Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Chapter 8: Eat or Be Eaten
Written by Amanda
Edited by Rose/Krystal

Saturday, November 30, 1991 (Henry is 28, Clare is 20)

Clare has invited Henry to her apartment to dinner with her roommate Charisse and her boyfriend Gomez. After being buzzed in, Henry heads up to meet Gomez who playfully calls him library Boy. Clare and Charisse are in the kitchen when Gomez presents them with their new ‘toy’. The kitchen is a mess since none of them know how to cook, but Library Boy comes to the rescue and one hour and forty-three minutes later they sat down drunk as skunks to eat.

During dinner they all talked about their mundane lives such as jobs, where they grew up and all the normal things people do when they meet. As they toast to the Revolution an intellectual debate begins about eating people, Categorical Imperative and all that nonsense. After a while Clare remembers desert and heads off to get it with Gomez, falling over the whole way. In the kitchen Gomez gently whispers a warning about Henry before Charisse comes in to help. Back in the dining room Henry waits with a look of dread on his face.

Read the rest of the summary HERE.

Memorable Quotes:

Gomez: “My kittens, I have brought you a new toy,” Gomez intones. “It answers to the name Henry, but you can call it Library Boy.” (Page 128)

Charisse: “Oh, Gomez, do shut up. Hello, Henry. I’m Charisse Bonavant. Please ignore Gomez, I just keep him around to lift heavy objects.”
Gomez: “And sex. Don’t forget sex,” Gomez reminds her. (Page 128)

Gomez: “Gee, ah, I don’t want to disturb you or anything, but that’s a friend of mine you’re dismembering, there.”
Henry: Oh, surely not. “Well, he requested it. Just walked right up to me and said, ‘Sire, I urgently need to be firmly macerated.’” (Page 135)

Henry: Which reminds me. “I’m ravenous. Let’s go to Ann Sather’s.”
Gomez: “Ann Sather’s? I was expecting you to propose bank robbery, or manslaughter, at the very least. You’re on a roll, man, don’t stop now!” (Page 137)

Henry: “What would you like to know, comrade!”
Gomez: “Everything. I want to know why a seemingly mild-mannered librarian beats a guy into coma over nothing while wearing kindergarten-teacher clothing. I want to know why Ingrid Carmichael tried to kill herself eight days ago. I want to know why you look ten years older right now than you did the last time I saw you. Your hair’s going gray. I want to know why you can pick a Yale lock. I want to know why Clare had a photograph of you before she actually met you.” (Page 139)

Henry: “Don’t worry about it. Just buy it at the IPO.” I smile. “Clap your hands if you believe in fairies.” (Page 142)

Henry: “Listen, Clare, I’m going to return you to the poor imbecile you came in with. I’m sitting upstairs feeling depressed and wondering where you are.” (Page 158)

Questions for discussion:

Why do you think Gomez was so calm when he met Henry the way he did? Why didn’t he freak out?

Clare received warnings from two different people in this chapter. Do you think they will affect her feelings for Henry at all?

Do you think that Henry is responsible for Ingrid’s suicide attempt or do you think that she was always like this?

Is there something in this chapter that you’d like to discuss with the book club?

Read and discuss more HERE.