Noir (Moore) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for NOIR … then take off on your own:

1. In Christopher Moore's other novels, his main characters are hardly "alpha males"; in fact, they tend to be "beta males." How does Sammy Tiffin fit that description—perhaps he's a little aimless or unfocused or … what else? How would you describe Sammy?

2. Noir takes place two years after the end of World War II. What is post-war American life like—in San Francisco and especially Chinatown—as portrayed by Moore?

3. Moore riffs on the noir genre*—crime stories first made famous in the 1930s & 40s by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Talk about certain elements that are part-and-parcel to the genre (tough-guy language, for one) and how "noir" is distinct from other crime tales. What are the ways in which Moore's novel both pokes fun at and pays tribute to the noir style?

4. Noir writers draw on analogies in their writing. Point to some of Moore's: this one, for instance, "he smiled like a dog at a barbecue for the blind."

5. What, in particular, made you laugh? Does Moore sustain the comedy and wacky banter throughout the novel? Does it become funnier … or does the humor fall off? Do you have some favorite lines?

6. Do you have any characters you were fond of—Petey, say, or Eddie? Cheese? Moonman?

7. Did the shift in point-of-view, from the first person to third-person narrative, confuse you? When did you figure out the identity of the speaker?

8. If you've read other Christopher Moore books, how does Noir compare?

* "Noir" in our usage is comparable to what is also called the "hardboiled" genre.

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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