September BookClubz Pick: The Last Paradise

Michael Kasenow self-published The Last Paradise through Canoe Tree Press and we thought it was so good, we selected it for a feature on You can follow along on BookClubz, the best site for managing a reading group, and you can get your copy of The Last Paradise  here

Check out Michael Kasenow's post-reading discussion guide below:

Define Maxwell’s morality. He “lived outside the law because he was an honest man.” How does this statement identify his character?

How do the two signs that Maxwell saw when he first entered Galveston define the morality of the city?

The elite businessmen of Galveston describe the new slavery as the acquisition of debt. What are they describing? What does this say about choice?

In the following statement from the novel, what do you think it is that Maxwell lost? What is he looking for?

“I’m lookin’ for somethin’ I lost, a long time ago, I think. I don’t know what it was or even if it exists. Don’t know if it ever existed. Couldn’t tell you where I lost it. Don’t even know if I ever had it. Don’t know if I left it somewhere or if it just went without me. Have no idea what it is, where to find it, where it’s been or where it’s goin’. Don’t know if it’s real, if it belongs to anyone, or how to get it. Don’t even know if I want it, if I find it. Couldn’t tell you how to keep it, where it is, what it is—or why I’m lookin’ for it. Don’t even know what it looks like, if it looks like anything. Don’t know why it matters, if I care. Don’t know.”

Compare and contrast the lives of Maxwell and Newt when compared to Bishop, Elma and their family, and the African Americans living in the alley.

Maxwell and Newt have an uncontrollable laughing spell in Bleach’s Tavern ending with “…their echoes laughed like freedom rings. And all the alley heard the bellows.” What do you think they are laughing at?

Is it probable that Janine Connor did not know about the abuse Sara received from her father, Boss Connor?