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Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People
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Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  636 ratings  ·  116 reviews
In the grand tradition of Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies, Tim Burton's Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Hillaire Belloc's Cautionary Tales for Children, comes Douglas Coupland and Graham Roumieu's Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People.

Ever wonder what would happen if Douglas Coupland's unhinged imagination met Graham Roumieu's insane knack for illustrating the r
Hardcover, 131 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Random House Canada
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Average rating 3.22  · 
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Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, short-stories
Should possibly have been titled Highly Inappropriate Tales for Sensitive Souls based on the reactions I've seen for this wonderfully mean spirited book of short stories from Douglas Coupland.

Laughing out loud, snorting milkshakes out of your nose and dirty snickering on public transport are most likely to be the responses to these stories for those of you who aren't so delicate that you think that a playground bully juice box who lures other juice boxes to their deaths under the wheels of cars
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
Laugh out loud funny but only for those with a dark sense of humor.

I laughed out loud of course....five stars!
Mathew Bookworm Smith
7 incredibly crude and disturbing tales reminiscent of kids fairy tales but with a modern twist.

I'm sure you've made a comment on how violent and frightening classic fairy tales are. Like those curious kids, Hansel and Gretel, finding a nice candy house only to be thrown in an oven. Or, Little red riding hood, who is hoodwinked by a hungry wolf whose head is eventually chopped off. Right, for some reason these were deemed appropriate for children. Well, the stories in this book are along the sa
Dec 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
I didn't laugh, and they weren't clever. They were just children's stories with death added in to make them "inappropriate." I only really liked (and only mildly) the one about the exchange student, but I found some of the racist remarks troubling (I know that it was supposed to be a "commentary" on people's inaccurate stereotypes on people from Germany, but the ending only seemed to confirm those stereotypes, hence I was troubled).

Children's-books-for-adults is a genre I'm quite interested in,
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: I have not read this popular Canadian author, but the book intrigued me as I do like quirky, snide humour.

I'll start off with some caveats. This book is *not* for children, nor really *for* young people if one is thinking young means teenager. The word young here would apply to the opposite of old. I think the book would have been more appropriately named "Highly Inappropriate Tales *About* Young People". The publisher's summary contains this phrase " If you are over the age
Feb 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
So there I was. Looking at the books in the library and then the title of this one popped out at me. Then when I saw the cover I was convinced I had to give it a go. If only for the giggles. Now I admit I didn't go into reading this book with high expectations. In fact I actually went into it with very low expectations.

At only 131 pages I knew I wasn't going to be wowed. I was just looking for a quick and easy read because I seem to be falling behind this month in terms of my reading goal for t
Mar 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
I absolutely detested this book (maybe that's the point?) I always read everything Doug Coupland publishes but not because I admire his work. Ever since Life After God, I feel some kind of connection to this author, some responsibility to him. It's as if Coupland is a family member with which I have had a severe falling out. And, despite the fact that almost everything he says makes me angry, I am compelled to read it because I still, deep deep down, care about him.

I would never ever ever recomm
Dec 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-my-favourite
I thought that this book would be funny, the short narratives seemed to be promising. With titles like "Brandon, the action figure with issues" and "Cindy the terrible role model," I was expecting to laugh a lot. While some of the stories were amusing, I didn't find any of them funny, and I don't really get the purpose of the book. I didn't think any of the titles were particularly inappropriate for young people, I just thought they were bizarre and unconnected. Overall, this book did not fulfil ...more
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction, humour
HA HA HAHAHAHAHAHHAhahahahahahaha!
This book just made me had the same flavour as Grimmer Tales which also made me LAUGH. OUT. LOUD.
My favourite selection was Donald, the Incredibly Hostile Juice Box. Those of you without a sense of humour and those who do not enjoy dark comedy may want to just move on, nothing to see here.
Sep 26, 2011 rated it liked it
A strange little read, but it is Douglas Coupland, after all, so you shouldn't be expecting anything less than weird. Entertaining, but only if you have a bit of a sick sense of humour. Full review to come in the December 2011 issue of Quill & Quire. ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
The jacket cover promises stories so funny that they'll make you pee. Ultimately, I must be part of the wrong generation (i.e. baby boomer/gen x)... the overuse of irony and sarcasm was just tiring to me. But maybe that is an insight into how millenials and their immediate pre-cursors think.
May 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
Boring, unoriginal and not funny at all. Coupland and Roumieu are usually both great on their own, but in this collection they fail miserably. Like many others here have commented this collection feels rushed and it's not funny at all. Don't waste your time.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While well-written enough, with nice touches on details, and funny art, I guess I just don't get why this book exists, other than for a small dose of black humor where the authors try and see what they can get away with. It's alright, but also forgettable.
Jack Bunce
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious. A must read for Coupland lovers. Not safe for kids.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastically dark
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
interesting take on humour....
Jessica Bartlett
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Short and easy read, imaginative dark humour. I certainly haven’t read anything else like it. It wasn’t quite to my tastes, but a few parts made me grin or chuckle.
W Goldsmith
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Should be part of elementary school curriculum
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
I laughed out loud at one story and it was the last one in the book. Maybe it just wasn't my type of humor, but I found the stories somewhat creepy with perhaps had a bit of dry humor sprinkled on top. This is something I picked up just for fun and would never want to read again.
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
From the imaginative mind of Douglas Coupland, and the talented artistic hand of Graham Roumieu, comes Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People. True to its name, this book contains seven faux-children's tales that are, indeed, highly inappropriate, and are accompanied by equally inappropriate drawings. From the sociopathic juice box with a bad attitude (who gets joy out of tricking other juice boxes into getting run over), to the Barbie with a thirst for blood (who goes crazy when her owner ...more
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I found this to be a really interesting book. While I've rated it three stars, I can imagine it being rated very well by a niche group of readers with a particular sense of humour. I think it will be well love by some, hated by others, but leave most of us feeling kind of 'meh' like we missed the jokes.

Leaving the crude content and particular brand of humour aside, the work is quite unique and well thought out on a few levels. The stories are constructed and illustrated as many children's pictur
Jennifer Rayment
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it
The Good Stuff

Won't lie this book is way to cool and intelligent for me
Truly unique
Odd and disturbing yet snort out loud funny at times
Illustrations too are one or a kind
Have a feeling this will be loved by some, truly hated by others and for simple girls like me just meh and way over my head
Truly in the spirit of Grimm's Fairy Tales
Wonderfully imaginative- this is a man you never have to worry about being predictable
Dialogue of the characters is odd yet refreshingly honest
The zombie su
Sam Quixote
Nov 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Douglas Coupland tries his hand at faux-children's stories in the tradition of Tim Burton's "Oyster Boy", Tom Baker's "Boy Who Kicked Pigs" and Roald Dahl's "The Twits", teaming up with artist Graham Roumieu to give the reader some contemporary and inappropriate fairy tales for the 21st century.

The best ones were set in high school - the weird foreign-exchange student with a grim secret and strange rituals, and the zombie substitute teacher who asks the students to recommend which child to eat.
This, and other reviews can be found on my blog Just a Lil' Lost

Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People is a collection of seven horribly ridiculous and hilarious short stories. From a hobo minivan to a wretched babysitter, a strange exchange student to an action figure with issues, Coupland spins some wickedly devilish tales that are sure to shock and delight.

If ever there was a very aptly-named book, it would be this one. Written with such dry humour and sarcasm, Coupland – with Roumieu’s
Aaron (Typographical Era)
Your mother may have told you to never judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland and Canadian illustrator Graham Roumieu’s debut collaboration you should tell that windbag of a child-bearer to mind her own business because everything you need to know about this novel’s contents is right there for the taking:

1.It clearly states that the collection was written by Douglas Coupland (Generation X, Microserfs, Hey Nostradamus!, jPod, Player One) and was illust
Michel Siskoid Albert
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
To cleanse my palate of the big bricks that took my whole summer to read, I moved on to Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People, a faux children's book by Douglas Coupland, with art by Graham Roumieu. A quick read, but a rather disappointing one. The seven stories are dark and often violent, but Coupland is basically inserting pop culture references and new technologies into them like it's interesting. It's a trick that gives him novels some immediacy, but none of the stories are long enough ...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
I came across this in the library, never having heard of either the author or the illustrator before. I picked it up, browsed and was hooked finding the humour lol funny.

It is a delightfully dark and warped vignette of funny and very clever nastinesses which definitely put a smile on my face.

In almost the same category as ‘go the fuck to sleep’, this is a selection of inappropriate stories with suitable illustrations. The stories include ‘Donald the incredibly hostile juice box’ who enjoys murde
Annette Abbott
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Coupland is my favourite author and can do (write) no wrong.

I cant remember how I stumbled onto the information about this book - especially since it's only available through amazon Canada and not US. It was well worth the cost of shipping though.

Here are the titles of these weird, wonderful, and fun stories:

Donald, the Incredibly Hostile Juice Box
Sandra, the Truly Dreadful Babysitter
Hans, the Weird Exchange Student
Brandon, the Action Figure with Issues
Cindy, the Terrible Role Model
Kevin, the
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
It takes a while to hit its stride, which in a short book is not a good thing. Skip the first two stories though, and it's quite amusing and clever. If you really want to save time, skip the others and go straight to the last story: "Mr Fraser, The Undead Substitute Teacher". A zombie arrives to teach a class of high school students, and sets them the following assignment:


Why didn't they have teachers like that when I was at school? :(
Danielle Klassen
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you are a fan of Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies or Burton's Oyster Boy, you will love this book. It's a great little collection of black humor tales that really draw on the tradition of these previous authors but I think that Douglas Coupland does a great job of making tales that are definitely in the spirit while true to his own style. DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE NOT INCLINED TO LIKE THE OTHER STORIES LISTED ABOVE. This humor is not something that all people will enjoy or appreciate and that should b ...more
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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

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