Roughneck

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From the New York Times bestselling author and award-winning creator of Essex County, Descender, and The Underwater Welder comes an all-original graphic novel about a brother and sister who must come together after years apart to face the disturbing history that has cursed their family.

Derek Ouellette’s glory days are behind him. His hockey career ended a decade earlier in a violent incident on ice, and since then he’s been living off his reputation in the remote northern community where he grew up, drinking too much and fighting anyone who crosses him. When his long-lost sister Beth shows up, on the run from an abusive boyfriend, the two escape to a secluded hunting camp in the woods. There, living off the land, they reconnect with each other, the painful secrets of their past, and their Cree heritage...and start to heal. But Beth’s ex-boyfriend is hunting them. As he circles closer, he threatens to shatter this newfound peace and pull both Derek and Beth back into the world of self-destruction they’ve fought so hard to leave behind. Touching and harrowing, this is a deeply moving and beautifully illustrated story about family, heritage, and breaking the cycle of violence.
  • Gallery 13 | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476773995 | 
  • October 2018
List Price
AU$ 29.99
NZ$ 35.00

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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide for
Roughneck By Jeff Lemire

Discussion Questions

These questions can be used to facilitate class conversations about key themes and elements of the novel. Teachers may also choose to use these questions as prompts for writing activities, or can expand upon individual questions to design full lessons.

1. In the first 8 pages of the novel, we are introduced to the town of Pimitamon (from the Cree, for “Crossroads”) and the character of Derek Ouellette. In these 8 pages, what do we learn about Derek and the town? Make sure to consider information presented visually, as well as textually.

2. At various moments throughout the novel, Derek encounters a wild dog. What role does the dog play throughout the novel? How does Derek's relationship with the dog change over the course of the story? What could this symbolize?

3. What is Al's relationship to Derek and Beth? How does he help the Ouellette siblings throughout the novel?

4. Shortly after returning to Pimitamon, Beth accuses Derek of "leaving her" alone when he went to play hockey. What do you think life for a young person would be like in Pimitamon?

5. Hockey, for better and worse, has played a major role in Derek's life. What role did the game play in his childhood? What was his relationship to the game in his prime? How does the game continue to affect his life?

6. Based on the flashbacks to Dere see more

About the Author

Jeff Lemire
Photograph (c) Jamie Hogge

Jeff Lemire

Jeff Lemire is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of such graphic novels as Essex CountySweet ToothThe Underwater Welder, and Roughneck, as well as the co-creator of Descenderwith Dustin Nguyen, Black Hammer with Dean Ormston, Gideon Falls with Andrea Sorrentino, and many others. He also collaborated with celebrated musician Gord Downie on the graphic novel and album The Secret Path, which was made into an animated film in 2016. Jeff has won numerous awards, including an Eisner Award and Juno Award in 2017. Jeff has also written extensively for both Marvel and DC Comics. Many of his books are currently in development for film and television, including both Descender and A.D. After Death at Sony Pictures, Essex County at the CBC, The Underwater Welder and Plutona at Waypoint Entertainment, and Gideon Falls with Hivemind Media, as well as the Eisner-Award winning The Black Hammer Universe at Legendary Entertainment. He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and son and their troublesome pug, Lola.

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