Friday, May 27, 2011
Sample reading group questions
I was asked for them….I’ve never written reading group questions before. So, below is draft one. If you haven’t finished the book stop reading now!
1. Captive is about two men who’ve had different options in life and made very different decisions. Character wise, are they similar? Were their lives shaped more by circumstance or by character?
2. The story is told from a woman’s perspective twice: once from the viewpoint of Khalil’s mother, Leila, and the other from George’s wife, Karen. Do their insights add to the story or detract from it? Do you sympathize more for the men after learning something about them from women who love them?
3. Shortly before Khalil turns up at his door, Omar begins to question whether he really wants to die for his jihad. Is this questioning consistent with his character? Why, when pushed, does he ignore his misgivings?
4. Stacy and Jennifer are both smart women who make foolish choices with respect to men. They are minor characters in the book so less fully explored. What about them or their romantic partners provides insights into these disastrous romantic choices?
5. George and Khalil both love to read. George brings Khalil an assortment of books during the captivity. What insights do the book choices add?
6. Captive is essentially about people who are captive in different senses of the word. Is it easier for these characters to break out of their physical or mental captivity? Do any of them truly escape by the end of the book?
7. Is the story line very situation specific or does it have recurring elements from a larger literary or historical perspective?
8. Do George and Khalil ever begin to like each other? Why does Khalil shoot George but not kill him (presumably, he could have ensured George died with another or better placed shot but doesn’t).
9. What happens after the book ends to each of the main characters that perhaps wouldn’t have happened had the Captive events never taken place?
10. George struggles to get information from someone who doesn’t open up easily. Is he effective at his job based on how events occur at the end?
The picture is of the San Francisco Bay and taken by Jonathan Dugan of BitTorrent