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The Toymaker Reading Notes

Liam Pieper’s The Toymaker: a gripping book club selection.

Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites, described Liam Pieper’s debut novel The Toymaker as: ‘Hugely memorable… an unflinching examination of the dark instinct for survival that lies in all of us.’

A story of privilege, fear and the great harm we can do when we are afraid of losing what we hold dear, The Toymaker has plenty to latch onto for a book club discussion to remember.

 

Reading Group Questions

  • The first (and last) line of the book is, ‘Let me tell you a story about my grandfather.’ How has Adam’s life been shaped by his belief in his family’s history?
  • Arkady says, ‘The machine runs on hate, and there is always someone new to hate.’ How does The Toymaker examine the perpetuation of hatred through generations?
  • How did the ending change your feelings about the rest of the story? Did you expect the characters to end up where they did?
  • Adam is selfish and arrogant, but believes himself to be a good man. Can you understand his motivations? Do you think he’s beyond redemption?
  • What do you think happens to the characters after the final page? Does the company recover? Do Tess and Adam stay together?
  • Tess and Adam’s relationship is ‘built on surprises’. Can you see what drew them together and kept the relationship intact?
  • Tess has left her creativity behind to help run the Mitty & Sarah company. Why do you think someone with her background would be attracted to this kind of work?
  • Liam Pieper has said he wrote this novel to remind us ‘what we are capable of when we become proud of our indifference, then cruelty.’ Did The Toymaker reflect this sentiment for you?

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143784623

    January 30, 2017

    Penguin

    272 pages

    RRP $26.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Trade Paperback

    9780670079384

    June 27, 2016

    Hamish Hamilton

    272 pages

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook

    9781760142735

    June 27, 2016

    Penguin eBooks

    272 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

The Toymaker Liam Pieper

Bold, dark and compelling, The Toymaker is a novel about privilege, fear and the great harm we can do when we are afraid of losing what we hold dear.

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