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I am reading it again, now. In the last sixth months, two of my very dear friends, one 27 and the other 26, were killed, one accidentally and the other murdered. They have mounted into a loss I've found I can't quite get my head around. Despite...more
My primary coping mechanism whilst depressed is reading. But picking up a random work from the stack of 200 or so unread books isn't gonna do the job. The book has to be undemanding in terms effort to read and preferably plot-driven and gripping. James Blish was my go-to author in this circumstance for many years but I've read all his novels too many times in recent years. Ditto a number of other authors who I know would fit the bill. Which leads back to...more
I was really enjoying this book; I could go so far as to say I was loving it. However, right up to about the halfway point, something so insane occurred that it to...more
Crazy things happen in this book, but only one felt very unrealistic -- and that still k...more
“As far as I could tell, Jason and I were the only married students to have attended Delbrook. It wasn’t a neighborhood that married young. It was neither religious nor irreligious, although back in the eleventh grade English class I did a tally of the twenty-six students therein: five abortions, three dope dealers, two total sluts, and one perpetual juvenile delinquent. I think that’s what softened me up for the c...more
Someone told me, just the other day, when I was snarking on this novel that the authors of dime-store romance novels have more artistic and creative prose than Coupland. It is my profound h...more
I love Douglas Coupland. He just has this way of seeing through the superficialness of our culture and pulling so much depth and meaning out of it. His characters experience such tremendous growth. And he is so funny. I am always alternating between being on the verge of tears and laughing outloud. Sometimes it happens at the same time.
This story is about a girl who is killed in a school shooting and how the lives of those who love her are affected by it. The first part is t...more
Oh my God. This is some serious depressing shit.
It is centered on the idea of belief and whatever consequences we get playing around that idea. This is a really hard book to review. It's serious, it's full of scattered thoughts that I cannot put together to write a review about. (I stared for about 2 minutes after writing that sentence.)
Hmm. Basically it's about belief. And what's the first thing that comes to mind? Religion. But this book is not preachy or what...more
Cheryl's story is so beautiful and elaborate and makes you understand how beautiful this world is and how much we must cherish all the little details of our universe. Her very real perspective forces you to be aware that all of us are very much alive. Everyone feels SO MUCH and everyone is fully living their life second after second just as you are inside your head, and that is a very beautiful concept to be able to grasp. This books exquisite writing makes it very eas...more
There are a lot of grotesque shows of religious piety in this book, and Coupland often touches on the theme that people generally get spirituality totally wrong. But all four narrators of this story are, in some way, believers. So, I think it's a nice quality to combine the skepticism with these (generally) sympathetic characters.
I found a couple of the storylines related to Jason to...more
I have read only one other Coupland novel The Gum Thief and I found the novel haunting yet real it is not often that can be said about an author.
This is the story or young lovers, secretly married, secretly having a baby and then suddenly in an act of violence...more
I thought that the telling of the story from four different perspectives at four different times was a well-used technique, as it helped to capture not only the event that is the catalyst for the story (the school shooting that kills the first narrator), but also the ripple effect that event set off. I didn't necessarily feel that each narrator's voice was unique enough, and...more
I'm sorry I waited so long to read it. The way the 4 narrators told their stories and how you were able to understand how the actions of one person can affect so many people was wonderful....more
Bad sign when the book's antecedent action is so much more appealing than the actual plot, and when you find yourself thinking this is too dark to be funny, too quirky to be taken seriously, and too odd to be enjoyed.
Not an apology for violence by any means, but rather a pretty profound cataloging of many various types of tragedy, and a criticism of the endless ways in which people can bring these flavors of tragedy upon themselves and others. However, in the end, the point of the story for me is one of redemption; in the corresponding catalog of the w...more
Then Heather's section made me bored and Reg's section made me want to die.
I felt like Coupland wanted this to be a big thinker of a book about religion and family, but it just fell flatly into a whole bunch of...more
the good parts are so unerringly perfect and divine. the idea makes me giddy with excitement (the first quarter is narrated by a 16-year-old born again christian girl who's just been shot in a high school massacre, and is in some place after death but still without knowledge of whether there is a heaven or hell or just nothingness), and afte...more
It's interesting - while I recall Microserfs as being both grim and amusing, this title is mostly grim. There's some beautiful turns of phrase, though - some crystal-clear moments of almost theological brilliance. Fitting, I suppose, as one of the characters (paterfamilias Reg) is as pursed-lips holy-roller as you've seen...more
Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles what becomes her last will and testament on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. Overrun with paranoia, teenage angst, and religious zeal in the massacre's wake, this sleepy suburban neighborhood declares its saints, brands its demons, and moves on. But for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains permanently derailed. Four dramatically dif
The book is divided into four different sections each written from the point of view of four of the main characters as they struggle to hold together their lives after a...more
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unattractive traits in people are cheapness, clinginess, neediness, unwillingness to change and
jealousy. Jealousy is the worst, and by far the hardest to conceal.”