Imagine Me Gone Discussion Guide: Home
1. In one word, how would you describe this book? Why?
2. What did you like about the book? What did you not like? Would you be likely to read more of Adam Haslett’s works?
3. "The hallmark of Haslett’s fiction is his skill at allowing readers to penetrate the barriers that mental instability creates between people and to empathize with character types they might never be able to connect with outside of fiction" (From “Guide to Literary Masters and Their Works”; January 2007, p. 1 in Literary Reference Center). How well (or not) does this quote apply to Imagine Me Gone?
4. John describes his depression as a monster. How would you describe Michael’s mental illness? Compare and contrast the father’s and son’s illnesses.
5. The book is told in a first person point of view from the various members of the family. Discuss how this enhanced the reading. How would have a third person viewpoint changed the reading.
6. Each chapter was told from one family members’ viewpoint. Did you favor one story over another? Which character did you find most engaging.
7. How do the family members support and/or sabotage one another – emotionally or practically? How does the author convey the sense of boundaries or lack of them?
8. In your opinion, does this story (at least in some instances) reflect the experiences of a “typical” family?