Eleanor Rigby
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Eleanor Rigby

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  6,988 ratings  ·  341 reviews
Liz Dunn isn't morbid, she's just a lonely woman with a very pragmatic outlook on life. Overweight, underemployed, and living in a nondescript condo with nothing but chocolate pudding in the fridge, she has pretty much given up on anything interesting ever happening to her. Everything changes when she gets an unexpected phone call from a Vancouver hospital and a stranger t...more
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published 2004 by Random House of Canada
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Community Reviews

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Kim


“What if God exists but he doesn’t really like people very much?”

It’s 2am. I’m willing back an emotional outburst. It manifests itself in the usual way—lump in the throat, shaky hands. Damn. I hate this and then again…. Do you ever feel like the Tin Man? It’s a horrible feeling. ”I feel like that one Scrabble tile that has no letter on it.” Exactly

It’s been a dozen years (at least) since I’ve read Coupland. I remember being inspired by Generation X and feeling like I was a piece of living histor...more
RandomAnthony
Lonely people want to be dead, yet we’re still not quite ready to go—we don’t want to miss the action; we want to see who wins next year’s Academy Awards.

Doug Coupland’s Eleanor Rigby is tailor-made for dedicated readers fond of literature-focused social networking sites and who maybe, you know, sometimes think they should have more face to face interaction with other human beings but friends, in flesh and blood, can just be so exhausting. Liz, narrator and nondescript cubicle dweller, looks do...more
Neja
Coupland's books are so unique. I've read three so far and I just have a feeling, that all his books are so out of the ordinary. I wonder, if all this weird questions that appear in his books are basically his questions…and all these random thoughts are his. I love this kind of writing-writing the same way someone speaks. Just laying it all out in the open. Without thinking it through. This story is so captivating and interesting and my favorite so far. But I plan on reading them all. I almost g...more
Npaw
Didn't finish - couldn't finish. I mean seriously, the woman is called to the hospital to see the son she's never met, goes home to clean house and then joins him to crawl on the side of the freeway before bringing him home to make some eggs? If this was given to me in a workshop I would have suggested he go to McDonald's University instead of getting his MFA. "All the lonely people" would rather be alone than spend read this book. Paul McCartney wrote about a spinster, not a spastic.
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trin
I loved this one. As could probably be inferred by the title, this is a book about loneliness—a reoccurring theme for Coupland. The narrator, Liz Dunn, is the type of anonymous, forgotten woman described in the Beatles' song, wonderfully fleshed out—I found her incredibly believable and moving. (Coupland in general writes women very well—in other words, like any other character, male or female.) Aside from a bit of weirdness involving some radioactive material and a German prison, this is actual...more
Roberta
Non sono ancora sicura di cosa penso di questo romanzo. Sicuramente la narrazione in prima persona di Liz, che ci parla dal futuro e ha l'abitudine di evitare completamente un argomento fino a quando non è più possibile farlo, e quindi ci catapulta all'improvviso nel bezzo di un evento inaspettato, a volte anche estremamente surreale (sto pensando all'episodio dell'aeroporto in particolare), è avvincente, ma a tratti le sue riflessioni sulla solitudine e sulla mortalità (o semplicemente la morte...more
Venessa
All the lonely people—where do they all come from? Coupland examines this in his latest novel, a superb work that I devoured in less than twenty-four hours because I could not put it down, the way I am about most Coupland novels {although I’ve only read three so far}. What Coupland reveals in this novel is that loneliness can take many shapes and forms within people, that beautiful people can also be lonely, as well as those who are so bizarre they naturally draw others to them. And in fact, one...more
Sara
I was expecting a light, entertaining read, that I would enjoy but probably wouldn't contemplate much after reading, based on my previous experience with Douglas Coupland years ago. Picking up after the first several pages, which were a cliche depiction of lonely Liz Dunn, this was the case. However, the book inexcusably ended like Coupland needed to tidy up quickly and move on or else. I re-read the last pages, thinking maybe I'd fallen asleep and missed a transformation of events; I hadn't.

Michael Conland
I'm afraid I've long since passed my peak of patience with Douglas Coupland. I guess this isn't so much a review of Eleanor Rigby, as it is a review of anything I've read by him. I must have read at least 6 or 7 of his books and I think I could equally apply this review to most of them.

The first of his I read was Jpod and I still enjoy that. I then read Generation X and I enjoyed that too. But with each passing book of his I've read, I've enjoyed them less and less. I don't know if that's a sign...more
Tori
"You have to decide whether you want God to be here with you as a part of your everyday life, or whether you want God to be distant from you, not returning until you've created a world perfect enough for Him to re-enter."

I got more from this than I care to admit. Loneliness is something no one wants to admit to and it's scary and sad to think of a person's life slipping away year after year with nothing to look forward to and no one to share happiness with. It's tragic and also very real. It's a...more
Heather
Liz Dunn is lonely. She’s overweight and bitter, with a nondescript office job and absolutely no one in her life except her mother and siblings. Her future stretches ahead, each day no different than the last, each year no different than the one before.
The story begins in the summer of 1997. Hale-Bopp comet streaks across the Canadian skies, and Liz comes to a realization. From that moment forward, Liz decides to go with the flow. No more trying to control everything. All she wants from life is...more
Sophia
This is a step away from Coupland's usual; there's the same piercing prose, the same uncanny finger on the heart of modern life, the same engrossing characters, but the language has been stripped down to essentials. While I've always loved his dense, allusion-filled writing, it's equally enjoyable to see him strive for a cleaner style. The narrator is Liz Dunn, a pragmatic, sharp-tongued, utterly lonely woman who receives a phonecall which, for a little while, changes everything. The beauty in t...more
Kalisa
Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland is the story of a lonely woman - as she reminds us about 16 times per page - who is home for a week recuperating from having her wisdom teeth removed, when she gets a call from the hospital. She's listed as the next-of-kin contact on someone she's never heard of. Turns out he's the grown child hat she'd given up for adoption when she was 16. The book is a little disjointed and it takes some really odd turns (like when she takes her lucky meteor with her to Germa...more
Elaine
I think this is my second Coupland book and it was a good read. Unique story-line and good follow-through despite a hokey plot twist at the end. It was another easy read which is perfectly fine with me since my brain is too tired nowadays too follow anything more complicated. Still, I want to be entertained, not bored and this book fit the bill perfectly. As far as a mini-description? I guess it’s a story about a woman’s journey and self-discovery. It’s not truly woman-centric though so don’t le...more
Chris
Apr 19, 2014 Chris marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

“The Liz Dunns of this world tend to get married, and then twenty-three months after their wedding and the birth of their first child they establish sensible lower maintenance hairdos that last them forever. Liz Dunns take classes in croissant baking, and would rather chew on soccer balls than deny their children muesli… I am a traitor to my name.”

Liz Dunn is one of the world’s lonely people. She’s in her late thirties and has a boring cubicle job at a communications company, doing work that i

...more
Jen
Really, I feel this is more of a 2.5, but I'm rounding up because I really enjoyed the first part of the book.

First off, this was a really quick read. Coupland's style is easy to read. There aren't chapters per se, but the book is punctuated in chapter-ettes and the whole thing is divided into 2 sections. I really liked the first section, the second section left me feeling a bit "WTF."

I can see why so many people dislike the narrarator, Liz. She's a fairly unlikeable character but it's her beli...more
Dan
I felt this book to be quite cohesive and strong for Coupland (I've read about 6 others), although the book didn't move me quite as much as I expected. No real weak points and maybe a bit anti-climatic, but very enjoyable to read, as his social observation was very sharp throughout. Overall, I thought it was more cohesive, but less ambitious than Girlfriend in a Coma.
Rachel
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The beginning started off with promise--I even copied several lines into my journal I liked them so much:

"Like anybody, I wanted to find out if my life was ever going to make sense, or maybe even feel like a story..."

"I decided that instead of demanding certainty from life, I now wanted peace. No more trying to control everything--it was now time to go with the flow."

Coupland sets up what I thought was going to be an introspective character stu...more
Stephani
Meh. I kind of didn't remember reading this. I do remember thinking, really? Then I told Rachel that I didn't really know why she passed this one along, and she also didn't remember reading it. Unmemorable and kind of relying on my (nonexistent) pathos a little much. I don't know how to review books.
Chloe Walker
I had seen 'Player One' in a bookshop, and being on a 'not buying book year to try and stop my shelves from overflowing', I headed to the library to try and find it. It wasn't there, but the blurb of this book looked interesting so I started reading, and was still reading it an hour later.

I loved this book. Sometimes you read books full of philosophical musings, and they feel so apart from the rest of the story it's obtrusive (The Winner Stands Alone by Paolo Coelho jumps to mind). Here however,...more
Rachel
I found this book to be less than memorable. I don't see how anyone can find the characters in this book interesting, let alone compelling. Coupland needs to abandon the quest for "quirk" and try maybe writing something effective, or at least memorable.
Michael
I read this book at least once per year. It's not my favorite Coupland book, but it puts me in the mood to write.
Pedro
Este é um daqueles livros sobre os quais não vale a pena escrever nada. Não tem história. Não tem grandes descrições. Não tem ideias. Não tem figuras de estilo. Não é em verso. O que é que sobra para se poder falar? Nada. Pois… Não é assim. Este livro transmite sensações. E boas. De calma, tranquilidade, resignação, tristeza e de alguma beleza, embora não consiga localizar nenhuma destas coisas em nenhuma daquelas páginas. A história inexistente é mais ou menos assim; uma turma de finalistas de...more
bookyeti
Look at all the lonely people…

“Death without the possibility of changing the world is the same as a life that never was.”

Enter lonely Liz Dunn. Thirty-something, overweight, friendless, neglected by society, and under appreciated by her dysfunctional family and workmates. Struggling under the millstone of loneliness, Lizz is resigned to the idea that anything interesting will ever happen in to her. Often misunderstood, her extremely pragmatic outlook on life is often mistaken for as morbid and a...more
Paula
This is my first Coupland novel. I probably should have picked a more highly acclaimed one, especially since I'm not familiar with his work. The first several chapters were page-turners for me. I did have a bit ot trouble relating to Liz after she had crawled down the freeway with Jeremy. The book did smack of the surreal, and it was a bit contrived in places. I agree with the reviewer who said it became disjointed, or "fell apart" in the last 1/4 of the book. Encountering radioactive material o...more
Brian
when i left portland i was on a desperate search to find out who i had loaned this book to, because i really wanted to read it again. since i had to re-purchase it, whoever has my old copy has technically stolen it from me and we are no longer friends. this book is great!

--

i have started this review a couple of times, but the thing is: i'm speechless. or wordless or whatever -less employs perfectly to convey what i want.

this book was an absolute page turner, so random and just so good. hope in t...more
Valeriane
Titre inspiré par la chanson éponyme des Beatles, le dernier roman (paru en français, j'entends) de Douglas Coupland met en scène Liz Dunn. Le lien entre les deux...la solitude.
Lizz Dunn, 36 ans, est obèse et vit seule dans un appartement pas très folichon. Sa famille prend quelque peu de ses nouvelles, mais la considère comme un cas désespéré. Lizz, elle, n'attend pas grand chose de son avenir. Elle sort d'une opération des dents de sagesse et passe sa semaine de convalescence entre anti-douleu...more
Koko
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Blandine
What a disappointment! I will start off stating that I really wanted to love this book. It was advised to me by a friend, and it is named after a Beatles song. This latter point is actually the reason why I picked this particular book by Coupland, and not another one.

This was my very first book by Douglas Coupland. As a result, I had no idea what to expect style-wise but I had high hopes. The book begins with the introduction of the main character, the self-proclaimed lonely Liz Dunn. The descri...more
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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 JPod Hey Nostradamus!

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“Below a certain point, if you keep too quiet, people no longer see you as thoughtful or deep; they simply forget you.” 55 likes
“I curled myself into a ball and cried quietly, doing that thing that only young people can do, namely, feeling sorry for myself. Once you're past thirty you lose that ability; instead of feeling sorry for yourself you turn bitter.” 25 likes
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