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Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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DS #2 Apt Pupil

Is Apt Pupil the kind of story that stays with you - haunts you, as it were, as Todd's and Dussander's nightmares haunt them?

Do you think this story has qualities that makes it more believable or unbelievable?

Did you get a kick out of Andy's little role in helping Dussander with his investments?
Stephanie
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TeresaF
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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DS #2 Apt Pupil

From the blurb on the back of the book, I knew this story was going to be too haunting for my tastes. So to cut down the disturbance level, I started at the end. Yep, I read the book in reverse order. It was kind of like watching a breaking news story on TV. When you read the tale starting with Chapter 29's big ending and work your way back, the big surprise is then Chapter 1's telling of who started this whole chilling game. I didn’t know Todd’s true part until the end. I’m now thinking that this is a good measure of a haunting tale, can the chapters be read in reverse order and still keep your interest and be just as haunting. In this case, the answer is yes.

Not surprisingly, Dussander’s reference to his ex-banker’s stock advice was the only chuckle I got out of this one. For me, the placement was excellent because it came near the end. Probably laughed more than I would have because it was very unexpected by then.
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
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Re: DS #2 Apt Pupil

Teresa,

You read the entire story backwards, or just the last chapter first?

What an interesting idea, how did you come up with it?
Stephanie
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TeresaF
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Re: DS #2 Apt Pupil

[ Edited ]

Stephanie wrote:
Teresa,

You read the entire story backwards, or just the last chapter first?

What an interesting idea, how did you come up with it?




In real life, Stephanie, I’m pretty tough, but when it comes to fiction, I’m a real chicken. I don’t like scary or otherwise disturbing stuff. That’s why I’d put-off reading SK’s stories before. Anyhow, yes, I read Chapter 29 then 28 then 27 then 26 then etc. all the way back to Chapter 1. The original plan was to get comfortable with what I assumed would be a happy ending and then start with Chapter 1, but when that didn’t happen, I just kept going. I’m surprised myself. I expected to stop, but didn’t.

Reverse chapter reading made the story a bit bumpy in spots, but not bad. It was kind of a George Lucas Star Wars thing where the backstory comes later. The big punch was that I got to keep Todd more innocent and vulnerable until the end. I didn’t know that Todd was the one that approached Dussander nor that Todd had found his GREAT INTEREST prior to meeting Dussander. I expected Dussander to be painted as the instigator, not the boy.

Message Edited by TeresaF on 03-19-200707:42 PM

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Stephanie
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Re: DS #2 Apt Pupil

Teresa,

I am definitely sitting right alongside you, on your side of the fence. I think we must have excessive imaginations - when I read a scary book or watch a scary movie, I think it works on me more than it does most people. I avoid scary movies altogether anymore. However, I never would have thought to leap ahead and get the scary part over with first! I love it - I'm always learning from you!
Stephanie
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TeresaF
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Re: DS #2 Apt Pupil

Stephanie, what a generous thing for you to say about my wonky methods. I don't think the authors appreciate it though. They've worked awfully hard to build these stories. You know, I bet you SK could write one that was just as readable in reverse order. Interesting challenge to think about. Good thing I don't write books I suppose.

I think if I had read this story in the proper order, the first thing to make my skin crawl would have been Todd passionately referring to atrocities as “gooshy”. SK did a excellent job of making the harmless word “apt” haunting, too, of course.
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scubadms
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Registered: ‎01-04-2007
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Re: DS #2 Apt Pupil

I actually didnt have any trouble with this story haunting me. I had seen the movie version many years ago and found myself constantly saying I dont remember any of this in the movie. I thought that the story was very disturbing, especially the ending. Even after reading the entire story I was shocked at how easily Todd was able to deal with Mr. French. Being a teacher myself it made me wonder a little bit about how much parents really know about what goes on in their children's lives. Luckily my children are still very small so I think that I still know what is going on and dont have to worry too much about them, yet :smileyhappy:
Denise
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Stephanie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: DS #2 Apt Pupil

Teresa,

Everytime look at the title "apt" and "rapt" are somehow combined in my thinking. Todd was both, wasn't he. He was a very disturbing(ed) boy -- I thought of my own son (only 11) and how he would react to learning all the intricate details about the holocaust. I know he would have turned the old man in to the authorities in a heartbeat.
Stephanie
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Stephanie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: DS #2 Apt Pupil

Denise,

Knowing how our public school system works, there isn't any way for a kid to "get over" like Todd did anymore. Think of all the child study teams, 504 plans, IEPs, registration paperwork-- shoot, they practically take a blood draw and do a DNA test around here.

I think teachers make pretty astute parents, too, perhaps a little more "in the know" than the average parent, simply because teachers are surrounded by the culture all day long.
Stephanie
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