Paco’s Story Readalong Week 2

Welcome to week two of the Paco’s Story read-a-long.

We hope everyone has had a chance to read Chapters 3 and 4.  Here are some questions for discussion:

1.  Do you think Paco is ready to rejoin the living and will he easily re-enter “normal” life?

2.  How do you think the lively atmosphere of Rita’s Tender Tap affects Paco?

3.  Do you think Heinemann made the right choice in narrator, or do you believe Paco should be telling his own story?

4.  Do you think the side stories about the medic who found Paco, the bus driver, and Mr. Elliot, etc., add to the narrative or take too much attention away from Paco, who seems to hide in the background during these asides?

5.  How do you feel about Paco at this point in the book?

Please share with everyone you first impressions, thoughts, and your own discussion questions in the comments or on your blog.  Sign into Mr. Linky if you blog about the first chapters with the full link to your post.

Disclosure: Clicking the book title link will bring you to an Amazon affiliate page.


  1. I don’t think Paco is ready to rejoin “normalcy” yet. He seems to just be floating through his return to the states right now, and seems unaware of his surroundings to some extent — almost like he’s a misfit and out of place, observing from the outside.

    Paco enters the bar and has a drink with the mechanic, but its almost like he’s drinking alone. The conversation is minimal at best; his social skills are nonexistent. Again, he’s on the outside.

    I like the side stories of the medic, the mechanic, etc. I think it provides a rounder view of Paco, since he’s still adjusting to “normalcy” and is on a great deal of medication to deal with the physical pain and probably to some extent the emotional and psychological pain — he’s numbing himself.

    I’m not sure what to think about Paco. I definitely feel empathetic toward him, but I’m not sure if I like or dislike him at this point. He’s still an enigma to me.

  2. I don’t think I know enough about Paco yet. I feel bad for all he’s going through, but I know nothing about him before the Fire Base Harriette massacre, so I can’t truly see how much he has changed.

    One part of me would prefer that Paco tell his story, but since he’s so quiet and struggling with the issues related to the war, I think the ghostly narrator is necessary to get a feel for how Paco interacts with people, how he acts in and reacts to certain situations, and to see how others feel about returning veterans.

  3. I was kinda of different..I guess I feel pity towards Paco because I feel the need to take him under my wing and give him food and place to live in exchange for doing jobs around the house. lol I guess I didn’t really care what type of person he was before the war, I just feel bad for everything he has been through since being a part of the war.

    I like that we have the ghost narrator, I think we get a broader view of Paco that way.

    Here’s the link to my answers..where I do go more in-depth on the questions:

  4. Thanks for joining the discussion. I want to know how he was before the war, only to sort of flesh out what has happened to him since the war. I’m sure that it has impacted him profoundly, but wouldn’t it be easier to see it if we knew what he was like before?

  5. Thanks, Kris. I feel sorry for Paco, too, and I’d want to help him out as well. I wonder about what he was like before the war because I want to know if he was ever happy and what kind of life he had beforehand. It’s obvious he lost a lot because of the war, and I certainly feel for him.

  6. […] during the month of July.  If you’d like to learn more about the book, check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of the […]

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