Remarkably Bright Creatures
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1.   The book uses a chapter device which toggles between a diary-style look into Marcellus’ confinement and a broader, traditionally linear narrative. Did the format work for you?

2.   “Like a tawny snake, one of his arms slithers toward her. In seconds, it winds around her forearm, then twists around her elbow and bicep like a maypole ribbon.”

This rather descriptive statement is typical of the book’s writing style. Did you like the writing?

3.   According to Webster, a prisoner is “a person deprived of liberty and kept under involuntary restraint, confinement, or custody” and an escape artist is “someone (such as a performer or criminal) unusually adept at escaping from confinement”.

Which do you think better describes Marcellus?

4.   Out of the tank for more than 18 minutes and Marcellus begins to suffer The Consequences. What sort of time-based Consequences do you experience in your own life?

5.   As Tova goes to the beach that she used to visit with her husband– “Now, Tova comes here to be alone with her thoughts, when she needs a break from being alone in her house. When even the television can’t punch through the unbearable quiet.”

There is a thread of loneliness throughout the book. Putting yourself in her shoes, how would you feel?

6.   “Such are the secrets the sea holds. What I would not give to explore them again. If I could go back in time, I would collect all of it—the sneaker sole, the shoelace, the buttons, and the twin key. I would give it all to her. I am sorry for her loss. Returning this key is the least I can do.”

What a gut punch. How does this quote by Marcellus encapsulate his relationship with Tova?

7.   “But the former cleaning woman and her replacement. They walk alike.”, observes Marcellus. And with that, 50% into the book, we get a clue into Cameron’s circumstance and his place in the story. Did you see that coming?

8.   At the end of the book, there is a collision of coincidences that tie up the relationship between Cameron and Tova. Was plausible? Is it the resolution that you were hoping for?

9.   Some negative reviews of the book focused on Cameron and his lack of maturity. What did you think of him and how important is he to the narrative?

10.     The book starts by describing octopuses as remarkably bright creatures, but at the end, Marcellus says, “Humans. For the most part, you are dull and blundering. But occasionally, you can be remarkably bright creatures.”

In your opinion which creature characters in this book were brighter? Which were duller?



* Some questions from Libro Maniacs

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