Monday, January 16, 2012

Coffee, Classics and Questions

            The other day in the coffee shop I overheard a couple of avid readers engaged in a heated conversation. My ears perked up when it became obvious that one of my favorite authors, F Scott Fitzgerald, was at the core of their discussion. You are probably aware, Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby figures prominently in Elysian Dreams. Gatsby was also an inspiration in my penning Dreams. As the pair finally agreed to disagree and exited Starbucks, I got to thinking about the parallels between Jay Gatsby and Collin Crowly. I have a few book signings coming up and a talk at a local college, and was asked to prepare some study questions. For those of you in book clubs and discussion groups I have included those same twenty questions. To get the most out of your group discussion it has been suggested to me that The Great Gatsby should be read first followed by Elysian Dreams. While I think this is an excellent idea, I for one never need a reason to delve into the magic that is F Scott Fitzgerald. Enjoy both. If you have any suggestions or ideas for study/discussion about either book please feel free to share.


Elysian Dreams Study/Discussion Questions

1) What is the origin and meaning of the word Elysian?
2) What is the significance of the title Elysian Dreams?
3) The author uses different person/tense in different sections of the book. Why do you think this was done? Discuss how this change in tense and person affects the feeling and mood of the section.
4) Discuss the character of Collin Crowly.
5) Compare the character of Angelina to that of Maria (Bunny). How are they alike; dissimilar? In what ways do their characters grow; change?
6) What role does the book The Great Gatsby play in Elysian Dreams?
7) Do you think Angelina finds her true self? Why?
8) Compare the character of Collin Crowly to that of Jay Gatsby.
9) In what ways is Angela alike and dissimilar to Angelina?
10) Discuss the relationship between Angela and Marsha.
11) What are the hidden meanings or significances of the names of some of the characters?
12) Why does Marsha feel dissatisfied in her life? Does she find what she seeks?
13) Discuss the significance of Marsha’s dreams.
14) What role does the graveyard headstone play in Marsha’s decision?
15) What role do the Sci-Fi movies Marsha enjoys play her acceptance of the truth about her father?
16) Why did the citizens of Mars send the three explores to visit Earth?
17) How do Elvia and Ramos’ beliefs help them to accept Marsha’s disappearance?
18) Why do you think it is so easy for Collin to accept Marsha’s explanation for her disappearance?
19) What do you feel is the over message of Elysian Dreams?
20) Although fiction, do you feel the book is logical; believable? Why?

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I'm head of our monthly readers club. As fate would have it we just finished up our discussion of The Great Gatsby. I follow several blogs including yours and the idea of reading Elysian Dreams as a follow up to Gatsby sounds interesting. Thanks so much for the insite and suggestion and for the discussion questions. All of us in the group look forward to an exciting month ahead.