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Discussion Guide

Out of the Basement

By James Rourke

Michael Tanner is a citizen of two worlds. His outer world as a respected college professor affords him the opportunity to quietly pursue his joy of learning. His inner world, shaped by childhood abuse, is a prison of shame and pain where he battles mythological monsters that draw power from his nightmarish memories. 
Though Michael has mastered the art of hiding his pain while in full view, the unexpected success of his new book, Bruce and Buddha: How Rock and Roll and Ancient Wisdom Can Guide your Life, pushes him well beyond his comfortable existence. 
Bolstered by the possibility of romance, the encouragement of old friends, and a new ally, he decides he must face his past. Only by challenging humiliation can he earn the inner victory necessary to bring authentic peace to his life.

Discussion Questions

Use these discussion questions to guide your next book club meeting.

Michael was traumatized in a church's basement. A priest, Father Sylvan, plays an instrumental role in his healing process. What tensions arise and are resolved with this duality?

By the end of the book, you've "watched" Michael three different book presentations. What insights do the presentations allow into Michael's personality? What message stood out?

At the end of the story, Sara expressed concern that she had led Michael on. Michael said she hadn't. Considering what happened between them, do you think Michael dismissed Sara's concerns too quickly? Why or why not?