Book Clubs

Dear Readers,

As a longtime member of book clubs, I consider it a pleasure and an honor to visit your club to discuss The Fly Strip. Please contact me directly at gwen.banta@gmail.com. I will do everything I can to accommodate all requests.

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A Few Suggested Book Club Questions

  1. How has the previous tragic event in Weed’s life affected him at the beginning of the story? What is his state of mind?
  2. What is the great dichotomy that makes Ollie so interesting?
  3. In the Autumn of 1960, America was at the onset of great turmoil. What was happening in the United States at that time that changed our society forever?
  4. What is the thread that ties Laura to Weed almost immediately? How are they very similar in spite of their age difference?
  5. Weed and Janine have a tenuous relationship. What are Janine’s needs, and why does she focus her attention on Weed.
  6. Have you ever lived in a small town? If so, how do you think that unique circumstance affects ones character?
  7. Why does Weed take Russ under his wing? Their relationship is co-dependent in some respects. What makes them such good friends?
  8. What was the inspiration for Andy, who is truly a tragic character? What can we learn from people like Andy?
  9. Weed had African American friends in Scranton, so it is natural of him to befriend Denise and her family. Do you find his subsequent conflicts about Ollie’s relationship with Caleb to be a contradiction?
  10. Do you think Weed is unstable regarding his brother, or does he have a handle on his rationale in reaching out to Leland?
  11. Why do you think Laura has stayed with Rick, who is obviously shallow?
  12. If you were to name a Greek Chorus element, what character do you think it would be?
  13. Is Weed brave or foolish in standing up to the bigots in this small Midwestern town? What is his motivation?
  14. Snarls hides a secret that would have been shameful to discuss in 1960. Do you think society has changed regarding that?
  15. What do you think the main theme of this book is?
  16. Who is your favorite character, and why?
  17. How did the zeitgeist of 1960 influence Weed? What specific events shaped him as a young man?
  18. Would you compare these characters to any other characters in literature?
  19. Laura has been carrying a very painful secret. How does that secret affect her relationship with Weed?
  20. How did you feel about Laura’s relationship with Weed? With Rick? With Andy?
  21. What were your thoughts about Snarls relationship with Ollie?
  22. Denise suffers a terrible tragedy. Her boyfriend Robert was white. What aspects of their personalities and their lives allowed them to cross racial barriers during such an explosive time and in such a narrow-minded locale?
  23. How does each of the main characters display both weakness and bravery?
  24. What is Weed looking for that allows him to hold on?
  25. Something profound happens between Weed and Laura. What were your feelings regarding this? Was it organic?… And what really happened?