The Optimists Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Optimists

Clem Glass is a photojournalist who has just returned to London after a gruesome assignment in Rwanda where he photographed a massacre of a church congregation. He is at odds with himself and the world and drops out of society. He visits his father who lives in a Christian commune in Scotland and then his sister who has had a breakdown and is recovering in a private clinic in Scotland. He runs away from the pressure of his sister and flies to Toronto to visit his fellow journalist Silverman who was at the massacre scene. Silverman has dropped out too and is helping homeless people by providing food. Silverman and Clem question what actually happened. Then he returns to the UK and takes his sister to live in his aunt's spare house in Somerset. There his sister begins to recuperate. But is Clem recovering? Then Clem discovers that the leader of the massacre has been arrested in Belgium and he goes to see if he can meet him. He gets the name of the leader's cousin and eventually an interview but it is not satisfactory. He makes love to the cousin. He thinks he has closure on the trauma.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The review of this Book prepared by John Marcel

Chapter Analysis of The Optimists

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book War/Revolt/Disaster on civilians    -   Yes Conflict:    -   Terrorism

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   Black Africa The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   Canada

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   actual description of hetero sex    -   Boob talk! Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Optimists

Andrew Miller Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian