WARNING: Though every care was taken to remove spoilers, the following could lessen your enjoyment of Alex. I would therefore recommend consuming the novel before you read on.
As promised in my previous article, here are the insightful questions a couple of my lovely readers came up with for Alex. I will shamefully admit once more that, prior to receiving the questions in my inbox, I had not produced any of my own. (If you’re interested in my lame excuses, you can scroll down to the next article.) Ida and Lilly have very kindly given me permission to post these questions here on my blog – which they originally produced for their local Reading Group – and have also given their blessing for them to be added to the back of the ebook. Hopefully I will get around to adding them very soon.
‘Stealing’ them sounds very lazy of me – and it is – but in all honesty, as I stated in the last article, the great thing about them is that they were written by readers. And I love that. I think I’d feel kind of pretentious writing them myself, and much prefer discussion points to be raised this way by readers.
Anyway, I’m rabbiting on (an English phrase), so I’ll finish by thanking Ida and Lilly. All credit goes to them.
Ida & Lilly’s Alex Reading Group Questions:
1. In your opinion, who and what lead to the 1st June tragedy? Were any of the novel’s ‘monsters’ victims? And were any of the novel’s ‘victims’ monsters? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent the tragedy from taking place?
2. How do you think the tragedy will be remembered by the residents of Vulnham City and the rest of the world? Will investigators eventually piece together a clear picture of what happened? And how honest will friends and colleagues of the deceased be about what they witnessed?
3. Alex’s ‘inner voice’ often causes him high anxiety, paranoia, and frequent migraines. So why does he let it in, choose to listen to it? And why does he willingly let it dictate much of his life? Discuss the dynamics of Alex’s relationship with his ‘inner voice’, how it may have become so strong and dominating, and why its strength varies at certain points throughout the novel.
4. Discuss the dynamics of Sam and Will’s relationship. Why was Sam so keen to impress Will? Why was Will’s lifestyle and nature so important to Sam? And why was Sam’s lifestyle and nature so important to Will? Do you think their friendship was genuine?
5. Alex has several dreams of mannequin-like creatures closing in until they finally form a tight circle around him. Why do they surround Alex? What do they desire? Are they a subconscious manifestation of some kind? And why does the tallest one become enraged?
6. Alex was distrustful of cameras, claiming that photo albums offered little else but generic smiles. How do you feel about this statement? Can you get to know an individual, a family, or group of people through photos? Can this medium offer a sincere representation of the different shades of human emotion through time?
7. Among other pastimes, Alex has a profound interest in collecting reptiles and arachnids, while Layna has a penchant for photographing animals at the zoo. What does this say about Alex and Layna as individuals? Are these activities just hobbies, or symbolic of something more?
8. Though Ed and Alex share the same fantasy, what is it about their belief systems and motives that make them so different? Throughout the book, if at any point, who displays the most strength in character when trying to create a better life personally and professionally?
I’d be delighted to get some feedback on this Reading Group Q&A. Is there any other questions you think would supplement these nicely? Just let me know in the comments section below and I’ll be more than happy to take a look!
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