Please find below some questions you may like to think about before the meeting tomorrow. Spoiler alert! The questions reveal details about the book so make sure you have finished it before reading these through.
1.How does Capote build suspense despite the fact that readers know the ultimate outcome from the beginning of In Cold Blood?
2.In what ways is In Cold Blood like a fiction novel? How does Capote report the facts and allow different voices to speak without using a journalistic style?
3.In Cold Blood starts with details about the Clutter family's last day alive. Did any of the details particularly stick out to you? Did Capote make you feel attached to the family by sharing these details?
4.Were there any other characters you empathized with because of small details Capote wrote about them? Bobby Rupp? Alvin Dewey?
5.Why do you think Capote split the narrative into three sections? Why do you think he did not describe how the murders happened until Dick and Perry were caught and gave their confessions?
6.Did you feel sympathy for Dick or Perry at any point?
7.How did Capote humanize the killers? Were you surprised by how likable they could seem despite the brutality of their crime and unremoresefulness to the end?
8.Capote seems to paint Perry in a more sympathetic light than Dick. He seems sensitive and even kind at points; however, by the end you find out that Perry committed all four murders. Did that surprise you? Did you sympathize with Dick more than Perry at any point? Or did you not buy any of the kind characterizations?
9.Do you think Dick and Perry were sane? Did the psychiatric analysis of them and descriptions of other cold blooded killers surprise you? Scare you? Make you think differently about violent crime or the death penalty?
10.Rate In Cold Blood by Truman Capote on a scale of one to five.
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 2017? Email Alice at firstname.lastname@example.org. All of our spots are now filled for 2016, but if you'd like to be considered for 2017 here are some recommendations:
1) Come out to visit us at Wonderland Book Club! Get to know us--Wonderland member authors are more likely to be featured authors and you'll know right away if you're a good fit for us.
2) Send me an email telling me about yourself--make it interesting! I may then ask you for a review copy of your book for consideration--please note: not all books are a good fit for our club. Let me know if you're a member of the NC Writers' Network (NCWN). Membership in NCWN is NOT a requirement for being a featured author, however--we want to know how you found out about us.
There is no honorarium for featured authors, but you'll be treated to a yummy Italian lunch and will get strong social media exposure. For more tips about being a featured author, please read this post.
The Wonderland Book Club is sponsored by the North Carolina Writers' Network (NCWN) www.ncwriters.org
Wonderland Book Club 2016 Schedule
All Meetings are held at the Center for Excellence Fridays from 10am-noon (all last Friday, except in Nov & Dec)
Jan 29 Barbara Claypole White, The Perfect Son
Feb 26 Brett Blair, From Autopilot to Authenticity
March 25 Carrie Knowles, Ashoan's Rug
April 29 Alice Osborn, Heroes without Capes
May 27 Elaine Taylor, Karma, Deception and A Pair Of Red Ferraris
June 24 Sonia Usatch-Kuhn, Regarding My Son
July 29 Steve Benkin, Religion: Been There, Done That
Aug 26 James Maxey, Greatshadow
Sept 23 Nancy Young, TBA
Oct 28 Leslie Tall Manning, GAGA
Nov 18 Patrick McClafferty, TBA
Dec 18 Joe Mills—poetry book, Exit, Pursued By a Bear