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Life after God

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  8,818 ratings  ·  376 reviews
This collection of stories cuts through the hype of modern living, travelling inward to the elusive terrain of dreams and nightmares.
Paperback, 361 pages
Published March 6th 1995 by Touchstone (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Beavers
There's an obvious problem with a 5-star rating system (or any graded system, really) being used to rate god-damned BOOKS, you know? This has probably been brought up previously, but c'mon: I'm going to validate Virginia Woolf by giving her 5 stars, and also I really fucking loved Harry Potter so you know what, that's 5 stars too, so Harry Potter's 5 stars is on the same level as Woolf's 5 stars. And Comedy of Errors is only 4 stars, as is the entirety of Milton's work, but Trumpet of the Swan, ...more
Yukie
"Now: I believe that you've had most of your important memories by the time you're thirty. After that, memory becomes water overflowing into an already full cup. New experiences just don't register in the same way or with the same impact. I could be shooting heroin with the Princess of Wales, naked in a crashing jet, and the experience still couldn't compare to the time the cops chased us after we threw the Taylors' patio furniture into their pool in the eleventh grade. You know what I mean." (C ...more
Brian
luckily i picked this book up just before finishing a book that made me dislike reading (haunted by "the author"). this book is why i like reading, because it takes you to a different place and helps you put perspective on your life or understand some things that you just couldnt grasp alone.

a book like this is like a friend. and i love my friends. additionally i think all of my friends should read this book. soon.

i was a bit unsure starting the book, i liked it from the start but it couldve gon
...more
Bill
Tried re-reading this the other day, and I just couldn't get myself back into it. All that Meaning-with-a-capital-M that seemed to be there when I was in my late teens/early 20s seemed a bit absent, so I stopped before I could completely ruin my good memories of this book. It's best to let angsty dogs lie, I suppose.

Come to think of it, maybe this is why I have such a hard time getting into a lot of Coupland's work that has come out since I graduated college. Maybe when you finally have some dir
...more
Cody
I have been told—and have read—that this book will change my life. It did not. I do not doubt Coupland's ability to write. His prose is simple, but not spare, always divulging just enough to create the right impression—though his characters all sound alike as a result. But the pervasive road weary tone of voice, the wary (and hyperaware) disillusionment, began to grate on me. The self-consciously simplistic drawings troubled me, as well—they weren't irritating or distracting, but they didn't add ...more
Tfitoby
“For there was once a time when we expected the worst. But then the worst happened, did it not? And so we will never be surprised ever again.”

Early Coupland short stories that even if I didn't look at the date of publication seem to be sister pieces from his wonderful debut, Generation X. There's a deep sense of melancholy written in to the meandering thoughts of his disconnected characters and on every page you find a thought or a phrase so powerful it can take your breath away, make you infini
...more
Todd Huish
I am admittedly a huge Coupland fan. I read absolutely everything he writes but I'm not blind in my devotion. He has hits and misses just like anyone. This book, however, is what started my fandom and makes me forgive his occasional misses. This book is full of short stories but where most short stories attempt to tell a small story from beginning to end these stories tell just the middle part of a much larger story. These stories leave just about -everything- to the imagination. They are just t ...more
Sam Quixote
Life After God is a collection of short stories written in blocks of 2 or 3 paragraphs per page, large font, with a single child-like illustration accompanying it.

The stories are plotless and meandering. One concerns a man in a hotel talking with his neighbours and then setting free some goldfish into a reservoir. Another features a mother who has left her husband and is talking to the child about her plans for their future and their present journey; another features aimless thirty-somethings,
...more
Ben Babcock
I almost began this review with, “not your typical Coupland”, but I hesitated. I’m not sure there is a typical Douglas Coupland book. Oh, sure, Coupland—perhaps more than many authors—treats with the same themes, tropes, and even characters time and again. His bailiwick is that angst that seems to live on the flipside of every generation’s zeitgeist. And he examines this angst with zeal and creativity, using such settings as post-apocalyptic coma recovery, a school shooting, and (my personal fav ...more
DoctorM
I read this first one summer long ago, sitting between jobs in a small apartment in Birmingham AL. That was a summer when I'd stay up all night reading or scanning through cable channels and go out to a breakfast buffet at a diner just before dawn and exchange aimless conversation with other people who weren't sleeping and had no daytime lives. Put simply--- I fell in love with the stories Coupland tells here. However not? I was in the same stories.

Years later--- too many years later ---I still
...more
Oscar
Just because of this, it's worth it:

“And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can't ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to surprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one. You wonder when your turn is going to be, or if it's already happened.”

Or this...

“We are changed souls; we don't look at things the same way anymore. For there was a time when we expe
...more
Beth Sniffs Books
Mar 13, 2015 Beth Sniffs Books rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 18 - 25 year olds
I read this book for the very first time in my very very early 20s. As I recall, I was blown away, mostly because the book was so depressing but in a glamorous way. I think, in a very odd way, I was looking forward to experiencing these depressing things at some point in the future because that would make me an official grown-up/adult.

"And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can't ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when yo
...more
Sal
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that has polarized different aspects of my self as much as this one has, my first Douglas Coupland book. I experienced a wide variety of reactions from across the spectrum. There were times where I just wanted to give up reading it. There were times where I was pulled into trance at its beauty. All in all, reading it ended up being quite a memorable experience, and made my lunch breaks during this, the last week of the new month of the new decade, significantl ...more
Miguel Alcázar
Me sentía aquejado de una gripe permanente, me encontraba en ese punto en que lo único que quería era pedirle prestado el abrigo a otro —pedirle prestada la vida a otro—, su halo. Creía haber perdido la capacidad de crearme un halo propio.

***

Pensé en lo raro que resulta que haya miles de millones de personas vivas y, sin embargo, que ninguna tenga la certeza de lo que hace a las personas ser personas. Las únicas actividades que se me ocurrieron que llevan a cabo los humanos y que no tienen equiv
...more
Corey Dutson
Deeply moving, and impressively depressing. In the end you're honestly left thinking about your own life and beliefs.

Very interesting read.
Aaron Maurer
Douglas Coupland is one of my all time favorite authors. I have all his books and while I was going through the Nerd Cave and decluttering I became a bit nostalgic and wanted to go back and read the books that meant the world to me growing up. I decided to read this book because I have this permanent memory of this book speaking to me during a certain phase in my life. I have not touched this book in over 10 years easily if not more.

After reading this book I don't know that it is always a good i
...more
Hilary
I feel awfully ambivalent about this book. On the one hand, I can think of very few few books that I've enjoyed reading less. I had to force myself to finish this one, and honestly, I probably wouldn't have if I didn't know I would have a quiz on it. For me, this book was almost unrelievedly depressing, though I know some people disagree with me on this point. On the other hand, I think this is an important book, and a very valuable one -- a story that needs to be heard by religious and non-reli ...more
Jessica
No matter how much I try, I think I'm just not a Douglas Coupland fan. I always feel like I should give him "one more chance" since I know so many people who really love his books, but it seems I'm always disappointed. I spent the past couple of days reading Life After God on the train, and yet again, it just didn't do anything for me.

I feel like Coupland's books have all the shape of being intellectual or philosophical without any of the substance. He acts like he's going to say something big b
...more
Corrine
Reading this book twenty years later and I'm perplexed why my teenage self was reading books about the plight of thirty something adulthood. Coupland has an ease with language that is only able to be classified as,"cool". I believe this book has been under discussed and overly criticized. It's physically small and has fragmented paragraphs with small illustrations that just make you want to love to hate it. The book itself is part of the irony. Life after God investigates the right questions but ...more
MiLi
Este fue un libro muy criticado, pero a mi me gustó muchísimo.

Al igual que las demás obras de Coupland (he leído casi todas), Life after God está escrito para el hombre moderno, para los tecno-religiosos, para los adoradores de imágenes, para aquellos que no pueden concebir sus vidas sin la tecnología eléctrica, y se aferra a situaciones de la vida cotidiana para reflexionar sobre la filosofía de vida de la sociedad posmoderna.

Toma los mismos recursos, ejes problemáticos y personajes a los que y
...more
Stace
Aug 21, 2007 Stace rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: apprentice curmudgeons
This one reads like a diary, kind of an aging Generation X. I strongly relate to it as I am slightly younger than Coupland. As Gen. X was exciting to read, being amazed by the connection of similar feelings and experiences of youth, L.A.G. was rather like comparing notes on the challenges of life at a high school reunion. The end has a little kernel of hope, and as with so many of the experiences and characters in the book, I had a remarkably similar naturo-mystical water thing only days before ...more
Olethros
-Algunos deben caminar portando una pesada cruz que ellos mismos han construido.-

Género. Novela.

Lo que nos cuenta. Conjunto de breves ¿relatos? ¿capítulos? ¿reflexiones? ¿entradas de un diario? ¿recuerdos? ilustrados, que cuando se toman como un todo nos relatan los pensamientos y preguntas que el solitario protagonista tiene en su cabeza y a los que no puede dejar de dar vueltas.

¿Quiere saber más del libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

http://librosdeolethros.blogspot.com/...
Cecilia
This was an interesting little read. Formatted almost like a tween book where you get some little visual incentive and the stories remain short to address the short attention span. And this guy really writes form the standpoint of someone who never experienced life without a TV or media around him except for camping trips because his narration has that "flavor" to him. So its always a ongoing ride with him. I don't know if I always "get" him, but I like to read him regardless as it takes me outs ...more
Jay Medenwaldt
This was an interesting book. It's a bit strange and odd, a little disconnected, but that actually serves to improve the book. It all kind of comes together in the end.

The book details random thoughts, events, and experiences in the authors life; which all relate to the idea that in his family, his generation is the first to be raised without God. He explains his relationships with some friends and his siblings and what ultimately becomes of all of them.

It is interesting to see how a person thin
...more
Todd
Douglas Coupland cuts through the metaphysical nonsense of the post modern confessional with “Life after God.” This collection of odd short stories read almost like a novel in a way. This is probably due to the first person narration that remains comfortingly steady as he relates the terror and anxiety between dreams and reality. The terror the reader will feel is softened by the humane sadness and deft humor that soothes throughout the pages.

Coupland writes very well. His words are strong evoc
...more
Mark
This book meandered, and I think Coupland was attempting to tackle some big issues here, but it just didn't work for me. The section describing the nuclear meltdown scenarios was overlong, and in the end the book just didn't gel. It also felt too much like a memoir to call it a novel, but I guess the names were changed to protect the innocent, or something like that.
Robert Gustavo
I've clearly read this before, and it clearly left almost no impression on me, and I expect it will do so again. It was not bad, and I never wanted to abandon it, but it wasn't really great either. There's only so much you can get from reading about lost people wandering through their lives -- and I've already gotten most of that from living it.

The story "The Dead Speak" was one of the things I remembered, and I remembered it being much longer, with many more vignettes of people recounting exac
...more
Brad

Ever go to a yard sale, spend hours sifting through someones discolored underwear and cracked 'worlds best golfer' coffee mugs only to realize the gem of the sale turns out to be a scratched Led Zepplin album that you've heard a thousand times before? Yeah? Then avoid this book, you've already had the pleasure.
Ilmatte

letto in un'epoca di blog fa meno impressione, immagino. perché ci si può abituare a seguire i percorsi mentali di un'altra persona, ma ci si abitua anche a distinguerli. e questi vanno distinti. certe volte mi chiedo come si possa scrivere queste cose riferendole a una persona immaginaria, e mi convinco che non sia possibile, che libri come questo non possano essere che autobiografici. e se lo sono, allora perché è così facile trovarcisi immersi? sottolineare continuamente frasi che possono ess

...more
Nate D
Early Coupland is actually pretty decent, and this was real early. The part about living in a cheap hotel for a year, with its portraits of the other residents, really stands dramatically out. Less so the more overtly spiritualized parts.
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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 Hey Nostradamus! JPod

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“And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can't ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to surprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one. You wonder when your turn is going to be, or if it's already happened.” 1812 likes
“When you're young, you always feel that life hasn't yet begun—that "life" is always scheduled to begin next week, next month, next year, after the holidays—whenever. But then suddenly you're old and the scheduled life didn't arrive. You find yourself asking, 'Well then, exactly what was it I was having—that interlude—the scrambly madness—all that time I had before?” 283 likes
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