The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
I'm opening the discussion early for the Chunky Book Club so today opens the discussion of The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma. I hope you all have enjoyed the journey through Palma's time machine! If you haven't visited the Official Website for the book, I hope you'll do so - it is really a fun and interactive site.
Palma's follow up novel to The Map of Time - The Map of the Sky -is being given away here on the Chunkster Challenge blog. It is a signed edition and we have three copies up for grabs. Participation in this discussion will offer you additional chances to win a copy. Visit this post to enter.
A little about the author:
Felix J. Palma has been loudly acclaimed by critics as one of the most brilliant and original storytellers of our time. The Map of Time, his US debut, was a New York Times and international bestseller. Read more about Palma here.
If you have read The Map of Time and reviewed it, please feel free to add a link to your review using Mr. Linky below:
How Does the Discussion Work?
- ANYONE may participate who has read the book.
- Questions (below) are to stimulate discussion. You may choose to answer any, all or none of them...or you may pose your own questions for discussion.
- Respond in comments on this post. I have activated the "reply" function in comments so that you may reply directly to someone else's comment if you wish to do so.
- Consider subscribing to the comments so that you will be notified when someone posts a comment.
- BE FOREWARNED: There may be spoilers contained in the questions and in the discussion below!!!
That's it! Have fun!!!
*Many questions below were borrowed from Lit Lovers
- Did you enjoy the book? Why or why not?
- Author Felix J. Palma has written about how he prepared himself to write The Map of Time: To do it, I'd have to immerse myself in the Victorian era and think like an Englishman from the nineteenth century.... I started to educate myself on the period so I could realistically portray what a fascinating time it was to be alive in London, the largest city on earth. Does Palma succeed in bringing Victorian London to life? As you read his work, did you feel as if you were present in that world?
- Consider time travel: What would happen if you met your future self? What would you do, or say? If you could alter the past, what would you change—in your own life...or, on a grander scale, in the world?
- Which of the three interrelated stories did you most enjoy...and why?
- On page 7 (hardcover edition), the narrator writes: "Assuming you stay until the end of this tale, some of you will no doubt think that I chose the wrong thread with which to begin spinning my yarn, and that for accuracy's sake I should have respected chronological order and begun with Miss Haggerty's story." Do you think that starting with Andrew's story made the most sense for the story, or should have the narrator started with Claire's story?
- Were you caught off guard—surprised—by the twists and turns of the plots? Did you experience any "you got me there" moments? What about those "Ah-ha!" moments when things started to make sense, or come together for you...any of those?
- What about Andrew Harrington? Is he too immersed in self-pity to admire? Or is he presistent and courageous in his attempt to save Marie Kelly from Jack the Ripper? Speaking of Jack the Ripper, are the descriptions of his murders overly graphic? Or are they integral to the plot, atmosphere, and sense of place?
- Why is Claire Haggerty unhappy with her life? What does she wish for? Did you find her story believable?
- H.G. Wells takes a prominent role in the novel. Have you read his classic The Time Machine? If so, do you think reading that book first enhances Palma's novel? Is it important to understand the "real" H.G. Wells to fully appreciate Palma's characterization of him?
- Talk about the way in which Palma portrays the year 2000. Does the year have anything in common with the actual 2000? Is it possibly symbolic of trends in technology? Is Palma's 2000 a totally alien world to ours, or is it a vaguely (and scarily) familiar one?
- In the end, the book offers a compendium of cosmic speculation—parallel universes, loopholes in the time continuum, alternative histories, and the Map of Time. If you are not a science-fiction devotee, do you find these discussions intriguing or engaging? Or is it necessary to be a hard-core sci-fi fan to appreciate them?
- How does this novel suggest, metaphorically, that time travel is actually possible? How does it suggest that right now, today, any of us may slip the bonds of this world and transport ourselves through space and time?
- What do you think of the narrator? Do you find the comments engaging, perhaps humorous ... or tiresome and irritating? Why might the author have created an intrusive narrative voice?
- Is the ending satisfying? If so, why? If not, why not...and how would you change it?
- If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask?
- Do you plan on reading the follow up book The Map of the Sky? If not, why not.