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Quiz about Apathy and Other Small Victories
Quiz about Apathy and Other Small Victories

Apathy and Other Small Victories Quiz

Explore the science of indifference in Paul Neilan's first novel, "Apathy and Other Small Victories" where a man named Shane, going through an early mid-life crisis, is accused of murder. Good luck!

A multiple-choice quiz by kyleisalive. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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4 mins
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
5 / 10
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. What does Shane confess to stealing? Hint

Question 2 of 10
2. What is the name of the guinea pig owned by Shane's neighbour, Mobo? Hint

Question 3 of 10
3. What is the name of Shane's landlord? Hint

Question 4 of 10
4. What is the name of the insurance company where Shane gets a temporary position? Hint

Question 5 of 10
5. What was written on the sign that was placed on Shane's back at Marlene's birthday party? Hint

Question 6 of 10
6. What is the name of Shane's co-worker at the insurance company who passes away? Hint

Question 7 of 10
7. Who owns the bar near Shane's apartment?

Answer: (One Word)
Question 8 of 10
8. Where was Marlene's body found? Hint

Question 9 of 10
9. Who attempts to kill Shane? Hint

Question 10 of 10
10. What drug is it revealed that Mobo was dealing? Hint

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. What does Shane confess to stealing?

Answer: Saltshakers

In the beginning of the novel, Shane wakes up in his bed, covered in salt, with two police officers standing over him. These men, who simply walked into his place, simply needed to tell him that his dentist's assistant had been murdered in the night. Marlene Burton was a deaf dental assistant who Shane initially couldn't bear due to the way she simply seemed to ruin the English language, what with not being able to speak it without shouting it into his open mouth. Dr. Weinhardt, his dentist, would be a bit more tolerant, but the man was prone to crippling panic attacks, having had bus doors slam like an accordion on his head on six separate occasions.
Shane figures that he'd be out of town at the time of the murder as well, but a woman named Gwen has been keeping him preoccupied. Although they never had much in common when they met (and they still don't at the present time), they hooked up nonetheless and spent a fair bit of time together.
Regardless, things seemed to be going quite normal for Shane...up until he was hauled off to the station, having been accused of Marlene's murder.
2. What is the name of the guinea pig owned by Shane's neighbour, Mobo?

Answer: Ivan

Shane recalls sleeping underneath Mobo's apartment and waking up in the middle of the night to hear the laws of man and nature being broken. He notes their first meeting involving Ivan on a leash trying to dart onto the road and Mobo telling how he received his name from a Honduran shaman in Dallas. Meanwhile, Gwen offers Shane a job as an intern at an insurance agency (though they can't have contact during that time because Gwen fears it may hurt her job) and Marlene teaches Shane sign language whenever he visits the dentist's office.

It's at this point in the story that the cops begin rattling Shane for information at the station, but he still knows he didn't do it.
3. What is the name of Shane's landlord?

Answer: Bryce

One month, as Shane remembers, he was short on cash for his rent, so he decided to seek out his landlord for a bit of assistance. Unfortunately, he was about $200 short, so Bryce said on Tuesday night, he would be going bowling. Every Tuesday, Shane would go to Bryce's apartment to be with his wife. Shane didn't know what this would entail, but it turned out to be quite odd and confusing in the end, and after it was all over, he stole their saltshaker. A few weeks later, Shane returned to the dentist and spoke with Marlene about her husband who she's been cheating on.

They have been married for two years and they're both deaf. Meanwhile, Shane also begins his job at the insurance company, but instead of working, he simply falls asleep in a bathroom stall everyday.
4. What is the name of the insurance company where Shane gets a temporary position?

Answer: Panopticon Insurance

In order to make it to work every day, Shane ended up going to an antique store to buy a bike, but it turned out that he bought a girl's bike instead. A boy on the street alerted him to this with demeaning insults. Meanwhile, Gwen is proud of Shane for getting a new job at this point, and she suggests that he create a clever slogan for the company (considering the old slogan, was 'watching you, wherever you go').

He also talks to Gwen about Karal (pronounced 'Karl'), a man in his office building that waters plants, but clearly has a severe mental disability. The next day, Shane accidentally left his keys at work and was forced to ask Bryce for a new set. Oddly enough though, Mobo had the key for him and Shane had to subject himself to a few moments in Mobo's apartment looking at expensive firecrackers and such.
5. What was written on the sign that was placed on Shane's back at Marlene's birthday party?

Answer: 'I'm Stink'

Shane goes to Marlene's party despite the fact that most of her guests are also deaf. Her husband runs out of the house in anger and Shane instantly makes himself a hit with the guests, but due to his lack of knowledge while signing, he insults everyone at the party. Marlene explains that he's retarded. Later, she plays a prank on him by taping 'I'm Stink' on his back. This phrase is one of the few that he originally learned from her at the office.
Eventually, he winds up back in the dentist's chair and Doug is working on his new dental work. When a stray saltshaker (stolen from Bryce's apartment) falls out of his pocket, Doug reveals that he has an odd complex where he can't stand to be around gritty material.
Life at Panopticon is still boring as well. Shane's office has gained a new cubicle, and everyone is celebrating it.
6. What is the name of Shane's co-worker at the insurance company who passes away?

Answer: Martha

During a date with Gwen, Shane meets a couple of her friends (one which she knew from rugby). After they leave, Gwen starts to give Shane a few playful punches, but unfortunately, she hits him numerous times with full-fledged hits that cause him to feel severe pain. He sincerely hopes for a sniper shot through the window of the bar.
Meanwhile, Panopticon is in mourning for Martha, who was regarded as the 'star processor' of the office. Shane decides not to go as Martha had the death coming (what with her hyper-obesity) and the fact that he didn't care and he didn't know her.
After the funeral (which he doesn't attend), Shane gets a call from what he thinks is a robot (though it's actually Marlene on a robotic phone acquired due to her disability). They meet down at the waterfront where she says she's leaving her husband. She gives him some money to hide for her. It was the last time that Shane saw her.
7. Who owns the bar near Shane's apartment?

Answer: Sooj

After speaking with Marlene, Shane sleeps with Bryce's wife again, and this time, they speak more with each other. He decides that he'll try to get fired from his job, as it requires less effort than quitting. He also goes on a binge on Miller High Life, so he stops at Sooj's Bar to begin it. It's here that he and Gwen break up as she feels he was too disrespectful regarding Martha.
Bryce also decides to be angry at Shane as he discovered he was sleeping with his wife every Tuesday. Bryce says that things used to be better when he was in a funk band.
Later, Shane is finally fired from Panopticon for impersonating Karal, the mentally challenged janitor. He wasn't actually doing this. He was simply walking funny and bumping into walls because his legs were asleep from sleeping in a bathroom stall.
8. Where was Marlene's body found?

Answer: In her bathtub

At this point in the story, Shane is being interrogated. They finally let him leave and he gets a call from Marlene's husband who vows revenge. After, Gwen reappears at Sooj's Bar where she tries to salvage him (although Shane really doesn't care). Instead, he reveals that he's been sleeping with Bryce's wife and she goes berserk, chasing him into the bathroom where he's ultimately able to hide away in a locked bathroom stall before she leaves him. Sooj bans him from the bar for the ordeal. On his way home, Shane rides his horrible bike (which is now falling apart) and he is pursued by a man in a General Lee "Dukes of Hazzard" car.

It runs over the bike and he escapes unscathed.
9. Who attempts to kill Shane?

Answer: Marlene's husband

When he returns home, Shane witnesses Bryce and Mobo exchanging a package and he heads to his salt-covered apartment to think about his situation. He decides that he's better off hiding in a crowd so that he can escape any murderers who may want to get to him (especially after the General Lee incident).

After watching a horrible remake of "The Maltese Falcon", he walks down the street and is nearly shot by Marlene's husband, but the gun backfires and his hand is blown off. Shane hides out in a Best Western and has his final night with Bryce's wife.
10. What drug is it revealed that Mobo was dealing?

Answer: Ritalin

After sleeping with Bryce's wife, Shane hides outside until Bryce returns home and he tells him that the police know everything. When Bryce goes into his apartment, Shane goes to his and he hears two gunshots before the police show up. The police reveal everything to Shane.
Rick Beekman (Mobo) was the one sleeping with Marlene (she was the screamer in his apartment; not Ivan the guinea pig). They met through Bryce, who went to the karaoke bar across the street from the bowling alley. Bryce, who used to be in a funk band, was still interested in singing. He killed himself in his apartment, but his wife went missing.
Mobo was caught dealing Ritalin (which he claimed was cocaine) and Bryce was taking it and getting him clients. Mobo assumed that the cops were clients and revealed everything to them. Bryce claimed that he needed the Ritalin when he was singing due to an addiction. Mobo was sent to prison.
Marlene, on the other hand, was not murdered. She fell in the shower. This was proven by an amateur video tape filmed by her next door neighbour. Her husband did not beat her.
In the end, Gwen finally calls Shane back, only to close the deal by getting the final word in. He says that he may call her back pretending that she may have AIDS. He discovers that the General Lee was driven by Karal, whose handicap made it difficult to drive straight, and he leaves town on the Greyhound for a new beginning.
Source: Author kyleisalive

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor MotherGoose before going online.
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