Reading Almost Mortal
in your book club? Enjoy these Readers Guide questions!
- At the beginning of the novel, Sam and Amelia are representing an obviously guilty, and potentially dangerous, sex offender. They use legal tactics to attempt to secure a conviction for a much lesser offense. Does this strike you as unethical? Immoral? Does it inform your first impression of them as characters in any way?
- Sam wakes up hungover on day two of the novel and it quickly becomes apparent that he is a daily binge drinker. Does this have an effect on his work? His life? His decisions? If is the effect always a bad one?
- The main backstory character is introduced in Chapter 4. Immediately he claims special powers, and, indeed, asserts that his mother rose from the dead like Jesus. What was your initial thought about the mental state of this character after that Chapter? When, if at all, did that impression change?
- Are there any good or bad characters in the novel? If you had to name one bad character, who would it be?
- The backstory character makes a subtle assault on God throughout the novel. He essentially argues that God is unjust on many levels – not least of all for being so silent and unforgiving. Is this a legitimate critique of religion? Does the Bible concede that there is more than one God. If so, how can humans be asked to worship a God with so human a trait as jealousy?
- Throughout the novel, Sam uses subtle mind control, whether he always knows it or not, to manipulate people. Does this make him unlikeable? Does it matter that he thinks he is using this talent for a good purpose? is he using it for a good purpose?
- Place the Sparf character on a moral spectrum? Does his hard childhood justify his harsh treatment of defendants? Does his baggage make him dangerous? Or is he the perfect prosecutor?
- If Camille/Trinity and Fifika were real characters, would you feel sorry for them? Can their sins be forgiven by their unusual heritage? Is there ultimate goal a purely selfish one? Are they justified in marginalizing humans to themselves?
- If DNA can establish whether one has a sole human parent, as thinly referenced by Julianna in her testimony near the end of the novel, what does this say about the Virgin Birth? Or whether Jesus was the Son of God?
- At the end of the novel Sam appears to believe that Camille/Trinity, Fifika, and their mother are who they purport to be. The women reference their lawsuit against God. What could that mean? And why do they need Sam for it?