About this guide...
Return to main book page...
|The questions that
follow are intended to enhance your group's reading and discussion of
THE NIGHT OF THE COMET by George Bishop Jr.
1. The Night of the Comet features the Broussard family: Alan; his
wife, Lydia; their daughter, Megan; and their fourteen-year-old son,
Alan Junior, the narrator. With which character do you identify the
most? Who, if anyone, would you call the hero of the story?
2. The backdrop of the novel is the coming of Comet Kohoutek in 1973.
Had you heard of—or seen—this comet before reading the book? Is there
anything surprising that you learned about comets from the novel?
3. The novel is set in Terrebonne, a fictional small town in south
Louisiana. How important a role does the setting play in the story?
Could the novel have been set elsewhere?
4. The narrator, Junior, says that this comet is “more than just a
comet,” and he credits the comet for bringing dramatic changes to his
family. Do you see the comet as possessing supernatural properties in
the story? If the comet can be read as a symbol, what would you say it
5. Lydia Broussard enjoys reading her horoscope before breakfast, and
she seems to believe in the prophetic power of astrology, despite her
husband dismissing it as “nonsense.” Do you read your own horoscope? Why
or why not?
6. Halfway through the book, when asked by his son about love, Alan
Senior claims that love is nothing but a story, “like [the] fairy tales
that we tell each other, tell our kids, to keep us going.” Why would he
say this to his son? By the end of the story, do the characters’ actions
bear out Alan’s claim, or not?
7. The Night of the Comet has been described by reviewers variously as
“sad,” “quiet,” and “hilarious.” What adjectives would you use to
describe the novel?
8. Was there anything about the ending of the novel that surprised you?
Which characters, if any, get a happy ending?
9. The Night of the Comet is classified as “Fiction—Contemporary Women;
Family Saga; Literary.” Do you think these are good descriptions of the
book? Or is there some other category under which you would shelve it?