“The Rest Is Silence” Reading Questions

Some Book Club Discussion Questions for Scott Fotheringham’s “The Rest is Silence”

Cover photo of The Rest is Silence courtesy of the publisher
Cover photo of The Rest is Silence courtesy of the publisher

In “The Rest is Silence”, the narrator plays a game with his/her father where they imagine a world without various items. Think of an item and envision what the world would be like without it.

What questions or concerns did this book bring up for you about science and the way science works?

Would this book work well as a movie? Why or why not?

How does obsession feature in this book? How does it shape these characters? What influences their obsessions?

What were you most surprised contained plastic? What surprised you about what the plastic-eating-bacteria effected?

Scott Fotheringham talks about how the environment can be changed by either social change (i.e. a change in the behaviour people show toward the environment or their attitude) or technological change (i.e. a new technological creation that changes environmental conditions). Which do you think is more likely to be most successful in reducing pollution – technology or changes in society’s attitude about waste?

Benny compares herself to Dr. Frankenstein at several points in the narrative. How is she like Dr. Frankenstein? How is her bacteria like Frankenstein’s monster?

How would you adapt to living in a world without plastic?

This book raises a lot of questions about gender and identity, what did you think about the gender questions?

Derek Newman-Stille

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