This reading group guide for Half World includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Scott O’Connor. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
The year is 1956 and CIA analyst Henry March has uprooted his wife, Ginnie, and his children, sensitive Hannah and autistic Thomas, to bring them to a new home in Oakland, California. Tasked with running clandestine mind control and hallucinogenic drug experiments on unsuspecting men, March sets up shop in a makeshift brothel on San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill with his partners Jimmy Dorn and Dr. Cameron Clarke. March attempts to keep his family life separate from his work across the bay; but when maintaining dual identities proves impossible, he vanishes suddenly, leaving behind his family and the truth about what happened within the brothel walls.
Almost twenty years later, Dickie Ashby is dispatched to investigate a series of bank robberies in Orange County that appear to be somehow connected to the CIA’s mind control experiments. His investigation leads him first to a group of young radicals obsessed with finding March, and eventually to Hannah March, whom he decides to protect no matter what the