Our Reading Guide for Tomorrow Pamplona with much food for thought.
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1 Tomorrow Pamplona contrasts the choice between fight or flight. A boxer must stand and fight, facing his opponent in the eye, whereas a bull-runner must run from his pursuer. In the opening scenes, we know something is wrong because the boxer is running away. Discuss the choices of the two protagonists in the story, and what informs these decisions.
2 What are the two men running from?
3 Discuss the variety of male relationships portrayed in Tomorrow Pamplona, such as father, husband, coach, lover, son. What is the relationship between Danny and Robert. How and why does it change?
4 How does routine impact upon the two men? Consider Robert’s annual trips, Danny’s training and the French woman who swims every night. How are routines disturbed in Tomorrow Pamplona, and to what effect?
5 What is the impact of Robert’s accident? Discuss this in relation to Robert, Danny and other characters in the book.
6 Jan Van Mersbergen is renowned for his silent characters. Danny is a man of few words. What do you learn about him, even when he is not speaking?
7 The writing in Tomorrow Pamplona is tight and concise, yet maintains a fluidity that reflects the movement of the car, of a boxing match and of running. How has the author managed this and how does it add to the story?
8 How do the changing and varied landscapes of the story underscore the narrative?
9 What is the role of fear in Tomorrow Pamplona? Discuss how the men’s fears change throughout the story, and what the result is of this.
10 How effectively does the author depict the passing of time in Tomorrow Pamplona? Are there chapters in which time moves at different speeds?