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    Original Essays | July 14, 2015

    Joshua Mohr: IMG Your Imagination, Your Fingerprint

    When I was in grad school, a teacher told our workshop that if a published novel is 300 pages, the writer had to generate 1,200 along the way. I... Continue »
    1. $17.50 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      All This Life

      Joshua Mohr 9781593766030


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- Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

The Company Car:


The Company Car: Cover



Reading Group Guide

1. In what ways is Emmie like his father and in what ways is he like his

mother? Where do you see these similarities most strongly in the


2. How do Emmies similarities to his parents illuminate your understanding

of Emmies relationship with his wife? What parallels exist

between the two couples?

3. How did you respond to the character of Dorie, Emmies wife? Did

you like her? Did you find her sympathetic? To what extent did

Emmies portrayal of his mother as the primary caretaker of the

family—alone with seven children while her husband is on the road

or drinking—affect your view of his wifes resistance to assuming

that role, her desire for independence and escape? To what extent

did Emmies sympathy for his mother extend to his wife?

4. How does the Zbigniew Herbert epigraph, “Its good what happened /

its good whats going to happen / even whats happening right now /

its okay,” encapsulate the novels themes?

5. Despite their struggles, what are the qualities that make Wally and

Susan Maries marriage work? Does the marriage hold together because

of social mores about divorce, or out of habit or momentum,

or something more?

6. In the chapter “Loose Lips Sink Ships,” the author uses retrospective

narration to allow the reader to experience Emmies childhood. Was

this effective for you? Do you prefer one type of point of view in

general? Are there other literary techniques used in the novel that

you found particularly effective?

7. How is change and/or the passage of time treated in the novel? How

do the various characters deal with change? Wally? Emmie? Dorie?

Susan Marie?

8. What is Emmies attitude toward his family story? Is he nostalgic?

Reverential? Critical? Matter-of-fact? What does the way in which

he tells us the story reveal about his character? Do you have a family

story? How has it affected who you are today?

9. Trace the situations in which the issue of fidelity emerges in the

novel. How do questions of marital fidelity or infidelity connect with

themes of loyalty, independence and personal identity in the novel?

10. What series of events bring the Czabecks to leave the suburbs? What

major events and/or details stand out from their years on the farm?

What similarities exist between the two locations?

11. In the first chapter of the novel, photographs of Wally and Susan

Marie as young people are described in great detail. How do these

descriptions prepare us for the stories and characters that are to

come? How are they connected to the novels themes? Did you find

these descriptions helpful?

12. Did you feel this novel was Emmies story primarily, or was it a bigger


Product Details

Hribal, C. J.
Random House Trade
Family reunions
Parent and adult child
Chicago (Ill.)
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Family saga
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7.98x5.24x.96 in. .67 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Company Car: New Trade Paper
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$14.50 Backorder
Product details 432 pages Random House Trade - English 9780345471352 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Both comically tragic and touching, this novel is a sweeping, generational saga about a family caught in the changing landscape of American life.
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