Since The Time Keeper was my book for this year’s book club list, I had to supply the discussion questions for the meeting. Most of the time, questions can be found in the back of the book, but this book did not have any.
A bit of Internet research led me to this post from which I adapted my list.
- Considering Dor’s eventual obsession with measurements of time, what are the dangers of such an approach to life? Where do you draw the line?
- Chapter 36 begins with the question “Can you imagine having endless time to learn?” Would you want time to be endless? Why or why not?
- Consider Sarah Lemon. Do you think Mitch Albom did a good job describing what it’s like to be a teenage girl?
- Page159, Lorraine says good bye on New Year’s Eve. Do you think she should have known something was wrong?
- Victor Delamonte ~ In what ways has his disciplined work ethic benefitted him? In what ways has it limited his life experience?
- Do you think there is a significance of Victor choosing his wife’s name, Grace, as the emergency word to stop the cryonics process? Do you think that there was significance in the fact that her name was Grace?
- In the acknowledgments, Mitch refers to an actual cryonic lab. Would you ever consider doing that? Do you know anyone who would?
There are others on the original list that are good, but it is easy to get off topic and begin discussing other things. We partly discussed these additional questions:
- Page 181, Dor, he prefers the clocks broken “Because I am the sinner who created them”. Do you think God’s punishment was too harsh?
- Page 143, Sarah turned to a new companion in the parking lot, invisible to all but her, a devil, a misery beast, who put his bony claw around her and said, “You live with me now”. Although she seemed troubled and awkward before this point, do you think this or the Facebook post (page 151) was the beginning of her path to suicide?
The second one relates to a discussion that we had in which there were a few parts of the book that weren’t explained or seemed out of place. For instance, who was the “old man” who Dor met? Was that God? (It mentioned that this person was “His servant”.) The bit about this devil seemed disconnected as the main part of the story wasn’t fantastical. Nothing in Sarah’s life was out of the ordinary until she met Dor. And then there was the ending, suggesting possibly that the clock shop and Dor’s cave were one and the same? No one was really sure what to make of that.
All in all, the book was generally well received. I think that any book chosen from the NY Times best seller list is bound to be generally well received. No one thought that it was one of the best books that they had ever read, nor did anyone dislike it.