Cadillac Couches Reader’s Guide and Discussion Topics

Don Quixote was so influenced by the romances of his age that he became totally deluded and fancied himself a great knight and famously chased windmills thinking they were giants. How is his story similar to Annie and Isobel’s?

Your early twenties can be an angst-ridden, dramatic time of life. The combination of liberation and lack of wisdom can make for some bad romantic decisions. Are twenty-somethings screwed up by too much freedom? Do Annie’s shenanigans ring any bells from your own youth?

Real musicians Dan Bern, Ani difranco and Hawksley Workman exist in the book as fictional characters. How does it affect your reading of the book? Does it give it a kind of documentary effect?

My husband thought maybe Annie isn’t nice enough to Isobel in her thoughts. I think it is a realistic portrayal of the sometimes bitchy nature of youthful female friendship. In your experience can some close female friendships be like sister relationships and thus full of sibling rivalry?

People often have a larger-than-life love relationship in their early twenties. How important for your soul’s education is it to experience heartbreak? Or is just damaging?  AND The masochism of young love. Discuss.

How would this story be different in the age of texting and Facebook?

Why are some twenty-somethings so interested in rabid decadence and hedonism? Could some of it come from a place of hurt?

What role does nature play in the story? Does it have a healing role? A sensual one? A revelatory one?

An alternate first line of the book was: She never got over A Room With a View. How much has romantic indoctrination from literature wrecked their heads: A Room With A View, Love in the Time of Cholera and not to mention all those love songs? PS Annie studiously ignores the afterword of ARWAV in which Forster writes that George likely cheats on Lucy in the future!!

“She aches just like a woman, but she breaks just like a little girl.” I think this describes Annie quite well. Identify the quote.

What is Rosimund’s name reminiscent of? Another vehicle’s name?…

What role does the fan or reader play? In today’s DIY culture, everyone can become a reviewer, can make their own films with their basic cameras and phones, can record a song and post it on YouTube. How would Annie and Isobel have used these resources?

A Reviewer in Quill & Quire described the book as much an ode to Canada as it is to music. Discuss the whole French/English relationship in the book. Does the novel successfully put Edmonton on the map? What other Edmonton novels have you read? How does it compare to Todd Babiak’s The Garneau Block?

Which artists would be on your twenty-something mix-tape?

Where would you go with a tank full of gas and a nearly maxed-out credit card? Who would you bring with you?

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