Rats Saw God Topics for Discussion
by Rob Thomas

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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1. Would Rats Saw God have worked better as a "straight forward" novel told in chronological order starting with the events in Houston?

2. Why does Steve hurl his Nirvana CD into the ocean when he hears that Kurt Cobain has killed himself? Why does he react so strongly?

3. What would have happened to Steve if Mr. DeMouy had not come along? Would he have graduated? Gone on to college?

4. Why do Steve and Doug form GOD? What does it mean to them?

5. Steve's decline is directly tied to his betrayal by Dub. Was this the only factor? What else did he have in his life to give it meaning? What was missing?

6. One reviewer called Steve's doomed romance a "contrivance." Do you agree with that statement? Were there signs that something was going on between Dub and Mr. Waters?

7. Steve says he and his sister have very little in common? Is that true? What similarities do they share? How are they different?

8. What are the causes for the distance between Steve and his father? Is one more to blame than the other? Does Steve's mother contribute to their conflicts? In what ways?

9. How realistic are the portrayals of the two major adult characters Mr. DeMouy and Mr. Waters? Do they seem like real people? Do they really care about Steve? Why?

10. Steve constantly describes himself as an iconoclast. Is he right? If so, how does he live up to this title?