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Buzz Book Club: The Wishbones, Section Three

Welcome back, Buzz Book Club readers! Last week I was peeved at the main character in the The Wishbones and this week I'd say I'm at about a DEFCON 1 level of frustration. Dave is making some cruel choices and I find myself steaming out the ears.

More on that after the jump. Here's 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 chapter titled "Karma House" through the end of the book! We'll chat about this section next Friday, Aug. 29.

To discuss the third section of The Wishbones, in which we read from "This Sad Gift" through "War Pigs,"


  1. Dave seems surprised when Gretchen expresses a desire to get married someday, as though he thinks the hip, cool kids don't want marriage and only those who are trapped in boring suburbia find themselves needing to marry. His attitude toward marriage as the lamest thing ever is so frustrating and tiresome because why did he get engaged?
  2. Dave seems either completely oblivious or indifferent to the fact that he's hurting people (namely Gretchen, but Julie, too). When Gretchen says she's jealous of Julie, he's confused, saying, "She's the one being cheated on, not you." Later, in the car with Julie, he gets a sick pleasure from talking casually about Gretchen with Julie as she sits there, completely unaware that she's discussing her fiance's other girlfriend. These things make me want to punch a wall. Anyway. Do you think he is simply selfish, or is there something deeply, seriously wrong with him?
  3. Do you find yourself sympathizing with one of the women more than the other? I initially felt sorrier for Gretchen, but on the other hand, Julie is about to commit her life to a lying cheater.
  4. I really like Ian, and I think he might be the hero of the book for me. Do you have a favorite character?
Join The Conversation
katie225 katie225 9 years
- i'm not really mad at dave, i actually pity him. he's such a pathetic character at this point it's ridiculous (perhaps this is a resonating theme in perrotta's books, see "election"). i find it so pathetic that he could not be honest with the woman he was dating for fifteen years to the point where she would expect a proposal from this guy. the way he described their relationship in the beginning and getting caught by her parents, it felt like they were still such little kids. i don't know how either of them got to the point in their relationship where it just stalled and didn't move for ten years or something. that's a little unbelievable to me, especially that they never moved in together or found real jobs after all that time! - i don't sympathize with gretchen at all. she knows exactly what she's doing, she knew (though dave was a bit tardy at telling her) that he's engaged. the thing about the "other women" is they like being the other woman, it makes them feel pretty and desired above someone else. but they also can rarely ever separate their feelings from the situation and start wanting a relationship. - the thing about playing in a wedding band is this: the guys like playing music and they need money. chasing their dream, like ian is attempting to do, rarely ever works out. it's a gamble. if they can find security and a steady paycheck while playing music, they're stoked! so i don't really admire ian for leaving the wishbones. i think he's a character who represents what dave's afraid to do. - and when dave's surprised that gretchen wants to get married someday, i don't think it's because he views her as someone with no feelings. i think he views her as someone more like himself rather than a woman. - dave's a pansy for not breaking up with his girlfriend! he has issues with making decisions for himself, he just doesn't want to choose where his life goes, he wants someone else to do it for him. that's why he's a pathetic thirty-something living with his parents.
adw7984 adw7984 9 years
-I am wondering why Dave got engaged either. To me, he doesn't seem to guilty over the whole thing either. How can he go out with Julie after having been with Gretchen and act like nothing happened and still plan the wedding. I personally thought Dave was surprised that Gretchen wanted to get married because he was viewing her as someone with no feelings. That is just my opinion, but it feels like before there was no pressure with Gretchen, but maybe this epiphany will change his mind. -Dave is a jerk. Plain and simple. He obviously doesn't understand how Gretchen must feel. He only comes over for sex and then goes home to Julie. I think there must be something wrong with him; he obviously doesn't understand anything! -I don't sympathize with one of the women more. Gretchen didn't know Dave had a fiancee and now that she knows and there are feelings involved (on her end)it can't be easy for her. Julie just has no idea, so I hope she finds out before it is too late! -I like Ian too. I am glad he is going to pursue his musical instead of staying in a cover band for the rest of his life. Good for him!
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