Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Moderator
Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Leo (Spoilers!)

Please don't enter this thread if you haven't finished the book!
 
I would love to hear readers talk more about Leo, or Pavel, now that we know who he is and where he's come from. Did anyone have a guess at this? His identity does make sense--his physical competence, his sense of desperate certainty--his basic traits--are there for us on the first page, but I was totally in the dark, even well after seeing the newspaper clippings in Andrei's suitcase!
 
How can we look back on this character? I find it impossible not to sympathize with Leo, but I am also very troubled by my desire, as a reader, to simply forgive his past. Does anyone else feel that way?
 
Do you see Leo really growing beyond his need to keep a "blind faith" in something?
 
And who, BTW, would you cast as Leo, if you happened to be directing this movie?
 
Rachel
 
 
Author
TRS_Old
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎05-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Leo (Spoilers!)



rkubie wrote:
Please don't enter this thread if you haven't finished the book!
I would love to hear readers talk more about Leo, or Pavel, now that we know who he is and where he's come from. Did anyone have a guess at this? His identity does make sense--his physical competence, his sense of desperate certainty--his basic traits--are there for us on the first page, but I was totally in the dark, even well after seeing the newspaper clippings in Andrei's suitcase!
How can we look back on this character? I find it impossible not to sympathize with Leo, but I am also very troubled by my desire, as a reader, to simply forgive his past. Does anyone else feel that way?
Do you see Leo really growing beyond his need to keep a "blind faith" in something?
And who, BTW, would you cast as Leo, if you happened to be directing this movie?
Rachel





This story was always for me the story of two brothers separated, having entirely different lives and then being reunited. It would be dishonest of me to claim I didn't want the revelation to be a "twist" or surprise for the reader. But it wasn't thrown in to spice up the end of the book.

The idea for this book came about when I read that the real killer, Andrei Chikatilo, grew up hearing stories about how his brother disappeared during the famine and might have been eaten. In reality, Andrei Chikatilo never knew that brother. There is much speculation as to how these stories changed him, whether it started him along a murderous path. Of course, that is impossible to know. And that is where fiction kicks in...

In CHILD 44 these two brothers are at the crux - in my narrative the two brothers would be together, during the famine. One brother would be taken, one brother would remain.

Leo's entire character in fact connects with his past. He has, since he was very young, learned that in order to survive he must wipe events from his mind. He wipes away his past as Pavel in order to become Leo. In order to survive as Leo, he is forced to wipe away the memory of all the innocent people he's arrested. His past fits with who he has become. Both he and his brother have become killers, but of a very different kind.

Also, I didn't want the climax of the book to be Leo finding the killer and it just being nobody in particular. This might seem more plausible but it presents no problem for Leo and no emotion at the end. In that version he would kill the man outright without any hesitation.

Ironically, Leo has set out to punish this man, a mere abstract idea of a man, a terrible man, only to discover that these murders were intended to punish him. He is partly responsible! Leo has been seeing people as symbols throughout his career. I didn't want the killer to be just another symbol for Leo to kill in the belief that he's done good. In a way, that would be a backwards movement for Leo.

The loop is really the spine of the book. To take it away, makes it a completely different book. I'm not saying that book couldn't have interesting. But to return to my opening point: it is, in essence, a story about two brothers, one brother trying to find the other, the other is trying to forget, one brother is living in the past, the other is pretending he has none.


Learn more about Child 44.
Users Online
Currently online: 11 members 664 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: