Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

How is violence essential to Thomas Berger’s work?

In what ways is Berger commenting on the typical lives of ordinary Americans?

Berger’s novels are often inspired by other literary works or genres. In what ways are such novels commentaries on fiction itself?

Berger has denied that his novels are parodies. In what ways is he right or wrong?

How is language the central element of Berger’s novels?

How are Berger’s novels examples of “pure fiction,” in which storytelling is more important than character and theme?

How does the character of Carlo Reinhart evolve in the course of Berger’s novels?

Compare the ways in which the American West is presented in Little Big Man and The Return of Little Big Man.