Which Character Do You Prefer?

Use this forum to discuss the May 2018 Book of the Month, "The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson
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Re: Which Character Do You Prefer?

Post by Bookmermaid » 21 May 2018, 18:08

Duke, fascinates me. I loved his swagger, his joie de vivre and his determination to get back on his feet and to remake himself when it becomes necessary for his survival.

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Post by ValBookReviews » 25 May 2018, 13:52

Not necessary a fan of his lifestyle choices, but, no question, I preferred Duke's character, as a sword swallower because I did find his story more compelling.
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Post by lavellan » 26 May 2018, 23:18

I preferred Duke over Gary. Duke had greater caring for other people and most of his actions were self-destructive rather than hurtful to others. Gary didn't seem to care much other people's feelings and didn't try to improve himself until he met Duke.

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Post by Yolimari » 28 May 2018, 06:37

I do not think I have a preference but I think that Duke was smart and worldly. He had a eccentric life. He had interesting friends. He was kind. He was an avid reader. He studied while in prison. Then he tried to help Gary.

Although I understand Gary suffered a lot with his alcoholic mother, I think he ended up losing himself during his time in college, which was super wild. He could have chosen a different path. Meeting Duke was a godsend that changed his life.
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Post by gkgurley » 28 May 2018, 14:22

I prefer reading about Duke; I love his larger-than-life personality and experiences. His story had me on the edge of my seat. However, I related most to Gary. I liked READING about Duke better, but I liked Gary AS A PERSON. It's a hard comparison. Their distinctions is what makes the book work. If they were too similar, Part Two would not be compelling. But if there weren't comparisons, then Part Three wouldn't be compelling. I think the differences of setting, career paths, and relationships was well-told.

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Post by Oceanside » 31 May 2018, 23:53

Duke definitely seems like he has it more together even when he was still dealing with alcohol abuse. The only thing that bothered me was his lack of faith and his passion in persuading Gary that God doesn't exist. If he wants to be an atheist that's fine but I didn't appreciate how he tried to sway Gary from his own beliefs. I do feel like Duke had some great advice for Gary though. He was older and wiser and Gary learned a lot of valuable things from Duke.

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Post by tkrapish » 02 Jun 2018, 20:03

I like the character of Duke. Yes he had many flaws, but he also had a deep way of looking at others. There were many times in the book where Duke showed concern for others or had compassion for them. I found him an interesting character because in some ways he did grow up when helping other people in his life. Unfortunately I don't think Duke grew up enough to care about himself. Duke did work to mentor Gary and should receive credit for caring enough to help another person not go down the road that he did.

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Post by scratchcat318 » 05 Jun 2018, 20:18

(spoilers!)
If we had seen more of Gary's life after Duke passed away, I feel like I would have liked him more. As the book is, Duke is more compelling to me, because we see him overcome his demons and grow into a much more mature and wise person. Gary stays the same up until Duke's death, and then the book ends. We never get to see him develop fully in the same way Duke does.

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Post by liftedbooks » 06 Jun 2018, 04:25

I didn't really like either one of these characters, but Duke was more interesting.

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Post by prospero360 » 06 Jun 2018, 08:48

I found Gary more interesting actually and I relate more to him than Duke

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Post by Quinto » 06 Jun 2018, 09:15

Duke is a street smart guy who knows how to work his thing. Gary on the other hand seems absent-minded and never really doing what his passion is all about.

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Post by Abiba Alice » 06 Jun 2018, 10:51

All characters were interesting but I liked Duke more. He knew the consequences of his actions and he owned his flaws

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Post by CorundumAl2O3 » 06 Jun 2018, 20:12

Duke Reynolds hands down!!!
I sympathized with him and the author really went deep into his back story and lifestyle in the circus and outside of it.
Gary Robinson....meh.

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Post by nikkyteewhy » 06 Jun 2018, 20:17

I believe both characters are unique but I prefer Duke's character. He seems to have more hard times.

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Post by Julehart1 » 07 Jun 2018, 01:39

I found Duke to be a more interesting and compelling character. He seems to be more layered and complex and goes through a journey in the book. You find yourself sympathizing with him and what he is going through. Gary wasn't nearly as interesting to me.

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