Welcome back, Buzz Book Club readers! I hope you're enjoying the The Wishbones by Tom Perrotta so far. It's definitely Nick Hornsby-esque already and even though our protagonist is the kind of guy I'd tell my girlfriends to get over, I still can't help but find him somewhat sympathetic.
Here's a recap of how the Book Club goes if you're new: Every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in August). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.
Of course, you are always welcome to read beyond the weekly chapters, but please don't spoil anything in the comments! After the jump you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this section.
The next assignment: Read from the beginning of the "June" section ("It's Your Wedding") through the chapter called "Carlos and Stevie Ray." We'll chat about this second section next Friday, Aug. 15.
To discuss the first section of The Wishbones, in which we read from the start of the story until the end of the chapter titled "You've Got a Friend" in the section titled "May,"
- What do you think of our protagonist, Dave? Do you relate to him at all?
- Which of the other characters do you like, or dislike? And are they the same as the ones you relate to? I personally am curious about Stan, and I think I like Ian the most, but I often relate to Julie. At the same time, I wish I could yell at her to wake up and realize that this guy maybe doesn’t really want to marry her.
- Speaking of marriage, it's portrayed pretty bleakly in the book so far, and together with his other works like Election and Little Children, it makes me wonder about Perotta's take on marriage in general. Based on his works, do you think there is anything redeeming in marriage at all? Or is he merely a cynic?
- Several of these characters still live at home with their parents, despite being 30 years old, or even older, and they don't seem to think it's that bad. It makes me think about the modern-day practice of moving back in with parents after college. Where do you stand on this issue? Would you live with your parents as a 30-something adult?
- What's your opinion of playing in a wedding band as part of one's career? Dave and his bandmates witness the death of an elderly wedding singer, Phil Cardini (Phil Hart, to Dave), and Dave thinks a lot about being Phil's age when he dies, and having Julie mourn him. Do you think it would be fun to be (or to have your significant other/life partner as) a wedding performer all the way into old age? Is it a sweet way to bring joy to people's lives, or do you think it's not that cool?