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ICE Breakers



Were you disturbed by Vanessa’s self destructive hair cut and how did this introduction affect your opinion of her?
Did you think that Vanessa would be able to successfully hideaway from the islanders and was her attempt for anonymity naive?
Do you think Vanessa was complicit in her husband’s actions and could the extent of the tragedy have been avoided?
Did you discover a different Vanessa by the end of the novella and do you think the island enabled her find new perspectives and begin to reevaluate her life?
Were you surprised by her confidence to explore a romance with no strings attached and did this give you a different impression of her?
We are told that John Boyne is not afraid to shine a light in dark places. Was the novella the right format to explore this trauma?



Why do you think Hana devotes herself to look after the Englishman?
Why is the Englishman drawn to the desert and its landscape?
Hana adores the Englishman. Do you think the Englishman is a likeable individual and would you trust him?
Do you find Kip’s loyalty to the British cause credible?
Do you think all four characters are misfits or victims/survivors of war?
Katherine’s death is tragic – how do you think her death affects The Englishman?
Do you think the simplicity of their lives in San Girolamo Villa enhances their story?
This book was awarded 2018 Golden Booker – do you agree it is a worthy winner?
Have you seen the film and if so do you think it captured the story?


Had you heard of this book before or indeed seen the film?
What was your first impression of the book - did it make you feel uncomfortable and does it help make sense of how and why Hitler's ideologies became popular?
The book has been described in its credits as "Uproariously funny”, “Shockingly plausible”. Do you find the novel funny or frightening or both?
Do you think this book translated well into English and were the German references to its popular media and politicians appreciated and to what extent does this matter?
Did you think it was important to understand Hitler’s own personal back story?
Do you think Hitler would have become famous today and did it make you look back at other leaders in history or indeed those in high ranking positions today and reassess their rights to govern?


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