Quick Reminder: This month we are reading ‘The Pallbearers Club’ by Paul Tremblay!
Today I’m going to discuss the book in the same way I normally do my Instagram videos. You can find the recorded talk on my bookclub Instagram page. I’ll give a quick plot summary plus my overall star/scare-factor ratings. Then I will share the discussion topics and trivia questions. Please include all of your answers and opinions down below. I want to know exactly what you thought. I’ll also leave the answers to the trivia questions at the very bottom of the post, so if you wish to guess without being spoiled, do not scroll to the end until you’re ready. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
THE DEEP by NICK CUTTER – JULY 2022
A strange plague called the ’Gets’ is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget – small things at first, like where they left their keys. Then the not-so-small things, like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Mariana Trench, an unknown substance hailed as “ambrosia” has been discovered – a universal healer, from initial reports. It may just be the key to a universal cure. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But now the station is incommunicado, and it’s up to a brave few to descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine…
OVERALL STAR RATING
I gave this book a 3.5/5 star rating. I really want to discuss the positives first. It was extremely well-written and captivating. It reminded me of a Stephen King novel. I like how Nick made the story so personable, with plenty of flashbacks and memories thrown in. It was also incredibly scary (more on that below). My main issue with the book was the plot became quite disjointed along the way. It stopped being about the virus and ventured down a very bizarre direction. I felt the ending was quite confusing and wish the novel itself had stuck to the original objective of finding a cure.
OVERALL SCARE-FACTOR RATING
I gave this book a scare-factor rating of 4/5 stars. It was so unsettling. Between the monsters, claustrophobic setting and growing sense of terror, you could never fully relax as the story progressed. I am terrified of all insects, so having to read about killer bees was a little too much for me. I think most readers would agree that they couldn’t be paid enough to visit the Trieste. It was the perfect setting for a horror novel, where anything could happen.
1.) How did you interpret the ending?
As mentioned above, I found the ending quite confusing and open to interpretation. In my opinion, the creatures were using Luke all along to be set free from the depths of the ocean and unleash Hell on Earth. The virus was just part of their long-con to manipulate him. His son, Zach, was kidnapped in order to leave Luke with little hope and happiness. They fed off his desperation and desire to do anything necessary to find him.
2.) Do you believe Clayton’s personality was shaped by his trauma or existed from birth?
I believe Clayton would have always been an overachiever, with a penchant for brilliance. However, I think the trauma he suffered at the hands of his abusive mother made him closed off to the world. He didn’t want to open himself up to anybody or anything due to the inexplicable pain inflicted on him since childhood. It was safer to keep others (including animals) at an arm’s length and not form attachments to them.
3.) According to you, discuss the most terrifying scenes in the book.
It’s a fact that this book will hit harder if you’re a parent. The memory Luke shares of his son being attacked by an insect was horrific. I could just picture my daughter screaming in pain, as it latched onto her delicate skin. In the Trieste, I struggled to breathe as Luke and Alice moved through the tight shaft. It made me feel suffocated.
Easy: What was the name Zach gave to the monsters in his closet?
Medium: What did Bethany yell repeatedly after being assaulted?
Hard: What creature did Luke keep imagining was behind him?
I hope you enjoyed the book club discussion in this post and on Instagram. As mentioned above, share all of your thoughts in the comments below! If you have any feedback/suggestions to improve the bookclub, please let me know. I look forward to talking to you all next month! Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
TRIVIA ANSWERS: Easy: The Fig Men. Medium: Lord Love A Duck. Hard: Millipede.