Study Guide

Where Things Come Back Versions of Reality

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Versions of Reality

Talk about flights of fancy: Not everyone in Where Things Come Back has their feet firmly planted in reality. Benton and Cabot, for example, both get caught-up in their own religious fantasies, though each of these fantasies ultimately lead to pretty terrible developments in reality. And Cullen, who is generally Mr. Reality, lets his mind wander to different apocalyptic zombie scenarios when life gets too difficult. Throw a misguided psychic into the mix and a lying birder, and reality is definitely up for grabs in this book.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. Why do you think Cullen comes up with so many different fake zombie scenarios?
  2. Do you think that Cabot was really called by God? Why or why not?
  3. Why does Cullen's dad end up hiring a psychic to find Gabriel?
  4. Why does Cullen's mom get so upset when Aunt Julia talks about believing that Gabriel is a baby in heaven? 

Chew on This

Cullen creates his zombie scenarios in order to escape reality. This is why his zombie scenes come to him more and more after his brother goes missing.

Cabot is grounded in reality until Benton dies, but then he starts seeking explanations in the religious. By the time he's married Alma, he is living in his own world and cannot accommodate a real, healthy relationship. 

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