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Kirith Kirin
By Jim Grimsley

Discussed April 2001

Buy Kirith Kirin

Discussion Questions

  1. First, the standard...what did you think of Kirith Kirin overall? Did you enjoy the book? Why or why not?
  2. Jim Grimsley is a noted author of mainstream gay literature, and Kirith Kirin was his first book length foray into genre work. Often when an author from outside a genre writes within that genre, there's a sense of an outsider not quite understanding the genre culture or the foundations upon which his work is based. What were your impressions of this effort - did he seem to "get" genre conventions and tropes? Did the work feel in any way different than works by authors working in the genre regularly? Was this a good or bad thing for the book?
  3. The main protagonist is still an adolescent when he begins his sexual relationship with Kirith Kirin. Some readers and reviewers have commented negatively on this aspect of the story because they feel it reinforces the stereotype of older men preying on underage boys. What were your impressions of the relationship portrayed in the book? Did you get a sense of a relationship with an imbalance/abuse of power? Did the inclusion of this relationship affect your reading of the book and/or your opinions of the characters? Do you think Grimsley should have changed it any way?
  4. The book contains a number of appendices and supplemental materials. Did you find these items at all helpful in your reading of the book? Did you find them to be a distraction? Did they add anything that could not be found within the text itself?
  5. The author has coined a lot of words and a particular linguistic flow to the language of names for people and places and things. Did you find the language evocative? Was it helpful in establishing the culture he was trying to display? Did you find it overwhelming or cumbersome?
  6. The impetus for the book, according to the author, was to delve into the mystery and power of myth and legend making. Did you find the myths and legends surrounding the history of this world cohesive? Did you find the exploits of the protagonist or main characters "mythic"? Did the author follow a Campbellian path for his hero's journey?
  7. Grimsley has developed a system of magic for his world that contains both minor magics and cosmic forces. Did you find the magic coherent? Did it overwhelm the story or did it serve as a useful tool for telling the tale? What type of cost did the powers displayed have on the wielder?
  8. Were the characters three dimensional? Were they original? What about the settings? Did background characters and places feel fully developed?

This page maintained by Rob Gates. Last updated April 26, 2001.

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