The Universal Solvent
(A novel by Beth Fowler)
Guide for Book Clubs and Discussion Groups
1.Which image, phrase, scene, character or other literary device did you enjoy?
2.Which did you dislike?
3.Have you seen evidence (newspaper articles, TV reports, legislation, etc.) that fresh water is becoming scarce?
4.What evidence have you seen that our water supply is contaminated?
5.Do you drink water straight from the tap? How come?
6.Might it be possible, someday, for scientists to change chemical elements into other elements by altering vibration rates and modes?
7.Clete Shatz, CEO of Shatz Company, is greedy, corrupt and illiterate. On the flip side, he's a softy with his daughter, Janice, and cowed by people (Darla, Senator Krumrine) more powerful than he is. Is he a believable character? Have you ever known anyone like him?
8.Rusty/Wade sees buzzards soaring when he drops the envelope at a competitor's, notices goldfinches during Aquamira's test at the lake, and invites Lucinda to imagine a hawk. What's with all the birds?
9.Rusty doesn't believe in a personified god if any god at all. Have Rusty's beliefs changed as a result of his experience portrayed in The Universal Solvent?
10.One reader said, "The sex scenes didn't have to be in the book." Did the erotic episodes distract from the story, add interest or …?
11.Rusty and Lucinda's relationship serves as a sub-plot. Did you find the fact that they part ways satisfactory and appropriate for their characters?
12.If you managed a bookstore where would you shelve The Universal Solvent? With science fiction, romance, environmental thrillers, mainstream, or something else?
13.Overall, do you give The Universal Solvent a "thumbs up or thumbs down"?
Beth Fowler invites you to email comments to her here at the message board.
Read excerpts of her favorably reviewed travel memoir, Half Baked in Taiwan, and her latest novel, The Dressmaker's Dummy¸ at this site, too.