEK 2 DISCUSSION - Update! :)

    This is what I am really struggling with.. here Dracula is giving them these books and obvious for some sort of purpose. But when they do the obvious - go on a quest for answers.. all this dangerous stuff happens to kind of keep them away from the truth. So which is it - does Dracula want them to know the truth, to get to the bottom of the mystery HE presented to them.. or not?
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  10. #8
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    Default Re: WEEK 2 DISCUSSION - Update! :)

    by the way i'm getting all weepy 'cause no one's bothered with any of my deeply-thought-out discussion questions!! I guess I won't be bothering with those next time!! :whip:

    kidding, kidding
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  11. #9
    d'Artagnan Astoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: WEEK 2 DISCUSSION - Update! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    This is what I am really struggling with.. here Dracula is giving them these books and obvious for some sort of purpose. But when they do the obvious - go on a quest for answers.. all this dangerous stuff happens to kind of keep them away from the truth. So which is it - does Dracula want them to know the truth, to get to the bottom of the mystery HE presented to them.. or not?
    I was wondering about that too. Who is leaving the books for them? If is Dracula or someone who wants everyone to know about Dracula?

  12. #10
    d'Artagnan Astoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: WEEK 2 DISCUSSION - Update! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    by the way i'm getting all weepy 'cause no one's bothered with any of my deeply-thought-out discussion questions!! I guess I won't be bothering with those next time!! :whip:

    kidding, kidding



    LoL I am not good with guestions. It reminds me of school. When works better for me is to comment on someone elses comment.

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