1. Chapter 6 begins with Richard chanting the mantra, “I want to go home”. How do you feel about Richard and his reactions at this point to the unexpected adventure he finds himself on?
I feel sorry for him. He’s been thrust into a very dangerous situation without knowing anything about it and just because he wanted to help Door. He’s lost his whole life because of that act of kindness.
But then at the Ordeal of the Key it seems that his meeting with Door and all the rest are “meant to be”; that fate or a higher power has arranged the whole thing. Unfortunately, I don’t really care for that type of story.
2. The Marquis de Carabas was even more mysterious and cagey during the first part of this week’s reading. What were your reactions to him/thoughts about him as you followed his activities?
He clearly had his own agenda. The world of London Below isn’t a happy place so it felt to me that the Marquis’ plotting has to be something sinister. And then Door’s father calls him a monster and in Door’s memories we see the Marquis doing something which I interpreted as slavery or perhaps pimping.
3. How did you feel about the Ordeal of the Key?
I didn’t remember it from my previous reading so it was a surprise. I didn’t know what to expect. It seems very fitting and fairy tale like, especially when combined with the previous tasks, of fighting skill and wit. The Ordeal itself is also fitting for Richard who is being torn between Above and Below, and is constantly pointing out that people and events around him can’t exist even though they do. It’s also easy to see how Richard could fail the test by relying on “common sense” that London Below doesn’t really exist but it’s instead insane hallucinations. Unfortunately, the Ordeal is also very convenient test for him. So it’s great that it ends with Richard finding the bead and is starting to really believe in the Below and the people in it.
4. This section of the book is filled with moments. Small, sometimes quite significant, moments that pass within a few pages but stick with you. What are one or two of these that you haven’t discussed yet that stood out to you, or that you particularly enjoyed.
Near the start of this section in the British Museum Door explains to Richard that the people in London Above simply don’t see the people in the London Below. Yet, Richard was able to see Door before he became one of the people from Below.
The discussion between the Marquis, Croup, and Vandemar when we realize that the Marquis isn’t going to betray Door.
Oh, and the monster in the Gap was great!