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Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. Why does Flapping Eagle drink the elixir that makes him immortal? What are the consequences of living forever?

2. How would you describe the world of Rushdie’s novel? What does it remind you of? What elements make it otherworldly?

3. In the epigraph Rushdie quotes T. S. Eliot: “Go, go, go, said the bird; human kind/Cannot bear very much reality.” What does this tell you about the novel and about Flapping Eagle?

4. Grimus has been described as a quest novel. What is Flapping Eagle seeking? Does he find it?

5. What are the roles of Virgil Jones and Dolores O’Toole? What kind of guides do they make?

6. As Flapping Eagle makes his way up the mountain of Calf Island, what does he learn about Grimus and the Grimus Effect? Who is Grimus?

7. At the novel’s end, how would you describe Flapping Eagle’s achievements?

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