BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION GUIDE QUESTIONS

All The Living And The Dead

1. Some people have called All The Living And The Dead a coming of age story, others, a love story. How would you classify it and why?

 

2. The novel shifts back and forth between two narrators. Does this add to the plot or detract from it? If you feel it detracts from the novel, which character do you feel should be the narrator?

 

3. How did the novel’s portrayal of the age gap between Quinn and Autumn -- both in their views of life and each other – affect your views on this issue? What hope or concern did you have for their relationship as the story progressed?

 

4. Music from many different genres is discussed and performed by the characters. How do these pieces of music function in All The Living And The Dead? What does the book suggest is the relationship between music and life?

 

5. From Julia's presence to Autumn’s vision of Gerry as Autumn was freezing to Gravesend’s vision of Lyle at the concert, the dead play an important role in the novel. How would you articulate the connection between the living and the dead in this book?

 

6. The metaphor Quinn chooses to use with his class is “The hunt for the mythical beast,” but soon that metaphor is applied to other pursuits in the story. How is the metaphor applied to the way life should be lived?

 

7. What are the turning points in Autumn Gilhain’s life? How would you describe her development as a character?

 

8. Since All The Living And The Dead is set at an arts university, the reader is drawn into the artistic world view. How does this portrayal match with your experience reading about or knowing artistic people?

 

9. What did Gaston mean when he said to Autumn, “New Year’s Eve is the only night of the year where it feels like the night is spending you instead of you spending the night”?

 

10. What theme(s) do you see emerging from this novel?

 

11. The novel draws a sharp contrast between Quinn’s view of Canada and Autumn’s view of Canada.  What does Canada seem to represent to Gravesend?

 

12. If you were casting this book for a movie, who would play Quinn and Autumn? What other significant roles/actors would you assign? 

Updated: April 1, 2019
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