Quest Text: ‘The Hollow City’ Week 1

Quest Text: ‘The Hollow City’ Week 1

Hey everyone, and welcome to the very first ever (ever!) session of Quest Text!

The first book we’re going to discuss over the next three weeks is The Hollow City by Dan Wells (@thedanwells , if you’re nasty). Anything in the first third of the book, or through chapter 10, is open game. PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE ANY CONTENT SPOILERS FOR ANYTHING AFTER THIS SECTION.


That also means that, if you haven’t read through this section of the book, there may be spoilers ahead for you. This can be easily remedied, though, by… uh… reading the book. It’s actually a very swift read, and should only require a few hours to complete.

Anyway, on with the show!

I’m going to start things off by tossing out some discussion material, which anyone is free to answer/rebut/expound upon in the comments. Have your own question or idea you’d like to discuss? Hit that comment button! Want to compliment your dashing and handsome book club organizer? That’s what comment buttons were made for!

And now, for something completely on-topic:

  • In the first few chapters, Michael is visited in the hospital by his girlfriend (who hasn’t seen him in weeks), his psychiatrist (who hasn’t seen him in months), and a reporter (who he has never met before). Are these people real? Wells already gives us one imagination figment in the night nurse (porn-free), and implies that the reporter is also a delusion. Is it significant that none of these three people have interaction with other characters?
  • How do you feel about the conversation Michael has with his psychiatrist? The doctor explains schizophrenia to Michael, which, to me, felt like a too-simple info dump for the benefit of the reader. I got the impression that Michael had been having problems like these for a long time, and would suspect that this information would have been given to him long ago. Agree? Disagree?
  • In the first third of the novel, do you think Wells contributes anything new to the trope of the ‘crazy person’ crying wolf?

Next Monday we’ll be talking about the book through chapter 20, so get back to reading! We will also begin our selection of the next book, so if you have a suggestion let us know in the comments or send it to me on Twitter (@asminott).