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Adverbs (P.S.)by Daniel Handler
Reading Group Guide
Questions for Discussion
1. How did you make sense of the narrator's sudden infatuation with Peter, the taxi driver, in "Immediately," the chapter that opens Adverbs?
2. What role does chivalry play in the romantic encounters depicted in "Obviously," in which Joe experiences unrequited love for his fellow ticket-taker, Lila, and "Clearly," in which Adam and Eddie suffer coitus interruptus, courtesy of a fellow hiker in need?
3. How did the recurrence of many characters (such as Mike, Joe, Andrea, Helena, and Allison, for example) over the course of Adverbs deepen and complicate your understanding of their individual connections to one another?
4. To what extent is Adverbs a novel without a plot?
5. How are the mysterious, catastrophic events of the kinds described in chapters like "Frigidly," "Symbolically," and "Soundly" integral to the progress of love in all its forms in Adverbs?
6. In "Truly," a character who shares the name of the book's author, Daniel Handler, makes an appearance. How did you reconcile his presence in Adverbs?
7. "Accordingly, the magpies in this book are so furtive, so eager to avoid human persecution, that you might not have noticed them." In what contexts did you notice the many magpies that crop up in Adverbs, and what did you make of them?
8. What role does coincidence play in the relationships that develop in "Naturally," in which Eddie Terhune and Hank Hayride reunite in the park, and in "Collectively," in which everyone in the neighborhood is smitten with the anonymous resident of 1602?
9. How did the structure of this novel, with each chapter's focus on an individual adverb, affect your appreciation of the diversity of human love and behavior?
10. "Love is a story, usually a love story. The main characters are what matter." Of the many characters in Adverbs who experience the consequences of love, which did you find most compelling or memorable, and why?
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