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Here are some generic questions appropriate for the discussion of any book.

Subject: What is the book about? Why might the author have chosen this subject?

Plot: What happens? Is the plot simple or complicated? Does the story have a happy outcome or the opposite? Were there major conflicts in the book and were they resolved in a convincing manner? What is the time frame of the story; does it happen over a few days or many years?

Characters: Does the book focus on a single main character, a few characters, or a large array of characters? Which characters are the most important? How fully does the author develop the characters' external and internal lives? Did you finish the book wanting to know more about them? What sort of personality traits has the author used to define each character?

Point of View: Think about the way the story was told. How did the narrator's voice in the book affect your reading of it? Was it written in the first person (related by a main character in the book) or third person (related by an independent and objective observer)? Did the voice draw you in or did it distance you from the story? How did the narrative point of view influence the tone of the story?

Setting: Where and when does the story take place? How important is the physical setting to the story being told? Does the novel project a strong sense of place or evoke a specific time period? Does the author attempt to make the story extreme?

Themes: Are there one or more general themes that are established in the book? What major issues and ideas is the author trying to convey and explore? Love? Coming-of-age? Disillusionment? Can you draw any thematic comparisons between this book and another that your group has read? Do any of the themes relate to topics or events in the news?

Also consider: Does the book appeal more to your emotions or your intellect? How and why? Did you find the book funny or serious? What makes you laugh in this novel? What makes you feel uncomfortable? Did the author make choices you strongly disagree with? How satisfying is the novel's ending?
Last updated: 6/29/2011 7:58:23 PM