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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Gospel of Judas : A Novel

1. Which character in The Gospel of Judas did you most closely identify with? Explain why.

2. There are three important female characters in the novel - Madaleine; Magda; and Leo's mother, Gretchen. What role does each woman play in Leo's life? How does each woman's life experience contribute to Leo's understanding of the world and his own place in it?

3. What did you think was the most surprising moment in the novel? Why?

4. Have you had a pivotal moment in your own life that made you re-evaluate everything that came before?

5. What do you think is at stake if Father Leo Newman validates the scroll? And if he denies its authenticity?

6. What do you imagine is the significance of Leo Newman's name? In what way does Leo's character change in the course of the novel?

7. There are three storylines running through the novel. In what ways do they overlap, intersect, resonate? How did the novel's structure influence your reading of the book and your enjoyment of it?

8. The Gospel of Judas has been described as a novel of betrayal and resurrection. Can you trace these themes through the narrative? Do you think Leo's resurrection in the present-day passages is a triumph or a failure?

9. Discuss the contrast between the Italy of Leo's youth and the Italy of his adulthood.

10. Does The Gospel of Judas remind you of any other literary thrillers you've read? How are the books similar? How are they different?

The Gospel of Judas : A Novel
by Simon Mawer

  • Publication Date: September 5, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books
  • ISBN-10: 0316097500
  • ISBN-13: 9780316097505