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Book clubs  •  28 April 2020


Ghost Species book club notes

Chew over some of life’s big questions with James Bradley’s timely thriller, Ghost Species.

A secret project to re-engineer Earth’s climate. The resurrection of our ancient Neanderthal relatives. A rapidly approaching environmental catastrophe… Go deep with your book club this month, with James Bradley’s Ghost Species – an exquisitely drawn and deeply affecting exploration of connection and loss in an age of planetary trauma. Here are some questions to get the conversation started.

Discussion points and questions:

  • Charlotte Wood called Ghost Species ‘an urgent, frighteningly timely novel about ethics, technology and love’. Would you agree with this summation? Did you feel the balance of the novel landed on one of these areas more than others?
  • Why do you think Kate agreed to participate in this experiment: scientific ego to be the first, distraction from her own personal doubts and fears, to wind back inevitable climate catastrophe, or something else?
  • Do you believe Davis was honest in his explanation for the motivations behind the creation of Eve? What do you think James Bradley was exploring in his set up of the Foundation?
  • There are some big questions at the core of Ghost Species that arise in so many parts of life. Do we have the right to alter nature, regardless of whether it is just because we can, or for higher purposes?
  • Early responses have classified Ghost Species as ‘cli-fi’. Is climate fiction a genre, or are Bradley and his peers doing what novelists have always done, written in response to the times in which they live?
  • Did you read Ghost Species as a speculative narrative, or is it a contemporary novel?
  • What is it that we really believe sets ‘human’ apart from Neanderthal, or any other species or animal?

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