Glister: Discussion questions for book groups

In the end, did you think ‘the glister’ itself was a fantasy to protect Leonard from the reality of torture, some kind of parallel dimension, or something else entirely?

Who was the Moth Man? Was he a positive or negative character? Did your opinion of him change during the course of the book?

With the violence and apathy that permeated the ‘Innertown’ were there any redeeming characters or redeeming characteristics?

What was the significance of Leonard seeing ‘himself’ both coming out of the trees and, later, as he was about to enter the glister?

What purpose could Brian Smith have had in concealing facts about the boys’ disappearances?

In the beginning of the story what did you think was happening to the missing boys? How did your opinion change during your reading?

How did the setting of the decaying chemical plant and sick, depressed populace enhance or retract from the overall ambience of the story?

No one was actually punished for the boys’ disappearance and there was no discernable resolution to the crimes. What, then, do you think John Burnside was trying to convey with his ending?

Did Leonard grow or change in any way as the book progressed?

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