The tense parts leading up to the raid were awesome and so was the town meeting. I liked when he would pull back and write as the narrator speaking to the reader directly. I also loved when the kids went out with the Geiger counter. And this was a small detail but I LOVED when he would write about Horace and sort of take you inside his thought processes.
The ending was super cheeseballs but I would have been disappointed if it wasn't. Actually, disappointed doesn't really cover it. If I spent two weeks lugging that beast around on the subway and then they all died I would have thrown my book at a wall [which probably would have made a pretty large hole]. I even thought that a few of the deaths that did happen were gratuitous - mainly I'm thinking of Carolyn, Benny, Thurston, Ernie & Aiden - but it is what it is. It's just that after a while you start being like, ok, we get the point, everything sucks. I'm just so glad he didn't kill off Romeo Burpee; he was my favourite character by far and I wanted to cry every time there was a possibility of anything remotely bad happening to him. I also liked Barbie a lot - maybe not as much as the love of my life Stu Redman from The Stand who he did remind me a lot of, but he was a good character. Linda and Julia were sort of annoying but I really liked Norrie and Piper. I wish that Sammy Bushey hadn't killed herself either because I thought she would have added a lot to the story.
I wished that Ollie Dinsmore would have been introduced earlier too. I don't necessarily mean making him a bigger character, but just imagine how SICK it would have been if he was the first character to be introduced? KJDFJLJ thinking about it makes me crazy. Obviously though he was still incredible and I died a little inside when I thought he wasn't going to make it.
Jim Rennie was a GREAT villain. It's weird to say that I loved him but I just loved how messed up he was. I felt the same about Junior and the Chef. Especially Chef, because I didn't feel like the situation was totally black & white with him. He wasn't evil like Jim Rennie and the rest of the cops.
All of this brings me to another thing I liked but found disturbing about the book - what it said about power and authority. Minus the stuff about aliens it was completely plausible; the motives behind what Jim Rennie did, and also everything that happened with the police force - similar things have and continue to happen every single day. The supernatural element was there - actually, it felt more like science fiction to me which was also probably why I liked it - but the story was really about the characters. I liked The Stand for the same reason. He set this scenario up but it was the people living that scenario that actually drove the story.
Anyway, I'm sad it's over. I read that they are making it into a miniseries directed by Steven Spielberg and adapted by Brian K. Vaughan, so if that ever actually happens I'm super excited to watch it. I read a lot of blogs where people suggested John Goodman to play Jim Rennie, but I don't know if I would back that... and someone else suggested Ty Burell play Chef which I thought was sort of a brilliant idea.
Also a small note - one thing I am consistently disappointed about with Stephen King is his lack of positive (or actually, anything but negative) potrayals of POC and/or queer people, and this unfortunately did nothing to fix that problem... please get on that SK. (hide spoiler)](less)
First of all, if you don't know anything about this book, I will warn you that it doesn't have any quotation marks [or apostrophes, if I remember corr...moreFirst of all, if you don't know anything about this book, I will warn you that it doesn't have any quotation marks [or apostrophes, if I remember correctly] and includes the liberal use of run-on sentences. I don't have anything against stylized writing like that when it works, and I know people absolutely love Cormac McCarthy. But I thought this book was boring. I'm sorry! I have to say it! I do a lot of my reading on the subway, and there were days when I chose staring at the train walls/floor over reading this book. Take from that what you will. But I found it was just like, "blah blah blah riding and eating tortillas and falling in love with a girl I just met." Also, maybe this makes me lazy, but I felt like because I lack even a basic understanding of Spanish, my comprehension of what was happening in certain scenes was... limited.(less)
As always with Coupland, this book is incredibly witty and observant. But I was disappointed by the ending - it was pretty out there, and not in a goo...moreAs always with Coupland, this book is incredibly witty and observant. But I was disappointed by the ending - it was pretty out there, and not in a good way, but in a way that didn't seem to match the first half of the book. (less)
This is by far my favourite Coupland book. It has a lot of techy details, which I always find interesting. But I think it's also a perfect example of...moreThis is by far my favourite Coupland book. It has a lot of techy details, which I always find interesting. But I think it's also a perfect example of what he does best - striking a perfect balance between hefty doses of pop culture and heartbreakingly true insights about the painful [and beautiful] parts of being human. (less)
Unpopular opinion time: I didn't think this book lived up to its hype.
I mean, it was definitely good, but not mind-blowing. Someone told me it was th...moreUnpopular opinion time: I didn't think this book lived up to its hype.
I mean, it was definitely good, but not mind-blowing. Someone told me it was their favourite book once, and I almost spittaked. [Spittook?] I understand why people like it - I did get through it fast - but it didn't change my life or anything.
The writing is really clean, to the point that you don't even really notice it, but still evocative. I think maybe that's the key. But I also felt as though everything was too obvious.
Like OMGGG Jacob has a ~WAY WITH ANIMALS~ and is sensitive! Working men can't mix with performers! FORBIDDEN LOVE! MISFTIS AND ROGUES and the HARSH LIFE OF THE CIRCUS! The blurb on the back was like "reminiscent of Robertson Davies" and only being able to judge by the one book of his I've read [Fifth Business], it's more like... Roberston Davies mixed with Nicholas Sparks. Also I find that the characters talk like it's the present day, not the 30s, which is good in a way because I hate slogging through too much dialect. But I think its sheer saccharine-ness [I declare this a word] is the hardest thing for me to swallow.
(view spoiler)[ I could semi handle the fact that the elephant apparently "smiles" and "cries". I could even handle Jacob being all "August you are a MONSTER for not respecting these magnificent creatures, I am so noble, MARLENA I WILL DEFEND YOUR HONOUR". And then I got to the sex scene and I had to officially tap out. I mean:
"Please," I gasp, my voice cracking. "Please, let me be inside you."
I read this book in order to give a presentation in publishing school - the criteria were that we had to talk about a Can-Lit novel written after 2010...moreI read this book in order to give a presentation in publishing school - the criteria were that we had to talk about a Can-Lit novel written after 2010. I was absolutely floored by it. Even though heavy themes about gender roles & our culture of male violence were always looming overhead, I never felt the characters took a backseat to the ideas. The writing was raw and beautiful and the conclusion heartbreakingly inevitable.(less)