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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Book of Air and Shadows

1. What is your view of Jake Mishkin's character? Do his personality and profession aid in the search or are they more of a hindrance? Do his flaws make him more likeable?

2. Albert Crosetti's life is currently on hold when he becomes involved in the mystery. He's saving up to go to film school and living with his mother. Does his stasis make him more susceptible to Carolyn's deception?

3. The Bracegirdle letters create an incredible sense of time and place with richly textured language and thoughtful details. Discuss some of the most vivid images and their importance to the story and to your own experience reading it.

4. What parallels do you see between Jake and Albert? Between Albert and Bracegirdle?

5. How do religious affiliations play an important part in both the past and the modern-day storylines?

6. Comedy and tragedy are both evident in TBOAAS. How do they play off and heighten each other in the narrative?

7. There are numerous correlations between TBOAAS and Shakespeare's The Tempest. How many can you find? Harmony through balance is one of the key themes of The Tempest. Discuss how that theme is relevant to the various characters in TBOAAS.

8. Travel and moving beyond one's normal, everyday experience, both physically and psychologically, occur many times in the story. How do you think that affects each character's development?

9. Throughout recent history, there have been rumors about lost Shakespeare plays. What do you think would happen if a new Shakespeare play were discovered? Would the quality of the writing be as important as the fact that it was by Shakespeare?

The Book of Air and Shadows
by Michael Gruber

  • Publication Date: February 26, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0061456578
  • ISBN-13: 9780061456572