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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Lowboy

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Lowboy Cover

 

 

Reading Group Guide

1. How does the author demonstrate in writing what Will is going through, what the world looks and feels like to him? How does the tone and style in Wills sections differ from the sections that follow Lateef or Violet?

2. How much responsibility do you think Violet bears for what happens to her son? How much of his behavior is genetically driven, and how much is a result of Violets influence and the circumstances of his upbringing?

3. Look at the scene in the cupcake shop on pages 130-133. What goes wrong in Wills communication with the girl behind the counter that sets him off? What are some of the triggers throughout the story that cause Will to lose touch with the world as others see it?

4. How did your thoughts about Violet change over the course of the novel? What clues did the author give that she might not be what she seemed? Have you ever known someone who concealed a mental illness from the people in his or her life?

5. What attracts Will to the subway?

6. What were your impressions of Dr. Kopeck? Do you think he has Wills best interests at heart? What are some of the challenges that might arise in treating a patient like Will?

7. On page 157 we learn that Lateef “hadnt been able to make up his mind to catch [Will and Emily]. He still couldnt make up his mind?” Whats holding him back? Whats particularly difficult about this case for him? Do you see any connection between the relationship between Will and Violet and Lateefs own upbringing?

8. What kind of portrait does the novel give of New York City? Do you think the city itself has a strong influence on the deterioration of Wills mind?

9. What draws Emily to Will? Why does she agree to see him—and travel with him over the course of the day—despite his earlier behavior?

10. How do you interpret Wills markings in the magazine Violet finds in his room? Why do you think he connects sex to the idea of global warming and saving the world? Does any of this trace back to his life with Violet or his time in the hospital?

11. Wills illness often prevents him from seeing essential things about the world around him, but he also has sensitivities that other people lack. Do you see signs that Will is gifted, as well as disturbed? What elements of the world does he pick up on that others are likely to miss?

12.  What do you think happened to Will in the hospital? Does the account of his time there line up with your understanding of how patients are treated in mental hospitals? How well do you think our health care system provides for people with mental illness?

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312429331
Author:
Wray, John
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20100231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
7.8 x 6 x 0.705 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2010
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Lowboy Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Picador USA - English 9780312429331 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Wray's captivating third novel tells the story of Will Heller, a 16-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, who journeys through New York's tunnels, back alleys, and streets in search of the one person who, he believes, can help him.
"Synopsis" by ,

A wholly original breakthrough novel driven by intense psychological insight and a fast-paced plot—set over a single day in New Yorks subway system.

"Synopsis" by ,
Early one morning in New York City, Will Heller, a sixteen-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, gets on an uptown B train alone.  Will is on a mission to save the world from global warming—to do it, though, he'll need to cool down his own body first.  And for that he'll need one willing girl. 
 
Lowboy tells the story of Wills odyssey through the citys tunnels, back alleys, and streets in search of Emily Wallace, his one great hope.  It also follows his mother, Violet Heller, as she tries desperately to find her son before psychosis claims him completely.  Violet is joined by Ali Lateef, a missing-persons specialist, who learns over the course of the day that more is at stake than the recovery of a runaway teen: Will Heller has a chilling case history, and Violet—beautiful, enigmatic, and as tormented as her son—harbors a secret that Lateef will discover at his own peril.
"Synopsis" by , Early one morning in New York City, Will Heller, a sixteen-yearold paranoid schizophrenic, gets on an uptown B train alone. Like most people he knows, Will believes the world is being destroyed by climate change; unlike most people, he's convinced he can do something about it. Unknown to his doctors, unknown to the police--unknown even to Violet Heller, his devoted mother--Will alone holds the key to the planet's salvation. To cool down the world, he has to cool down his own overheating body: to cool down his body, he has to find one willing girl. And he already has someone in mind. Lowboy, John Wray's third novel, tells the story of Will's fantastic and terrifying odyssey through the city's tunnels, back alleys, and streets in search of Emily Wallace, his one great hope, and of Violet Heller's desperate attempts to locate her son before psychosis claims him completely. She is joined by Ali Lateef, a missing-persons specialist, who gradually comes to discover that more is at stake than the recovery of a runaway teen: Violet--beautiful, enigmatic, and as profoundly at odds with the world as her son--harbors a secret that Lateef will discover at his own peril. Suspenseful and comic, devastating and hopeful by turns, Lowboy is a fearless exploration of youth, sex, and violence in contemporary America, seen through one boy's haunting and extraordinary vision.
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