These general discussion questions are useful when a book discussion guide is unavailable (as is the case with Replay)
Discussion Questions for Fiction
The following general questions can be applied to any novel, and they provide a good starting point for creating your own discussion questions for a given work.
- What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
- What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think he or she is trying to get across to the reader?
- Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?
- How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes?
- In what ways do the events in the books reveal evidence of the author's world view?
- Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
- Did you like the book? If you have read any of the author's other books, how does this compare?
- What is this book's message?
- How did you feel about the characters? Whom did you like or not like and why?
- What did you think of the ending?
- In a movie version, who would play what parts?
- How did you feel when the character did or said....How do you think the character felt when she did or said...?
- If questions...e.g. If the characters had done this instead, how would the story have changed?
- What do book reviews say about this book or more generally the author, and her past works?
- What did you think of the plot line development? How credible did the author make it?
- What moral/ethical choices did the characters make? What did you think of those choices? How would you have chosen?
- How authentic is the culture or era represented in the book?
- Why do you think the author wrote this? What is her most important message?
- How do you think the main character's point of view is similar or different from the author's point of view or background?
- What is the author's background (her style, stature and focus)?
- How does the setting figure as a character in the story?
- Are the characters' actions the result of freedom of choice or of destiny?
- Is there any moral responsibility that was abdicated?
- Are there any symbols that may have cultural, political or religious reference? e.g. flag, tree, rose.
- What type of vision does the author use with her word choice? Is it optimistic, pessimistic, prophetic, cautionary, humourous, satirical, venomous, cathartic?
- What effects do the events (time, nationality, physicality) have on the character's self or personality?