Apt Pupil - Was Todd Already...

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preciousroy

Well-Known Member
Apr 4, 2018
175
661
Was Todd already crazy before he confronted Dussander? Reading the story I had this personal hunch that Todd was evil from the start. To me this is the only way it works but I also caught a theme about how monsters can put their evil inside you and it will grow there, so it made me wonder. That made me think that Todd was supposed to be a model student (as the title implies) that was not malicious at the start and what he was exposing himself to was eating away at him. However, in his initial confrontation with Dussander he seems so calculated and conniving. Surely he finds Dussander atrocious for his misdeeds but the way Todd handles him makes it seem like Todd has a lot of experience with manipulating and bending people to his will already.

When I rewatched it recently the movie made Todd seem much more innocent in the beginning. I hadn't seen the movie since it came to VHS but I couldn't finish it this time.

As an aside, I felt like the ending was a let down. I want to hope that there was some sort of last-second external influence that caused the final perfectly timed derangement but I didn't write the story. I think if Mr. King could have solved the Colorado Kid mystery if he cared to, as he said, then he could have written Todd out of his impending doom. The thought of living Todds out there is quite frightening to me.
 

do1you9love?

Happy to be here!
Feb 18, 2012
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I haven't seen the movie, but it wouldn't surprise me if they made Todd more of an innocent than the book. I agree that in the book, he was off (crazy, evil, something) from the start. He found the old magazines of the Nazi death camps and instead of being disturbed, he was excited. That was why he wanted to hear the stories first hand, once he discovered Dussander's identity.

As for the ending, I don't agree that it was a let down. It just didn't end the way you wanted it to. There are Todds out there in the world today and unfortunately, most of them don't find a happy ending, either.
 

preciousroy

Well-Known Member
Apr 4, 2018
175
661
Maybe "let down" was a bit more harsh than I have a right to say. I believe I have read threads where others have discussed how Mr. King tends to really flesh a story out but the endings can leave readers somewhat polarized. The Stand, I think is a good example I've read of people having mixed feelings about the ending.

When reading Apt Pupil the ending seemed to come so abruptly while everything was building up to Todd being nearly fully exposed. He deduced his fate from analyzing the details of his conversation with the investigator but had no idea about the trail his former guidance counselor had picked up. But perhaps it was a sign of his intelligence, no matter how warped, that he knew he was finished.

It's a minor niggle anyway.

But as I was finishing Different Seasons I read in the back that Mr. King wrote the novellas each in their own turn as sort of leftovers after writing his other great classics. After finishing The Shining he wrote Apt Pupil with that leftover energy. This could explain the abrupt feeling of the ending. Perhaps he was just done with it. Anyway, thank you Mr. King for sharing your creations.
 

Wayoftheredpanda

Flaming Wonder Telepath
May 15, 2018
3,827
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Maybe "let down" was a bit more harsh than I have a right to say. I believe I have read threads where others have discussed how Mr. King tends to really flesh a story out but the endings can leave readers somewhat polarized. The Stand, I think is a good example I've read of people having mixed feelings about the ending.

When reading Apt Pupil the ending seemed to come so abruptly while everything was building up to Todd being nearly fully exposed. He deduced his fate from analyzing the details of his conversation with the investigator but had no idea about the trail his former guidance counselor had picked up. But perhaps it was a sign of his intelligence, no matter how warped, that he knew he was finished.

It's a minor niggle anyway.

But as I was finishing Different Seasons I read in the back that Mr. King wrote the novellas each in their own turn as sort of leftovers after writing his other great classics. After finishing The Shining he wrote Apt Pupil with that leftover energy. This could explain the abrupt feeling of the ending. Perhaps he was just done with it. Anyway, thank you Mr. King for sharing your creations.
Well, the novella was getting close to 200 pages. I thought the ending was great, same thing with The Stand (People don't like that ending?).
 

preciousroy

Well-Known Member
Apr 4, 2018
175
661
Different strokes for sure, I can respect that. I have read a bit of discussion (I thought it was on this board) over the ending of The Stand being also abrupt and perhaps too easily convenient. One thing I saw people cite was the "magic god hand" (their words, not mine) that came arrived just in time. Some people felt the ending sort of petered out. Plus that's not really the ending so much as maybe the denoument. Some were just openly critical of the religious aspects.

I couldn't have written a better ending but I personally found the book less compelling on my most recent reading. It hit me hard when I was a teenager and read it and it really engaged with my imagination. This time I found the Boulder Free Zone really boring. I still felt sorry for Harold and Trashy though, and I feel like Nick was a bigger character to me than he had been before.

I also enjoyed reading Night Surf after that and finding a new connection I hadn't known about before.
 

Wayoftheredpanda

Flaming Wonder Telepath
May 15, 2018
3,827
17,712
15
Different strokes for sure, I can respect that. I have read a bit of discussion (I thought it was on this board) over the ending of The Stand being also abrupt and perhaps too easily convenient. One thing I saw people cite was the "magic god hand" (their words, not mine) that came arrived just in time. Some people felt the ending sort of petered out. Plus that's not really the ending so much as maybe the denoument. Some were just openly critical of the religious aspects.

I couldn't have written a better ending but I personally found the book less compelling on my most recent reading. It hit me hard when I was a teenager and read it and it really engaged with my imagination. This time I found the Boulder Free Zone really boring. I still felt sorry for Harold and Trashy though, and I feel like Nick was a bigger character to me than he had been before.

I also enjoyed reading Night Surf after that and finding a new connection I hadn't known about before.
Yeah I found the Free Zone politics stuff kinda boring as well, and while the ending of The Stand was abrupt, I thought it wrapped up pretty nicely.
 

preciousroy

Well-Known Member
Apr 4, 2018
175
661
I liked the ending too, especially Tom helping to pull Stu through. Apt Pupil as a whole was good, too. I've heard a little of scandals raised by Rage because of unfortunate real life events and socio-political scapegoating but while I read Apt Pupil I kept wondering why no similar flags had gone up for that story. Despite my feelings about how it ended this story had so many head**** moments that I think it will always stand out for me. I might not read it for another 18 years, though.
 

preciousroy

Well-Known Member
Apr 4, 2018
175
661
The Drawing of the Three was my favorite in the series, particularly Eddie's section of the book. I liked that Roland was able to see Eddie's potential and believed in him before Eddie had been able to believe in himself. It was such a shame to see him and others missing from the movie.

I know my opinion will be unpopular but I found myself reading the DT series obligatorily. I had heard so many great things about it and I didn't want to be missing out on the fun anymore but eventually I was reading just to complete the saga. I'm planning on reading the graphic novels sometime to fill in the gaps after reading through the wiki. There was so much more information about the series to learn that everyone else was talking about but I hadn't picked up in the books, so finding out about the graphic novels makes perfect sense. Wizard and Glass seems to be the book that sets people apart on their read through the series. If you're really enoying the series it's definitely worth sticking with it.

I haven't read Needful Things since the last time I read Apt Pupil. The one I'm not sure I'll ever get around to rereading is Insomnia lol.
 

Wayoftheredpanda

Flaming Wonder Telepath
May 15, 2018
3,827
17,712
15
The Drawing of the Three was my favorite in the series, particularly Eddie's section of the book. I liked that Roland was able to see Eddie's potential and believed in him before Eddie had been able to believe in himself. It was such a shame to see him and others missing from the movie.

I know my opinion will be unpopular but I found myself reading the DT series obligatorily. I had heard so many great things about it and I didn't want to be missing out on the fun anymore but eventually I was reading just to complete the saga. I'm planning on reading the graphic novels sometime to fill in the gaps after reading through the wiki. There was so much more information about the series to learn that everyone else was talking about but I hadn't picked up in the books, so finding out about the graphic novels makes perfect sense. Wizard and Glass seems to be the book that sets people apart on their read through the series. If you're really enoying the series it's definitely worth sticking with it.

I haven't read Needful Things since the last time I read Apt Pupil. The one I'm not sure I'll ever get around to rereading is Insomnia lol.
Yeah, I'm really enjoying the series so far and plan to stick with it, I'm just taking a quick break to read another King book I've been wanting to read for awhile. I've heard many say Wizard and Glass is the best DT book and I'm excited to get to it after NT.
 
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