Dear All, I hope you are enjoying Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Please find below some discussion questions that you may find useful when thinking about the book in preparation for the meeting. Warning, there may be spoilers!
1. Who is Richard Mayhew? What defines his everyday life in London? How would you characterize his relationship with Jessica? Who does he encounter on the street who alters the course of his life? How is this event predicted by the old fortuneteller at his going away party?
2. Who are Mr. Vandemar and Mr. Croup? Describe their personalities. Did you find any of their appearances in the book terrifying or humorous? Which ones? Who are they searching for at the beginning of the book?
3. Who is the Lady Door? What are some of her unusual powers? What creatures help Door gain access to the marquis de Carabas? What is her quest?
4. How would you describe the marquis de Carabas? Did he seem entirely trustworthy to you? With whom does he collude? What is the significance of the silver box he gives to Old Bailey? What transformation does de Carabas undergo in Neverwhere?
5. Where does Richard meet Hunter? How does she help him in the London Below? How does she react to the disappearance of Anaesthesia? Whom does she vow to protect? How is that pledge ultimately compromised? Were you surprised by her betrayal?
6. How would you describe London Below? What serves as its primary mode of transportation? Who populates it? What regular occasion serves as a kind of neutral meeting ground?
7. Name some of the more eccentric characters Richard Mayhew encounters in London Below. Were there any aspects of this region that you found particularly fascinating or easy to envision?
8. Did you feel sympathy for any character in particular? Did you feel revulsion for any of the characters? Which ones?
9. Of the special powers enjoyed by Islington, Door, de Carabas, and Hunter, which ones did you find most marvelous? Which abilities would you like to possess? How did Richard interact with this motley crew?
10. Were you surprised by Richard's decision at the end of Neverwhere? Why do you think he made such a choice?
Thanks to the News & Observer posting the Wonderland Book Club in their “Triangle Reads” section, our Meetup group’s numbers have swelled from a hundred members to over 150. I can easily see why. Since its inception, Wonderland has been about getting members to read books they wouldn’t normally read. And more recently, Wonderland features the actual authors of the books we’re reading each month. We’re a very warm, accepting group—you don’t need to be a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network to join (although that would be nice!), nor do you need to be working on your next novel. But I think the number one reason we’re growing is because we’re easy to join and easy to find on the internet. Through a web connection and a physical event, Meetup brings folks together who share a common interest. In fact, if I hadn’t made Wonderland a Meetup group six years ago, we’d be dead by now. Most book clubs that aren’t library or bookstore-related form from friendships, neighborhoods or clubs—there’s no county-wide book club directory and you need to be “in the know” to be invited. That’s what’s so neat about Wonderland Book Club: newcomers to the Triangle love it, it’s free and there’s no special code or association to join the fun!
So what do our guest authors discuss for two hours from 10 a.m. to noon? Usually the first hour is taken up with the book discussion, the author reads a few passages and then in the last hour the floor is opened for the story behind the book. How was this book published and marketed? How long did the author take to write the book? Did the plot or characters come first? And the questions continue when we take the author to lunch.
Want to join? It’s easy! Sign up as a free member at http://meetup.com/wonderlandbookclub so you know the details of our next meeting. We typically meet the last Friday of every month from 10 am to noon at the Center for Excellence, 3803‐B Computer Dr. Ste. 106 Raleigh, NC 27609. And if you don’t sign up beforehand, we want you to come anyway. I promise you our veteran members don’t bite and we love seeing new folks.
Published authors! Interested in being our guest in 2015? Email Alice at email@example.com. Spaces are filling fast.
The Wonderland Book Club is sponsored by the North Carolina Writers' Network (NCWN) www.ncwriters.org
Wonderland Book Club 2015 Schedule
All Meetings are held at the Center for Excellence Fridays from 10am-noon (all last Friday, except in Nov & Dec)
Jan 30 Kim Church, Byrd
Feb 27 Padgett Gerler, Lessons I Learned from Nick Nack