Discussion questions: Fiction

Here are some questions you can consider to get yourself thinking about the fiction you’re reading.

Look up the author’s bio. Wikipedia is a good place to start, or the author’s website, if there is not much on the back cover or at the end of the book. Is there anything interesting in their life to discuss with relation to the particular book you’re reading, or the types of books they write, etc? What strikes you as interesting about the author? Does what you know or what you discover about an author affect how you personally look at their work? In what way?

What themes seemed, to you, to be a concern the author had in writing the book?

Who was your favourite character, and why?

What character did you find most interesting?

Did any character make you see the world in a different way? Which character, and how?

Did you find the way the story ended satisfying? Why or why not?

After having read the book, what did you want to know more about?

Did you enjoy the prose style in the book? Why or why not?What year was the book originally published (look on the copyright page, not for the printing date but the original date; in a reprint of a really old book, the foreword may tell you)? How is the book shaped by its historical context, by the author’s times?

Historical fiction means a work set at a time different from that of the author. Dickens’ David Copperfield is not historical fiction, because he was writing about his own times, but his A Tale of Two Cities is, because he set it in the past. If the book is historical fiction (and a mystery or a romance may be set in a time different from that of the writing), how does the attitude of the times in which the author lived and wrote show itself in how they present a story set in the past?