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Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:22 pm
by DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
What does the subplot of Special and Chantarelle add to the story?

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:07 pm
by Bix
I had a couple thoughts when I read this question. The first is that Chantarelle was needed as a plot device to get Special involved in the story. I'm sure there are other ways that Special and Perec could have crossed paths, but having Perec choose Chantarelle for his fantasy certainly worked well and was believable. (Well, as believable as anything else in the story. . .) Also, I think perhaps their relationship was supposed to show us that Special is a 'good' pimp, not one who gets his women addicted to drugs to be sure they keep working for him, etc. Somehow the scolding he did came off more as bluster, as what was expected of him in his role as pimp, and not meanness or cruelty.

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:30 pm
by gemini
I agree the scene with Chantarelle was to introduce Special into the story and give us a little background. Perec’s fantasy which lead us to believe he might kill Chantarelle as a practice run for Anna, we saw later, was more to mislead us of his intentions. It did work to show us more of his obsession and we already knew he was capable of killing. Then, of course, without the encounter, Special would not have had any reason to get involved in the story

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:48 pm
by fireflydances
So I am half paying attention to the Golden Globe arrivals while trying to compose something here, so if this is disjointed it's all my fault. :perplexed:

You know, I'm of two minds on this one. Two very powerful characters, almost too powerful. I remember kind of getting lost in the beginning in part because of the strength of the Special/Chantelle sub-plot. Not that I didn't like what I read, in fact those scenes remain very vivid in memory, even now I guess it's just that they took all my attention at a point, and I kind of temporarily lost sight of Spandau and Anna. It's as though there were several tracks coming along at the same time and it didn't jell for a while. It's hard for a writer to juggle sub-plots. You need them to move the story, give it angles and tension, but it's fairly easy to go too far into an interesting character's story, and then you affect the overall momentum. They are wonderful characters however -- they shine. My reservations here are with regard to the early stages of this sub-plot.

Now at the end, I rather liked how Special and Chantelle kind of came in out of left field and stole the show. Took a while to actually 'get' what was happening and I rather liked the startle effect it created.

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:27 pm
by nebraska
fireflydances wrote:So I am half paying attention to the Golden Globe arrivals while trying to compose something here, so if this is disjointed it's all my fault. :perplexed:

You know, I'm of two minds on this one. Two very powerful characters, almost too powerful. I remember kind of getting lost in the beginning in part because of the strength of the Special/Chantelle sub-plot. Not that I didn't like what I read, in fact those scenes remain very vivid in memory, even now I guess it's just that they took all my attention at a point, and I kind of temporarily lost sight of Spandau and Anna. It's as though there were several tracks coming along at the same time and it didn't jell for a while. It's hard for a writer to juggle sub-plots. You need them to move the story, give it angles and tension, but it's fairly easy to go too far into an interesting character's story, and then you affect the overall momentum. They are wonderful characters however -- they shine. My reservations here are with regard to the early stages of this sub-plot.

Now at the end, I rather liked how Special and Chantelle kind of came in out of left field and stole the show. Took a while to actually 'get' what was happening and I rather liked the startle effect it created.


I thought the girl at the end was Patsy who he met in France...... :perplexed:

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:48 pm
by DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
I just read the ending again and it was Patsy, but let's not go there just yet. :grin:

I too got caught up in the Special/Chantarelle plot. While is was a plot device as Bix mentioned it was a very interesting and well written one that threatened to steal the show!

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:33 pm
by nebraska
I thought the whole subplot made the story work - it brought Special and his problems into the story while giving us additional information about Perec. I agree that it seemed to veer way off course from the Spandau part of the story, and that bothered me at first. But I think it was necessary for us to have all this information about Perec and Special in order for the Cannes part of the story to work. The other way to handle it might have been to jump back and forth one chapter at a time and write about Spandau, then Special, then back to Spandau - I think that would have been more confusing. By developing the subplot the way he did, Daniel made Special a more complete character. Placing him in a vulnerable position because of Chantarelle foolishly not following the rules of her profession (payment first, etc) laid the foundation for making him a semi-sympathetic character.

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:52 pm
by fireflydances
:-O Oh my, oh my............................... :-O Geeeeeeeeezzzzzz
Says something about my attention to detail. It do.

Thanks!!

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:24 pm
by Liz
There’s not much more that I can say that hasn’t been said already. I agree that this little subplot was necessary for certain things to happen in the story. It didn’t seem out of place to me at all.

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:25 pm
by nebraska
fireflydances wrote::-O Oh my, oh my............................... :-O Geeeeeeeeezzzzzz
Says something about my attention to detail. It do.

Thanks!!

Don't feel bad! I had to go back the other day and find out what the vial had to do with the ending! Had totally forgot! :dunce:

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:09 pm
by fireflydances
Thank you :hatsoff:

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:34 pm
by gemini
fireflydances wrote:Thank you :hatsoff:

Don’t feel bad fireflydances, I can’t tell you how many times I have had to go back to a book just to answer a discussion question. I hate it when I don’t buy the books and have returned the library book and have to rely on my memory.
For some reason Daniels books don’t inspire me to take notes like I usually do. That alone makes me forget details.

Re: Babylon Nights Question #10 ~ Special and Chantarelle

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:51 pm
by fireflydances
Well, see, now I need to explain. Which will just make matters worse. So, I am lying there the other night, maybe Saturday. And I am wondering -- what EVER happened to Patsy?? I mean, the last time I remember her she was with dancing back to Special having handed over that note. I am thinking Special must've done her in and I walked right past it.

No ma'am. I just read that ending like a house on fire. Names? Eh. :lol: