Thought 1: reading groups are excellent. You love a book, why not share that with others? You hate a book, why not get it off your chest? Many things are more fun with other people.
Thought 2: sometimes a person misunderstands a book. Offering a pointer can be good.
Thought 3: I could eat some chocolate cake right about now, if only there was some in the house.
The first two thoughts led me to decide that I'd add a few notes for reading groups to my books. They have the bonus effect that the discussion questions might be interesting even for someone reading alone. If not, they can be ignored!
So far I have done this for Turner and come up with these questions:
- Why is the novel called Turner? What aspects of the novel relate to ‘turning’?
- What are the themes and concerns of the novel?
- Turner is a homage to scenes from many classic horror novels and films. Can you spot any of the influences on Turner?
- Is Chris Turner a good or a bad person? What makes you think that?
- At what point in the novel does Chris switch from being a victim on the run to being someone who takes control of his destiny?
- Only one character swears a lot in the novel: Chris Turner. Is there any relevance to his use of language?
- What is the importance of identity in the novel?
- Is the novel anti-Welsh?
- How significant is the character of Brân Ddu?
- What do you think the future holds for Chris Turner?
- If you could choose two characters to survive out of Chris Turner, Megan Norris, David Smithwick, and Spotty, which two would you choose? Why?
- If you could meet any character from the novel and ask them a question, who would you choose, and what would you ask? Why?
Thought 3? Didn't get me anywhere. The cake is a lie.