Suggested Discussion Questions for Bookclubs:
- Did you enjoy the book? Was it what you expected?
- What do you think of the characters in Echoland? Did you have a character that you especially liked or disliked? Did you believe in Paul Duggan as a young spy? What did you make of Uncle Timmy?
- Is the city of Dublin presented in Echoland the same as contemporary Dublin. How is it different and how is it similar?
- How are the politics of the time woven into the novel? How are the questions of ‘neutrality’ and a ‘united Ireland’ explored in the novel and does the author give any indication of his own viewpoint?
- Does the novel give you an insight into what life must have been like for people living in Dublin at the time? How do their lives differ from our own?
- Did you learn anything about this period of time that you didn’t already know? Did any of the historical facts in the novel surprise you?
- Several real figures from the time make an appearance in the book. How does this add to or detract from your reading of the novel? Does a novelist have a duty to represent real people in a factual way? Can real people be made to say things that they may never have said?
- What did you find strongest about Echoland – setting, plot or character?
- How would you describe the writing style of Echoland? Are the sentences short or long? How is the novel structured? What sort of language does Joe Joyce use? And what impact does this have on the way that you read the novel?
- A lot of research goes into writing an historical novel like this – but all that research shouldn’t be too obvious. Do you think Echoland succeeded in this and how does the historical research interplay with the plot?
- Joe Joyce has written two other novels following on from Echoland – Echobeat and Echowave. Does your reading of Echoland make you want to read more books by Joe Joyce?
A special thank you to Bob Johnston in the Gutter Bookshop for compiling these questions.