Saturday, March 6, 2010

Literary Feast Finale: Al Capone Does My Shirts

Hello dear readers!Al Capone Does My Shirts

The time has come -- we've reached the end of Al Capone Does My Shirts. I, for one, think it has been fairly epic. But let's get right to the discussion, shall we?

PAGES 179-225

SHEL: Aww, such a nice little birthday party.

Monica: Except the aftermath of it made me want to sob uncontrollably. Seriously, the part where the dad asks Nathalie how old she is, and she lets them all know -- what an awesomely heartbreaking moment. You have to wonder what she has been thinking this whole time, as her mother lies about her age and she is completely and totally aware of it herself.

SHEL: Yeah, I know.  It was impressive the way those tensions were drawn out.  In other news, Mrs. Kelly wound up being sort of awesome and helpful. I honestly hadn't expected that. At all.

Monica: What a shocker! I too was anticipating her being nothing but a worthless busybody, but she pretty much pulled through for us at the end. Nathalie is speaking in entire sentences! (PS, speaking of the end, this book may have been the best ending of all time. Chapter forty is *love*.)

SHEL: Yeah, I know.  I love the logic about mentioning Al Capone's mom on page 210. Entertainment. And true.

Monica: It's nice for there to be a few events that you can pinpoint as being completely factual. I liked the way the author referred back to them in the notes; it helps once again bring the story back to a historical context. I'd sort of lost track of it, in all the Nathalie drama, and the evil warden drama, and the horrid Piper drama (although she sort of fell by the wayside towards the end, didn't she?) and... yes.

SHEL: So, overall, what do you think of the way Al Capone is characterized. In the Author's Note, Choldenko mentions that he's sometimes considered a Robin Hood figure. Do you buy that? Do you think Al Capone has become a character of legends?

Monica: I 100% buy that. I don't know if he's quite a Robin Hood type of character -- giving to the poor after robbing the rich, and all that -- but he is definitely the stuff of legends. I doubt if the average person off the street could describe any of his actual criminal actions, but everyone knows his name.

Good times, friends!
Thanks for hanging with us for this discussion. Next up, we'll be checking out Fat Cat, which looks fantaaaastic, so be sure to grab a copy in preparation.

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