HAUNTED: The Book Club Reader’s Guide

SPOILER ALERT: Caution, if you want a true Monet Experience, avoid these questions until after you’ve read through the book several times.

Take 1-2 weeks, progress through as many story iterations as you can, while keeping the following questions in mind. Then, meet with your reader’s group and discuss:

1)   Which storyline did you connect with most as a reader? Which did you find the most challenging? Which ending(s) were the most or least satisfying? Why?

2)   HAUNTED features unconventional choices, where you are asked to search and find specific chapters based on clues, rather than only, “turn to page XYZ.” Did you enjoy these extra challenges? Did any of the riddles leave you stumped?

3)   Hidden identity is a factor throughout the Tansky House. The television show, the historic figure of Sheriff Tansky, the axe-wielding madman, the assistant Hermes, and even The House itself aren’t what they appear to be. Discuss these reveals and any others that stuck out to you.

4)   How many “truths” did you discover while exploring The House? Can truth change based on your perspective? Did what you consider to be true change throughout the story, or can multiple truths exist at once?

5)   Isolation is a major theme in HAUNTED. From the opening chapters, it’s strongly hinted that this story takes place during the pandemic. In what ways did the book play upon our fears of isolation and having that isolation suddenly been intruded upon?

6)   At one point in the story, Hermes says, “Well, if you’re having paranormal visions, there are five generally accepted explanations. Hallucination due to carbon monoxide poisoning, mental illness, mold spores, swamp gas—we’ve ruled out that one—and finally, legitimate supernatural phenomenon, also classified as ‘the unexplained’ or simply, ‘other.’” What do YOU think you experienced inside Tansky House? Was it paranormal, or more prosaic?

7)   Let’s talk about Hermes. Who or what was this entity? Did The House itself have its own will? What were the guiding forces inside Tansky House?

8)   Due to the multiple storylines set inside such a confined space, there are more parallel or overlapping events than typically found in Click Your Poison books. Part of this was playing into the haunted house tropes, where the visitor feels like they’re slowly losing their mind. How did this element make you feel during multiple re-reads?

9)   Like other Click Your Poison books, HAUNTED plays upon the genre tropes that came before it. In what way did Schannep uphold these traditions? In what ways were your expectations subverted?

10)   The book asks “Can YOU Be Scared…To Death?” Were you frightened or creeped out while reading the book? Did the interactive nature of HAUNTED make this horror story more or less immersive than other frightening tales you’ve encountered??

And, as a bonus, if there’s anything you’d like to ask the author, feel free to post it in the comment section below.

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