Reading guide for The Rabbit Factory by Marshall Karp

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The Rabbit Factory

By Marshall Karp

The Rabbit Factory
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2006,
    632 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2007,
    550 pages.

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Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. Mike and Terry have very distinct personalities that mesh to make them an excellent duo. What aspects of the two characters make them work so well together? How would the story be different if Terry were narrating it?
  2. Are Joanie’s letters to Mike helpful or hurtful to his grieving process? Why do you think she left them? Why does he not open her last letter – is he just obeying her wishes or do you think there is another reason? Do you agree with his decision?
  3. Declan Brady is one of several murderers we meet who have moral qualms about their actions. Although they commit atrocious crimes, they exhibit a certain degree of compassion. Does their compassion make them at all sympathetic?
  4. Ike Rose doesn’t respond immediately to the terrorists’ demands, resulting in further destruction. Do you think he shares responsibility for the crimes that take place? Would you have handled the situation differently? If so, how?
  5. To help his brother Frankie, Mike is forced to bargain on the wrong side of the law. What do you think this says about Mike’s character? Under the circumstances, are his decisions morally acceptable?
  6. Mike got drunk and paid for sex with Coral C. the night his wife died. He continued the relationship with her for six months. What does that say about him as a man? As a husband? Did you accept his decision or did you see it as a flaw in his character? Or both?
  7. Is Mike a good role model for Hugo Cordner? Is he sincere? What could his other motivation(s) be for befriending Hugo?
  8. Aside from the two detectives, what characters are instrumental in solving the mystery? Is there a character that deserves more credit for breaking the case?
  9. Terry, Big Jim, Ike Rose, Penina Benjamin and Dean Lamaar’s father are just some of the characters whose actions as parents affect the course of the main narrative. Who are the positive and negative role models as parents? Do they all “mean well?” Did you see parenthood as an underlying theme of the novel?
  10. As you worked alongside Lomax and Biggs, at what point did you uncover the mystery of the Familyland murders? What significant clues tipped you off?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of MacAdam/Cage Publishing. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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