Book Club Questions for Drive-by Saviours

Were      you drawn more to Mark or Bumi? Why?

Which      of the two men did you most identify with? Why? Was the one you identified      with the same as the one you were drawn to? Does that tell you anything      about yourself as a reader? As a person?

Mark      suffers from paralysis by analysis - he wants to help but he has so many      questions and he is so overwhelmed by uncertainty that he usually fails to      act at all. Did this irritate you? What would you say to Mark if he asked      for your advice?

Between      the two men, Bumi faced greater challenges in life, yet Mark was the more      disillusioned of the two? Why do you think that is? Did Mark hold your      interest as a character despite his negativity and boredom with his own      life?

The      novel was half set in Indonesia and half in Canada. Which scenes were most      compelling for you and why? Was Bumi's life in Canada as interesting as it      was in Indonesia? Were his struggles with life as an illegal immigrant and      his homesickness and culture shock compelling?

The      novel alternates between a chronological third-person account of Bumi's      life and a first-person non-chronological narration by Mark. Why do you      think the author chose this unusual structure? What was he trying to      convey? Did he succeed?

The      novel dealt with many themes: mental illness, social isolation,      international development, Canadian multiculturalism, culture shock,      immigration, cultural preservation, the question of what it is to help,      the psychological impacts of authoritarianism, and indigenous healthcare.      How do you feel about political literature? Did these issues serve the      plot? Or did the plot seem like a device used to discuss political issues?      Were politics too abundant in this work? Or a necessary component of a      complex story?

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