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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Fade to Clear: An Allen Choice Novel

1. In the opening chapters of the novel there's an extended section on Allen as a nine-year-old. Why do you think the author give us this, and how is it relevant to the rest of the novel? How does it tie into the ending?

2. The novel is written in the third-person point-of-view, and in the present tense. What do you think of this authorial choice, and how did it affect your reading, if at all? What other novels are written in this style? What are the benefits and disadvantages for this approach?

3. The philosophy of Kierkegaard is a thread that runs throughout the narrative. What did you think of Allen's preoccupation with this, and how did it affect your reading and understanding of Allen's character?

4. How did Allen arrive at his conclusions about the communal sphere? Do you agree or disagree with his sentiments? Why?

5. How did the reappearance of Linda cause problems for Allen? Would your reaction have been different had you been Allen? How did you feel about Serena's reaction to Linda's presence?

6. How are the events and issues of Allen's childhood related to his adulthood? Are there childhood events that similarly reverberate into your adulthood, and how would these reverberations manifest themselves?

7. What did you think of Larry's actions in this novel? Were they understandable? Sympathetic? Objectionable?

8. The various relationships in this novel are often strained in various ways. Which relationships did you find the most interesting? How were these relationships strained, if at all, and how did this affect the relationships?

9. How were the issues of race and ethnicity relevant to some of these relationships?

10. Why is the title Fade to Clear?

11. Where do you think the story and characters go on from here?

12. If you've read the previous two novels of the Allen Choice series, how has he changed and developed? What aspects of his personality haven't changed?

Fade to Clear: An Allen Choice Novel
by Leonard Chang

  • Publication Date: May 1, 2004
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 0312308450
  • ISBN-13: 9780312308452