James's Reviews > Hey Nostradamus!

Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland
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's review
Oct 01, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, novels
Read in July, 2009

I bought this book for three reasons: 1) A friend of mine has been reading about Columbine, so the topic was on my mind. 2) I've never read a book by Coupland. 3) I got it cheap at a library book sale, so I figured what the hell.

The first few pages grabbed me, and I became obsessed with reading it and finished it within two days. That kind of intensity is very rare for me. What I admire most is the structure, which quite effectively, IMHO, conveys how deeply one event and one person can affect so many people's lives. They all try very hard to make things work in their lives, but there's only so much they can do. They do crazy things, some of which don't work but sure as hell enlighten them. This all rings true to me.

The first-person narration is at times pointed to specific audiences, as if they're monologues or letters (at least one section is clearly a letter). Some readers may balk at such a presentational approach, but I loved that the characters were so honest about the subjectivity of their stories. And there is sufficient consistency of details among the four narrators' sections to make the novel cohesive.

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