Welcome to our first #CannonBookClub of 2017! We’re tackling the fantasy work The Devourers by Indra Das. First, a personal thanks to all of you who attempted this book: reading something because you are ‘supposed to’ is rarely as fun as reading something because you want to, but I always feel our discussions more than make up the difference.
Ground rules remain the same as they always have. For those of you who might be joining us for the first time (hello new friends!) all are welcome. All of our topics are numbered and we ask that you refer to them below by that number to help people find the conversation topics they are looking for. If you are responding to someone else’s thoughts, please try to respond directly to them as suits your own ponderings. Also, note that while I’ve never once had to use it and don’t expect to now, I’ll delete comments that are not germane to our discussion or get out of hand.
In addition to the topics here I’ve saved a few for our Facebook group, Cannonball Read Book Chat so feel free to wander over there throughout the course of the day.
On to the topics:
- “I am going to tell you a story, and it is true.” What does this pronouncement mean to the reader? Also, how does it relate to the title of our YA read from last year The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?
- The Devourers asks complicated questions about what it means to be human. To desire and create, to have control over our bestial selves, to do the ‘right’ thing? How does the book argue we find our true identities, and what propels us towards them?
- The Devourers contains quite a bit of the violence — cultural, sexual, and racial — that humans continually inflict upon one another. It’s been a stumbling point for several of our own readers, how do you come to terms with it, if you did.
- Are we able to garner the nature of humanity through non-human eyes? Is it the only way to truly understand our own humanity?
- What do you make of this work’s take on a werewolf origin story? Das, through Alok, namedrops the tropes, but then builds on it. What do you think of his storycraft in this regard?
- How do you, as a reader, think we are supposed to feel about Cyrah’s relationship with her shape-shifting companion, Gévaudan? As a werewolf himself, Gévaudan represents the hatred shape-shifters have for humans, yet he displays a fierce love for and loyalty toward Cyrah.
- This novel has little horizontal movement – not much happens in the plot. It is instead built on the vertical axis, digging ever deeper into the meanings and emotions of choices long since made. Is this a strength, or a weakness?
- I didn’t finish this book and I want to tell you all the reasons why.