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The reason Zaroff makes such a good character in the book is the surprise that comes with him. The whole island itself is not what it seems as Rainsford finds out. He hardly expects there to be a "palatial chateau" unfolding in front of him the middle of a jungle on a seemingly deserted island. Along with this mansion there comes a cultured man who has taste in only the finest appointments life has to offer. He is well spoken, polite, and a courteous host. No one would think that he was murdered people for sport which is what makes him such a great character. The whole idea is appalling, but it would be so much less so if Zaroff were some deranged guy living in a hut. He knows the rules of society, even high society at that, and he lives his life enjoying the fact that not only does he balk at a very basic moral principal, but he thinks that those who deem him a murderer are so "old fashioned" in their thinking!
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