Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “All Families Are Psychotic” as Want to Read:
All Families Are Psychotic
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

All Families Are Psychotic

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  9,463 ratings  ·  420 reviews
On the eve of the next Space Shuttle mission, a divided family comes together... Warm, witty and wise, All Families Are Psychotic is Coupland at the very top of his form: 'Irresistibly hilarious, unique and wonderful' Independent on Sunday In a cheap motel an hour from Cape Canaveral, Janet Drummond takes her medication, and does a rapid tally of the whereabouts of her chi ...more
Paperback, 279 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
RandomAnthony
Well, for that matter, what was the purpose of my first sixty-five years? Maybe the act of wanting to live and being given life is the only thing that matters. Forget the mountain of haikus I can write now. Forget learning to play the cello or slaving away for charity. But then what?

Yes, then what, exactly? All Families Are Psychotic is the third (and second best) Coupland novel I’ve read this year (and I would have never picked up the author’s work without goodreads so, um, thanks, Otis and Co.
...more
Tfitoby
I can't get past my love-hate relationship with Douglas Coupland. I haven't read a novel of his that I haven't enjoyed yet the idea of starting a new one fills me with some kind of nameless dread. It's as if I think it's going to be a difficult read (which they never are) or dull (I'm not sure Coupland does dull.) I blame the titles, or the idea of the as yet unread by me Girlfriend in a Coma which I bought approximately ten years ago and still haven't read. One of those things is consistently d ...more
Michelle
At first I thought it was not going to be a wise decision to pick this book up right after I finished Crime and Punishment. I was right. I was annoyed. How could I possibly read witty banter when Lizaveta was killed with an ax? How about reading slap-sticky fight scenes between a father and son when dear Rodya was living the hard-labor life in Siberia? That’s not even to mention how absurdly over-the-top the entire family and all of the peripheral characters were. An eccentric billionaire obsess ...more
Stephanie
This was a quick and easy read, but I started to lose interest once I got a little more than half in. It's billed as kind of a humorous tale, and there were some "ha!" moments. But overall, it wasn't funny.... it was really pretty horrible (the goings ons). So an interesting and compelling overall story (of the family), but there wasn't much meat to it (too much back and forth dialogue for me) -- I also felt somewhat disconnected from the characters, and the story, although lacking meat, didn't ...more
Andrew
Meet Wade. Wade seems to have a way of wrecking everything around him. For instance, "accidentally" sleeping with his father's new wife and giving her AIDS. And then "accidentally" giving his mother AIDS as well, when his father shoots him for the whole sleeping with his wife thing, and the bullet passes through Wade's AIDS-infested body and and rests neatly in his mother.

Wade isn't exactly doing so hot lately. But then, neither are the rest of his family. His white picket fence mother has a se
...more
Jasmine
This is a good book.

I'm going to say something weird, it's really similar to the history of love by nichole krauss, but better. I know right? I probably never would have thought of it if I wasn't reading/listening to them at the same time.

But this book is also a bit like jackass goes to the prom. Or richie rich takes a slum day.

The quotes on the back say things like: "douglas coupland all growed up"

this book is not all growed up, in fact it's a fairly juvenile book. But lets actually be stra
...more
Rob
Jan 31, 2008 Rob rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone that hates themself
Shelves: 2007
Argh. This book was maddening. Coming off the heels of Generation X and Microserfs, I suppose my expectations were pretty high but this really felt like the literary equivalent of bottoming out.

With All Families Are Pyschotic, Douglas Coupland thrusts us into this absurdly over-the-top comically dismal present tense-ish Florida that just doesn’t ever seem to come together. It’s unreliably realistic that’s as much a future-proofed snapshot Now as it is an immediately dated fantasy of yesterday
...more
Dennis
Try as I did, I just couldn't get into this book. I've been a fan of Douglas Coupland since Generation X came out, so in some strange way, I feel bad not finishing this book. His other books have been pretty solid, though. "All Families", however, was a big disappointment for me. It has been awhile since I've read his work. Am I getting to old to enjoy sardonic, at times slapstick and dark humor? yeah,I don't think so. It's not me, it's him.

It felt as though I was reading a book rather than bein
...more
Lorraine Devon Wilke
A Hallucinogenic Free-Fall Disguised As Real Life:

If nothing else, the title is genius.

I have no idea what Coupland was hoping to convey in this tumbling, bizarre narrative of family life gone crazy, but it's as if he latched onto the word "psychotic" and never let go. While all families have their quirks, likely none are as nuts as this one he's conjured up. And the idea of that was ultimately funnier than the execution.

First the good stuff: amazing phrase turns; smart, clever, funny dialogue
...more
Ben Babcock
Despite its rather rambling plot, I actually have a soft spot for All Families are Psychotic. It has something to do with the zaniness of the characters being so realistic. And the ending always chokes me up.

As the title implies, the book's about family and the tribulations one's family undergoes as the wheel turns and one generation supplants another. Yet it's also about all the motifs surrounding family: growing up, maturity, dealing with mortality, and realizing how screwed up the world actua
...more
Anastacia
I picked up this book because the title made me chuckle. I am definitely someone who believes that all families are, in fact, psychotic in their own way. It was a quick but fantastic read - quick, I believe, because it was such fun to read. However unlikely the story line may be - it does evolve to include some incredibly odd turns of events - the book started and remained witty and personal and deeply human.

The book centers around a family who all come together to Florida to celebrate an achie
...more
Snotchocheez
"All Families Are Psychotic" is a farce that explores dysfunctionality in modern families. The story (such that it is, given its farcical quality) is beyond believable; some of its characters include a thalidomide-baby (deprived of one arm) who grows up and becomes an astronaut, a sibling who unknowingly has sex with his step-mother after he meets her in a bar for the first time (and who is shot by his father after said dalliance), four (FOUR!) members of this same family who are HIV+ because of ...more
Matt
Great little read. I finished in a weekend, because there was a humorous, unforeseeable detail around every corner. While some dialogue seemed forced or hokey every now and then, and some of the flashbacks were overwrought, the main story moved at a brisk pace and was highly original. The ending was a slight disappointment, but an overall great work of modern fiction. It has reclaimed the surname Drummond from "Diff'rent Strokes," at least for me.
Yasmine Alfouzan
Oct 16, 2014 Yasmine Alfouzan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with psychotic families, and enjoy dark humor
Shelves: contemporary, fiction
I might be biased because this book carries elements I'm a huge fan of: dysfunctional weird families, dark comedy, and thought-provoking introspections. Having the characters (even the minor ones) be intriguing and well-written is a plus. This is one of the few books out there that would translate SO WELL being made into a film. I would be excited to see it.

I mean, what a ride. The story escalates in a fantastical manner, with crazy character development and it's funny how unexpectedly events e
...more
Robert
The title is the basic thesis; it's expanded to suggest that one only notices this about one's own family; everybody else's family seems sane and normal.

THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN CURTAILED IN PROTEST AT GOODREADS' CENSORSHIP POLICY

See the complete review here:

http://arbieroo.booklikes.com/post/93...
Aramys
No sabría como definir este libro, tiene una parte de drama, otra de surrealismo, otra parte de enredo familiar...es una novela excelente, hipnótica, con unos diáologos punzantes, vívos, tremendos. No se hay que leerla, la trama es una delicia, la familia Drummond es espectacular, del primero al último.
Ubik 2.0
"un giorno in cui tutto ciò che poteva andare storto va dritto è un miracolo"

Un po’ alla volta “smaltisco gli arretrati” di Douglas Coupland, cioè i romanzi che avventatamente ho comprato in passato quando l’autore brillava ancora della luce dei suoi primi libri, Generazione X in particolare.

Il problema è che Coupland è rapidamente appassito, forse proprio perché interpretava in modo così preciso, se non lo spirito più profondo dei primi anni ’90, quanto meno la loro immagine: tramontati quelli,
...more
Melanie
I bought this one a couple of years ago. And it got lost in the flow of my book buying addiction. I wish I had read it sooner! It was so funny and entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud in public places, and people staring. (Excuse me lady, would you rather see me cry, or just angrily stare at people like you do?)

The Drummond are one crazy and very colorful family. There's Janet, mother of Wade, Sarah, the only one who seemed to lead a successful and normal life, and Bryan. Janet and Ted
...more
Brian
when i start reading a book i dont like, or finish one for that matter, i generally turn to a douglas coupland novel to remind me why i like reading so much. and this one did not disappoint.

his novels, the more i read, become more formulaic, which could be a huge turnoff becasue it is like reading the same novel over and over again with just different character names. but the thing is, i absolutely love his formula. it is there, it exists, but it is so off-the-wall unpredictable that i am amazed
...more
Sandy
Apr 27, 2008 Sandy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a psychotic family, anyone with a sense of humour
Recommended to Sandy by: The Shrub.
This book was recommended to me by a fellow blogger after I wrote an entry in my blog about my absolutely ridiculous and unbelievable family, and a situation that involved moving my dead uncles body and hiding weed. Seriously. (Before your mind get's too twisted, he did die of natural causes.)

This was recommended a few years ago, and sadly I only recently picked up this book. Having now read it, I can clearly see why he recommended it in response to what I had written - the incident in question
...more
Chloe
Feb 16, 2008 Chloe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Tom Robbins, Augustin Burroughs, Chuck Palahniuk, or Christopher Moore
Rich in oddball characters and a lot of heart, All Families Are Psychotic is a cracked-out look at the state of the American Family as viewed through the lens of the Drummond family who are gathering together in Florida to watch family hero Sarah blast into space (note: Sarah is a thalidomide baby).

To give you a glimpse of the dysfunctional heights this family aspires to, son Wade slept with his stepmom Nickie who was then shot by his father Ted striking his mother, Janet. Now Janet and Wade ha
...more
Karen Germain
This book was dreadful. I really liked "Microserfs" and was excited about reading another Douglas Coupland novel. The plot is so outlandish, that it is difficult to become emersed in the story. It was almost like the book was weird for the sake of being weird.

I also could not get a clear mental picture of any of the characters. They seemed to contradict themselves and their reactions to their environment and each other. I didn't feel that they were fully developed.

One bit that irked me, was the
...more
Natalia Pì
Nice book with a great title, my second Douglas Coupland.
I appreciate Coupland's ability to portray the lives of these middle-aged or older mums, and how they must feel after their children are gone and grown up, how their lives and their perspective change, how difficult it must be to adjust, especially for a generation of women who were taught to put family before all else. He does this with great sensitivity. It's thought provoking, and it might make you want to call your own mother to tell h
...more
E
Jan 07, 2013 E rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
A comedic caper that zips through misery after misery at a mile-a-minute and crashes into chunks of truth at every corner. I was tempted to take a star away on account of the characters being a bit too simplified and amplified for my taste (or credulity), but the story itself is ludicrous on purpose and I had a good time, so why punish anyone? The family's inner monologues and observations aren't the deepest musings ever put to paper, but every time I found the over-the-top action getting to be ...more
Cody Woodman
The thing I love most about Douglas Coupland is his ability to turn a situation that should be completely tragic and upsetting and turn it in to something light hearted in funny. It is an amazing ability to see the bright side of depressing situations. I really enjoyed this book. It was a fairly quick read, but a lot of fun.

Douglas Coupland is my favorite author by far. I haven't read all of his works yet, but he hasn't let me down yet. This book was no exception.

If you feel that your family is
...more
Lori Anderson
This was funny, sad, back to hilarious -- it was a rollercoaster of misadventure. If you thought your family was wackadoo -- well, no they really aren't. I loved this book, and if you liked Dave Barry's "Big Trouble", this will probably delight you as well.

Be prepared to snort in laughter -- milk right out your nose.

Lori Anderson

Lori Anderson:The Store
Lori Anderson:The Blog
Twitter
Bob Hartley
Good old Coupland does it again! What I mean by that is that out of his novels that I've read, there are a few tricks he uses to keep the story juicy. From the top of my head, number one: introduces a new character at the very end; number two: social commentary which is admittedly a bit tired and shoehorned (there's a bit where he describes a song by saying the title must have been "along the lines of "boompboompboomp...""); number three: characters with a somewhat whimsical way of thinking, thi ...more
Chris
Apr 19, 2014 Chris marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

The most disastrous family reunion in the history of fiction.The Drummond family, reunited for the first time in years, has gathered near Cape Canaveral to watch the launch into space of their beloved daughter and sister, Sarah. Against the Technicolor unreality of Florida's finest tourist attractions, the Drummonds stumble into every illicit activity under the tropical sun-kidnapping, blackmail, gunplay, and black market negotiations, to name a few. But even as the Drummonds' lives spin out of

...more
Daniel
Coupland creates a dysfunctional family. I read this awhile back, but I remember enjoying, once again, Coupland's talent for dialog and wit. The last third of the book becomes a chase-novel, and Coupland proves himself adept at plot as well. This is a funny, well-written tale.
Phil James
Hilarious black humour. Dark, dark humour but the satire is buzzing and sparking with ideas. As nearly always, in a Coupland book the ideas are more important than plot or even character, but after just slogging through Don Quixote, this was exactly what I needed.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures
  • Nikolski
  • Brightness Falls
  • Shelf Monkey
  • The Withdrawal Method
  • The Flying Troutmans
  • Come, Thou Tortoise
  • School's Out
  • All That Matters
  • Vinyl Cafe Diaries
  • The Cure For Death By Lightning
  • The Willow Tree
  • De Niro's Game
  • Angry Young Spaceman
  • Rick Mercer Report: The Book
  • Obasan
  • Barney's Version
  • Stories Volume 1
1886
Douglas Coupland is Canadian, born on a Canadian Air Force base near Baden-Baden, Germany, on December 30, 1961. In 1965 his family moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he continues to live and work. Coupland has studied art and design in Vancouver, Canada, Milan, Italy and Sapporo, Japan. His first novel, Generation X, was published in March of 1991. Since then he has published nine novels and sever ...more
More about Douglas Coupland...
Microserfs Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture Girlfriend in a Coma JPod Hey Nostradamus!

Share This Book

“All families are psychotic. Everybody has basically the same family - it's just reconfigured slightly different from one to the next.” 124 likes
“She thought about her life and how lost she’d felt for most of it. She thought about the way that all truths she’d been taught to consider valuable invariably conflicted with the world as it was actually lived. How could a person be so utterly lost, yet remain living?” 94 likes
More quotes…