Book Club Discussion Questions for
The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs
Cyrus shows up hostile, resentful, and slightly apathetic toward acquiring the practice and his father in general. Do you feel that his feelings are justified? Why?
Is Cyrus a believable character? A narrator we can trust? Explain.
Nick Trout set his novel in the dead of winter. Why do you think he might have done that? Does it make a difference?
If you had been in Cyrus’ position, what would you have done with the Bedside Manor for Sick Animals?
What role did Dr. Lewis Fielding play in this book? Is there someone in your life who is your “Lewis”?
Who did you predict was black-mailing Cyrus?
We met a number of colorful characters in Eden Falls:
- Amy the waitress
- Little Emily Small, her mom Anne, step-dad Brendon, and the shedding Frieda Fuzzypaws
- Crotchety Ethel Silverman and her husky Kai with his mysterious skin disorder
- Ancient Harry Carp and his sixth “Clint” – who is a girl
- Doris the chain-smoking receptionist
- Pregnant pierced Denise and her pregnant black cat, Tina
- Former high school bully, Police chief Matt Devito
- Horny Crystal Haggerty and her lingerie-consuming, obese black Lab, Puck
- Wealthy, middle-aged Ginny Weidmeyer, her orange Persian cat Chelsea, and her money-grubbing fiancé Steven
- British wine-swiller Peter Greer, editor of the Eden Falls Gazette and his viscous Jack Russell terrier, Toby
- Arrogant Dr. Minch and his stray orange cat
Which was one of your favorite storylines? What was the cumulative effect on you, as a reader, of such a “menagerie” of subplots?
Did anyone want to read more about Malcolm and his albino rabbit, Mr. Snuffles?
Did you guess early on that Amy the waitress was Harry Carp’s angel of a granddaughter?
Was it believable that the Bedside Manor would be without a computer or “whiffy”?
Is Doc Cobb’s old truck that cannot go in reverse a metaphor for something or someone?
What role did the amount of veterinary discussion and scientific explanation in the story play?
What do you think were turning points for Cyrus?
Is Cyrus more like his mother or his father, or both? Explain.
Why do you think Nick Trout included so many book, movie, and TV quotes and references?
Did we ever really find out what happened with Cyrus at McCall and Rand Pharmaceuticals? Was the situation with his license resolved?
The novel begins and ends with Frieda Fuzzypaws, with her storyline threading throughout the story. Is there a parallel between her (and her family’s) journey and Cyrus’ journey?
Have you had a situation when you had deeply-rooted negative feelings toward someone, and you were able to forgive that person?
What did we learn about perspective through Nick Trout’s story?
Compare and contrast The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs to “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
(Questions courtesy of Susan Lavelle, San Jose, CA – many thanks, Susan.)