Discussion Topics

Questions for book groups compiled by world-famous librarian Nancy Rompiscattole

  1. The author obviously thinks he’s funny. Do you agree? Why not?
  2. Why aren’t there any realistic female characters in The Violet Crow? The author claims that’s OK because there aren’t any realistic male characters either. How does that make you feel?
  3. Who do you know that’s exactly like Peaches?
  4. Bruno’s character flaws are obvious. Does he have any virtues?
  5. When do we eat?
  6. What’s the difference between a shlemiel and a shlimazl?
  7. Do they really make Karl Marx boxer shorts? Where can I get a pair?
  8. Why does Bruno fall in love with Alison? They don’t seem to have much in common.
  9. If all that biotech stuff is true, why are people still worried about it?
  10. Do you find Bruno’s psychic powers believable–like the X Files, for instance?
  11. I just bought a new toaster oven but I don’t think it’s an improvement on my family’s old GE. Is this Jack Welch’s fault? What brand would you recommend?
  12. If the author likes South Jersey so much, why doesn’t he live there?
  13. What did you think of Randy’s selection of weapons? What guns might he have carried instead/in addition?
  14. What do you make of the fact that the first issue of Mad Magazine appeared in the same month and year that the author was born?
  15. When is it ethical for professors to have sex with their students?
  16. What did you think of the restaurant with the Walt Whitman-inspired menu in Chapter 52? Do you think Bruno should go back and leave a tip?
  17. Wouldn’t The Violet Crow be better for discussion if it had an ambiguous ending?
  18. In the movie version of The Violet Crow, whom would you like to see play Bruno: Adam Sandler, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Day-Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix, or Sacha Baron Cohen?
  19. At one point, Bruno looks up and reflects that he’s seeing vultures instead of crows. That seems pretty random. Does anyone have any idea what the title means? Does the author know?
  20. South Jersey got rid of its traffic circles years ago, yet the author describes them as still being present. What’s up with that?
  21. Do you ever get the feeling that maybe you should be wearing a tin-foil hat?
  22. Finally, a question for book groups everywhere: If you’re so furshlugginer serious about books and reading, why can’t you think of your own questions?