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Parasha: Oct. 21 reading (non-spoiler)


Yet another long section, which I should just suck it up and expect from now til the end. :p

A brief meeting with Larry, to share some info. "When I smile no one can tell." Heh.

We also see more of Rastov and Quicklime, quickly moving up to join Graymalk as a major co-operator with Snuff. More references to Quicklime living in Rastov's stomach, and just getting out in time. Ugh. XD That's a concept I'll admit I'm not really familiar with, snakes living in someone's stomach, although it sounds similar to some urban legends I've seen.

Looking into some of the details of Rasputin, one problem with the Rasputin = Rastov thing is that if we do assume this takes place in 1887, he'd only have been 18 years old. Although apparently until recently there was doubt as to his actual birth date so... Meh, I have a feeling Zelazny kinda handwaved the dates thing, anyhow, but blah. How can we be geeky about it, in that case?

Also we find out that apparently people can divine whether others are Openers or Closers, so chances are it'll all come out soon. And yes, as desdenova said, here it mentions that the losing side is (supposed to be) wiped out by the backlash at the end of things. Ouch.

We find out that Quicklime, wise as a serpent (heh), managed to get Needle drunk the previous night and find out about the Count's other locations, which means Snuff does indeed get to recalculate. And apparently "seeing snakes" is akin to seeing pink elephants when one is drunk, although I'd never heard that one.

We also get a small broody sequence where Snuff ponders about the Elder Gods (actually named as such for the first time in the book, I believe), and the beauties of nature, yadda. Followed up by more talk about Rastov, and references such as Pushkin (I guess one of Rastov's favorites?), the Alhazred Icon which Rastov has (which after looking it up links this book even more to the Lovecraftian stuff, not that it needed it), mention of the shores of Hali (which I still don't get)...

And this leads into the Big Reveal that's been foreshadowed already, which is that Snuff and Jack are Closers. And so, apparently, are Rastov and Quicklime. This is also followed by Drama, as the pair reach the Count's other resting place, and find a skeleton with a stake through its chest. Oopsie.

As if all this isn't enough, Jack is turning out to be borrowing sugar from Jill (how cliche), and there is more discussion with Graymalk. Apparently the Vicar has one of the game's artifacts, and also his step-daughter who is held prisoner suspected to be a future sacrifice.

We wrap things up with a visit to the Gipsies (sic), and the Great Detective playing the violin for them, as if we needed more clues about who he's supposed to be. :p

I may have more comments later if I think about them, but just covering this much ground for now is enough, I think.

Comments

( 19 Notes — Write a Footnote )
annewashere
Oct. 21st, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
I love that vampires retain their skeletons in this universe.

You know, I've always had the really dippy impression that this story occurs later than all these people actually "lived", like, maybe some unspecified time in the twentieth century. And that they were all sort of archetypes or metaphors that somehow roamed to and fro (or not) until that time of year when they started to gather and do their thing.
stormfeather
Oct. 21st, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
Hrm, I suppose that (as far as the date is concerned) is something to keep in mind, although if it's much later than their native time, it'd raise the thought of why all the horses and carriages, no cars, telephones, etc.
annewashere
Oct. 21st, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
They don't feel conspicuously absent, though. Like I said, maybe dippy, but I definitely got the impression that Zelazny wasn't wanting the reader to be thinking of a specific historical time.
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annewashere
Oct. 21st, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
It just feels... generic?
pokeypenguin
Oct. 22nd, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)
The only one that stands out to me is the constable riding around on and being purportedly thrown from his horse. Cop on horseback is a little out there, though I knew it exists in places like Central Park, and Canada.
pokeypenguin
Oct. 21st, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
I have decided that I shall be very put out if the Great Detective *is* a player, instead of just investigating things as skillfully as Snuff believes that he is. The whole point of Holmes is that he'd stumble upon it, rather than be involved from the start.
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stormfeather
Oct. 21st, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
Man, poor Watson. He really does get the short end of the stick, doesn't he?
pokeypenguin
Oct. 21st, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
That would be one of my complaints if so, though not the major one.

But essentially, yeah. He is sufficiently backgrounded in role that he could be, if I accept Snuff is in the midst of an epic fail on his watching, which is plausible, and that the other companions are too or are playing Snuff in this case, which is also plausible. After Talbot can be his own companion, I don't trust that I know the rules well enough to rule Watson out as a companion. But I will dislike it a lot.
annewashere
Oct. 22nd, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
This wouldn't bother me, because in my head all these people are not really people, they are archetypes, and the animals are not really animals, they are assistants in the form of animals.
larabeaton
Oct. 21st, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Snuff ponders about the Elder Gods (actually named as such for the first time in the book, I believe)

They had mentioned previously that the vicar holds ceremonies to the Elder Gods (from the 19th). I'm guessing that that means he's an opener?
pokeypenguin
Oct. 21st, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
This is my interpretation as well. Nobody else really has any suggestive evidence that I've noticed, except for Snuff guarding the various Things from escaping. (I mean, plus Snuff and Quicklime saying so, but claims are different from evidence.)
larabeaton
Oct. 21st, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
As for the Elders, I could see no profit in intercourse with those who transcend utterly. I like to keep all such things in abstract, Platonic realms and not have to concern myself with physical presences. . . .


Since that was from Snuff's inner monologue, I'm assuming that his claim to be a "closer" is legitimate.
stormfeather
Oct. 21st, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
Oh right! My bad.
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stormfeather
Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
At least he learns quickly!
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