Conversation Starters About Dark Horse
for Book Clubs
1.Who is your favorite character in the novel (minor characters included)? Why? Do you know anyone like that character in real life? Did that fact affect your liking of the character? How?
2.Do you like Nicky as a person? Does the death of his first wife (Corin) excuse any of his character flaws? Which flaws, and why or why not? Should a political candidate's marital (or extra-marital) life be a significant issue in an election? Why or why not?
3.In Chapter 12, Nicky encounters a particularly stressful situation. Why does he react to it the way he does? How would you have reacted? Ideally, how would you prefer to react to such a situation, if you had to encounter it? 4.Why does Nicky want to have kids with Scarlet if he does not love her?
5.How does Nicky's relationship with Diz differ from his relationships with the other women in his life (apart from the obvious)?
6.Do you think Nicky is a good lawyer? Do you think he would make a good judge? Do you think there are differences between the qualities of a good lawyer and the qualities of a good judge? What are they?
7.Is Detective Halliday a good cop? How do you think Tony Donato would have investigated the murders? How would you have investigated them?
8.Do Nicky and Sal have a good friendship? What does each man get out of the friendship? Would you call it a "usual" or "unusual" male friendship? Why? Do you think the friendship will last?
9.Were you surprised by the identity of the murderer? How early in the novel did you guess the person's identity? Were the clues fair?
10.Did you like the end of the story? Did it answer all of your questions? Would you like to know what happens to Nicky in the future?
11.Have you ever been to any of the places depicted in the novel (e.g., Armory Square in Syracuse, the Saratoga Racetrack, the New York State Fair, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, the Turning Stone Casino, the Carrier Dome, etc.)? Were the depictions accurate? How did your memory of the place affect your reading of the depiction of the place (if at all)?
12.Do you like the tone and style of the novel? Why or why not? Which novel does this novel most remind you of?
13.Do you like the dialog in the novel? Is is realistic? Does dialog in a novel typically differ from the way people talk in real life? Explain. Why do you think this is the case?
14.Between Chapters 6 and 7 of the novel, a scene is omitted that is revealed, through bits and pieces, only later in Chapters 9, 10 and 11. Why did the author do this?
Do you have any questions for the author?
Would you like him to speak at your book club?