|DEAD IS BETTER by Jo Perry||
DEAD IS BETTER is about death and life, loss and love, cruelty and empathy.
But it's also about the ways animals change us.
In 2008 a dog abandoned in a Home Depot parking lot found me
and changed my life. We named her Lucy (See photo above.)
and I owe Dead Is Better and the other books in the series to her.
DEAD IS BETTER BOOK CLUB GUIDE
Invite dogs to the meeting:
If the weather is good, you can meet outdoors.
Or if your furniture isn't dog-friendly, ask that club
members bring photos of their animal companions and friends.
Ghosts don't eat, but the meal Charles hoped to eat before he died
was soul food, Roscoe's fried chicken and waffles.
If that's too elaborate serve dog or dog-bone shaped
shortbread cookies with coffee and tea
(Here's a recipe: http://cakestory.blogspot.com/2011/08/sugar-cookies-for-dogs.html).
Why contemplate death? This is a very fine answer: http://digg.com/video/thinking-about-death
Did the novel alter your view of death?
Do you think that a keen awareness of death enriches life or dampens joy?
A murder instigates the action in most crime fiction and in Dead Is Better.
Is death merely a convention required by the genre,
or does the end of a life indeed clarify, reveal, provoke, bestow meaning
and transform the those left behind in the living world?
Has a relationship with an animal changed you and/or the direction your life has taken?
Tell us about this animal and how he/she affected you.
Do you like the quotations at the beginning of each chapter? How do they affect your experience of the story?
Do you have a favorite quotation about death? What is it?
Does Charles really know himself? Is he too hard on himself? Too easy?
Charlie was pretty much a failure in life. He's something else at the end.
How did your feelings about him change as you read the book?
Did Charlie surprise you? Did Rose?
Evil is often portrayed as deriving from extraordinary, often brilliant, but twisted minds like Holmes's adversary, Moriarty.
In Dead Is Better, the bad guys are ordinary people.
When you think about evil in the real world, is it banal or is it extraordinary?
Dead Is Better breaks many rules, i.e. the narrator is dead, one of the protagonists is a dog, and tragic
and comic elements are intertwined. Do you believe that even death
can be or perhaps should be viewed at times through a humorous lens?
As a reader of crime fiction, how do you feel about novels that bend genre norms ?
Jo Perry was 65 when she wrote Dead Is Better, which was her first novel.
Her protagonist, Charlie, is also a late bloomer of sorts. Share stories of your own late or delayed flowerings.
If you have any questions for the author, please email her by clicking the little envelope icon below.