- Aladdin |
- 320 pages |
- ISBN 9780689871443 |
- October 2006 |
- Grades 5 - 9
Reading Group Guide
A “lovely, touching book” (Alexander McCall Smith) about two estranged brothers who come together when one of them discovers he has a brain tumor and the other assumes the role of his caretaker.
Inspired by Shearer’s experiences when his own brother was dying and written with a warm touch that is at once tender and achingly funny, This Is the Life is a moving testimony to both the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of the simpler things in life, like not taking a dying man’s teakettle away.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. The novel’s title is taken from a conversation that the two brothers have while Louis is undergoing treatment for his cancer. What do both the narrator and Louis mean when they tell each other “this is the life”? Why do you think that Alex Shearer choose to title his novel This Is the Life?
2. The narrator remains unnamed throughout This Is the Life. What effect did this have on your reading of the book? Why do you think that Shearer decided not to name his narrator?
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