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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K Geisinger
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Re: Which Character Do You Prefer?

Post by K Geisinger » 07 May 2018, 12:51

Without question, I prefer Duke. While many people are not sure where their lives may lead, Gary rarely makes any choices and the choices he makes are rarely good. He also has a very poor sense of self and how his choices are impacting his life. Duke knows what he wants, he just may make bad decisions getting there. His alcoholism got him in trouble, but he always knew he loved the circus and was meant to perform. He was by no means a perfect character, but he knew himself, both his flaws and his mind.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 07 May 2018, 20:01

I definitely found Duke's story more compelling. He certainly had his issues, but he took responsibility for his action and he made a point to constantly be trying to better himself. He was proud of who he was and he was willing to pour himself into others.

Gary, on the other hand, was aimless and ambitionless. He wanted life to be handed to him and he wanted to be the best at something without having to work for it. Unfortunately, this is a common theme with the generation that he is supposed to be from in the book. I really appreciated that Duke challenged him to be more than he was, to reach for what he wanted and to live life to the fullest so that he could get it.

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Post by heidifinger » 08 May 2018, 09:54

I am not finished reading the book yet but I really enjoyed reading about Duke. I am having a hard time getting through the college sexual frat tricks. Hopefully the Chico Kid story gets exciting soon.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 09 May 2018, 20:48

Duke actually had a very unique story. Gary was an aggravating, immature jerk who didn't care who he hurt. Duke only ever seemed to hurt himself. I truly could have just read the first portion about Duke and done without the rest. I'm glad to have at least seen that Gary claimed to be changed by Duke. I felt sorry for Duke but I never really developed any empathy for Gary. Maybe that was partially do to having very little background to understand his addiction.

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Post by Nena_Morena » 09 May 2018, 23:12

My favorite character was Duke and I enjoyed particularly reading about his life of adventures. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with both of them towards the end of the book. Gary was destroying his life because of his addiction and careless decisions, I was hoping to see a positive change in him through Duke, instead, they start to use cocaine together and there was never any character progression.

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Post by blessedshild » 10 May 2018, 06:39

I will say duke, because he went through a lot and also was ready for any challenge, he was a street boy and was exposed.

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Post by Mildred Tabitha » 11 May 2018, 06:43

I like Duke more and I would love to see all real sword swallow show. The two characters have similarities and I like them both.
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Post by kdstrack » 11 May 2018, 21:45

I prefer Duke because we get his complete story. The story about Gary is also compelling but we don't know what will happen in the future. Will he ever fall back into needing his "medicine"? There is some indication that he became a grandfather, but there is a big gap with no further information.

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Post by jsparkleflower » 11 May 2018, 22:10

I felt a reader's connection to both characters, as they were both needing my empathy. Duke was more grounded, despite being a drug user and alcoholic, while Gary just never was able to settle. He kept trying to 'find' himself by making making self destructive poor choices. I found it interesting how in almost every situation Gary was invovled in, it seemed there was always someone there who gave him a helping hand or had empathy for his needs. Duke presented himself with much more character strength. I liked his mentoring of Gary. It was as if he needed to purge his own chaotic past and be forgiven by a higher power. In the end, I would have to say I liked Duke better.

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Post by Ericanielsen » 12 May 2018, 00:51

I prefer Duke but that might be the way the book was written. With Duke we were able to see more of his life and gain a more meaningful relationship. When talking about his own life, I felt like the author rushed his own stories. I felt like we weren’t able to connect to him as much.

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Post by bobbiebryner » 14 May 2018, 08:19

I was actually surprised to enjoy this book. This is not my typical genre, and I admit I was rather skeptical before I began reading it. I loved it, though. The character development was superb. Instead of contributing to a climatic plot, each event served the purpose of revealing a layer of the character involved.

Because of this, I found each character equally likable. I could relate to each character on some level. Duke was a product of his upbringing. His attempt to escape that lifestyle drove him to an equally destructive lifestyle. Duke had heart which I found endearing and honorable. He reached out to those around him and offered a nonjudgmental ear. I felt I could relate to his work ethic and sarcastic wit.

Gary reminded me of my own adult children and the clients that I work with. I have seen them start down the path of self destruction. I remember being in their place years ago. For me, Gary's story was a glimpse to my past. Although I was not an active participant in the hedonism at that time, I remember attending these types of events with my friends. Knowing how many of friends ended up, it is hard for me to witness the youth of today making the same bad choices.

For me, I don't have a preference because I can relate to both characters. One is where I was, and one is where I am.

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Post by J3nnif3rbattl3s » 14 May 2018, 13:46

Im not really sure i like both of them so different but fits perfectly together.

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Post by Lolo Skyooz » 18 May 2018, 16:24

For me, you've just got to love Duke. The tattoos, the swagger, the whole macho man thing...I just love him.

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Post by Bookmermaid » 19 May 2018, 16:38

The eponymous hero Duke has been showcased as the daredevil par excellence, so much so that it is difficult for the reader not to be ensnared in his narrative and clammer for his success.

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Post by crediblereading2 » 21 May 2018, 01:50

I admired both characters for being able to later influence each other's lives in a meaningful way but I overall prefer Dukes' character because he seems to be more personable and sensitive.

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