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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Interloper

by

The Interloper Cover

 

 

Reading Group Guide

1. Why do you think the title of the book is The Interloper? Who or what is the interloper?

2. The Interloper portrays very different responses to death: the silent approach that denies death and the openly obsessional response of the Stocking family. How does Owen react to and embody the varied forms of mourning?

3. The Stockings are not seeking revenge. What do you think is involved in Owens decision to seek revenge for CJs death?

4. Owen thinks he is “in fine shape medically and psychologically” and considers himself “a civilized person, probably around 80% acclimated to the society” in which he lives. How does his lack of self-awareness set the tone for the book?

5. What other clues indicate that Owens account might not be entirely reliable?

6. In a very dark manner, The Interloper intertwines comedy with tragedy. What aspects of the book did you find humorous?

7. In a version of epistolary cross-dressing, Owen names his female correspondent based on his deceased cousin, “lethal Lily Hazelton. Hazel-eyed Hazelton, Lily the lily, a trumpet on a slender stem. An invitation for Raven to tend or pluck.” Lily evokes Nabokovs nicknamed Lolita, “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins, my sin, my soul,” whose full name was Dolores Haze. How does Owens own unspoken mourning for his lost forbidden love merge with the mourning around him?

8. How does the manipulation of gender work its effects on Owen?

9. When Calvins diary reveals something about what he was like, how does it reverberate with his familys obsessive mourning for him and with Owens demented program of revenge?

10. Did you find the ending to be a surprise? What do you think Owens intentions were when he met Henry Joseph Raven and what do you think happened—in his own mind and from an external point of view?

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590512630
Author:
Wilson, Antoine
Publisher:
Handsel Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Prisoners
Subject:
Revenge
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20070531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
276
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Interloper Used Trade Paper
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Product details 276 pages Handsel Books - English 9781590512630 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Wilson's pleasantly creepy debut novel, Owen Patterson, a Southern California software manual writer, believes that the 'soil' of his marriage has been 'poisoned' by the aftereffects of his brother-in-law's murder. The killer, Henry Joseph Raven, murdered CJ while Owen and Patty were on their honeymoon. Raven received a 'twenty-odd-year' sentence, but Patty and her parents, a year later, are still in mourning. Owen, meanwhile, comes up with a convoluted plan for revenge: he creates alter ego Lily Hazelton, a lovelorn teacher's aide whose identity is a morass of tortured bits from Owen's past — chiefly his infatuation with now-dead cousin (and first love and sexual partner) Eileen — and writes to Raven in prison. Though the plan is never quite concrete, Owen aims to use Lily to seduce Raven through an exchange of letters, and then deny him the object of his desire, thus destroying Raven as CJ was destroyed. But as Owen gets more involved, it becomes apparent the scheme has more to do with Eileen than CJ. Though the plot takes some predictable turns as Owen's obsession darkens and the James Cain — style ending is telegraphed from the opening pages, the pathos, delusion and hope festering within Owen will carry readers through." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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