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Hey Nostradamus!
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Hey Nostradamus!

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  17,509 ratings  ·  672 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Flamingo (first published 2003)
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Gordon I just finished it today. It's neat, clever, and very cool.
The only gripe I had is the way that each narrator's part of the story stands quite…more
I just finished it today. It's neat, clever, and very cool.
The only gripe I had is the way that each narrator's part of the story stands quite separate from the others. It was easier to follow that way, but I would have liked some interaction between the four narrations.
You should know that the book leaves a lot of questions unanswered so if you're looking for a neat ending, it doesn't have one!(less)

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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,509 ratings  ·  672 reviews

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"The heart of a man is like deep water."

Oh wow, what a novel! It's really no accident when novels become international bestsellers.

I'm at risk of sounding like a clichéd critic, but screw it:

Hey Nostradamus! is at times wickedly hilarious, stunningly poignant, and utterly tragic. And I don't use those words lightly. I don't say something is hilarious unless I've laughed, and I often laughed aloud while reading this. If you enjoy a witty and sarcastic (sometimes dark) humour, then you'd enjoy thi
Aug 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Warning: Do not read this while depressed.

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
Oct 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dont-like, usa, 2013
I had no idea what this book was when I started reading it so I can't say I was expecting great things, I wasn't expecting anything really.

I didn't enjoy this book. Even though it was written from different points of view which is my fav format.

I didn't like any of the characters or their opinions or what they did.

I hated Jason. He simply annoyed me the most.

And I enjoyed Part 3 with Heather chasing up Allison. That was more interesting than the entire book in general.

Easy read, didn't take
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, can-lit, fiction
It’s 1988. On a morning unlike any other at a suburban high school in Vancouver, 3 teens attempt to achieve the highest kill count in the history of school shootings. Flash forward 11 years into the future; the incident has more or less been forgotten by most but remains ingrained in the memories of a select few closest to the tragedy.

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
Apr 16, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the worst book I've ever read and I've read in-progress drafts from beginning writers. There's zero difference in the narrative voices. There's a gimmick for how the story is being told (ex: a letter, notes by a court stenographer compelled to tell her story). The plot is laughable and the character reactions could be called "unrealistic" if the characters themselves behaved the least like actual people. I mean, "Well someone saw us together in this Vegas hotel lobby so, naturally, I kil ...more
Apr 18, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted the book to be so much MORE. I was really intrigued by the description.

“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
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Teresa by: rhea
I knew basically nothing about this book before I started reading it. And even though the flap mentions a massacre in the high school (not a spoiler), I wasn't prepared for those details, and I as read the first part, I actually felt very scared, which was quite appropriate for what I was reading. At the end, I again felt quite emotional, for different reasons, and was impressed with what the author could do.

Crazy things happen in this book, but only one felt very unrealistic -- and that still k
L.P. Logan

What a great book. I didn't know what to expect coming into this one, but wow. The world can be a very awful place, and this one gives no apologies in depicting it as well as the lasting consequences of such things. My heart hurts and I'm still seeing here cheering for how it ended.
Dec 06, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book 0 stars, that's how much I hate it. I bought it for $3.00 from a Barnes & Noble, and thought I'd amuse myself with it on a plane-ride home. Not only did I want to grind my eyes out forever, I wanted to make it impossible to remember by causing permanent brain injury to myself.

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
Krystal Vaughn
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-version, 2018
4.5 stars

This book, man I really did enjoy it. There was just something about it that drew me in so wholly. And it gave me a massive book hangover. Some of the content is sad and quite depressing at times, but it's very well written and narrated.
Jul 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in trauma recovery and religion
Recommended to Rebecca by: Its cover
This book really moved me, which is a total surprise being that I grabbed it at the library because I liked its cover. I know this could have been a bad idea, but I guess sometimes a good cover leads to a good inside too. I love how the author gives each character a distinctly realistic voice, something that is rare in these multi-perspective volumes. It is beautiful how we see not only the perceptions of the character's own motives, but each person's perceptions of the other characters' motives ...more
May 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is one case in which you can judge a book by its cover, and it happens to be terrible. One star could possibly be too high a rating. It reads as if written by a 9th grade student with a C- grade in english.
Graham Crawford
Once you've read a couple of Couplands, you quickly realize he essentially writes the same book over and over - or perhaps it's kinder to say his books all circle the same set of concerns (like his image of a B-movie star being sucked into a maelstrom special effect). This one covers very similar territory as "The Gum Thief" (recovery from a tragedy - finding connections through collaborate narratives...), but for me, Hey Nostradamus!" didn't work anywhere near as well. That's not to say it didn ...more
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
*mild spoilers below*

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
Aug 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is not a book that might have gotten my attention on the bookshelf, but was recommended to me by two close friends. So I picked it up at the bookstore when it was on the bargain shelf for $5 and I had a gift certificate. It then sat on my shelf for a few months until I started this whole reading marathon.
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.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could meet someone else who loved Douglas Coupland. Whenever I finish a novel of his I feel hyperaware and so happy to be alive.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
yep. a waste of time and trees.
Mar 14, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not long after I began reading this book I found myself wondering ‘Is this young adult fiction?’ it certainly reads like it. Written in a straightforward, no frills style which, no doubt, was shrewdly designed to appeal to the angst ridden teenager it is a trashy ode to ‘my parents suck’ which I could not bring myself to finish.

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
Urvashi Katiyar
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book. Just do it.

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
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So we have four narrators for the four sections of Hey Nostradamus!: Cheryl, Jason, Heather, and Reg. They narrate their parts of the story in 1988, 1999, 2003, and 2004 respectively. Cheryl and Jason were high-school lovers in 1988. Heather is Jason's girlfriend in 2003. Reg is Jason's religious fanatic father. A horrific 1988 Vancouver high-school shooting which vaguely anticipates Columbine sets the narratives in motion.

Coupland's characterization of the four narrators is deft and sympathetic
Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first foray into the world of Coupland’s writing. I quite enjoyed the story that he developed. The dark humour combined with the stark look at life and humanity to make an interesting and captivating read. There were times when I was utterly captivated with the story and others when I found the pace of the story lagged a bit. The large passage of time in the novel was quite well done. It was quite interesting to see how a single event affected 4 different individuals over the span of ...more
Mar 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: we-own
Coupland 1) never convinces me that Reg's unrelenting, myopic, savage pieties could (let alone would) spring from a Mennonite upbringing and worldview (indeed, Coupland exhibits so little understanding of the Mennonite perspective as to leave one wondering why Reg is written as having come from a Mennonite home in the first place), and 2) remains wearily incapable of giving his characters voices and ways of seeing the world distinct either from one another or from himself, and 3) commits the car ...more
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Given that it is built around at least three moments of murderous violence, I did not expect my post-read reflection on this story to be so... well, peaceful.

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
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A disjointed story about how pretty much everyone dies alone and lonely, and this is all connected to high school shootings, teen pregnancy, quickie Vegas weddings with murderous recent widows, car crashes, face twins, losing faith, clones, and people disappearing. Actually I might be doing a disservice here because if I read this review I would have got the false impression that this book is actually interesting - it wasn't, I didn't connect with the story or the people, and the plot was weak. ...more
Well this was a depressing read. In 1988, a school shooting rocks a Canadian community - a tale we hear through the voice of one of the victims, a young girl now stuck in purgatory. Then we jump years ahead to follow the lives of people who are still feeling the repercussions of this horrid event. A very different telling of such a story. Don't know if I want to read more Copeland, simply because it was such a downer.
Aug 24, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
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.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hey, Nostradamus! I liked the book, but some parts were a little bit weird.

I really liked the genre of this book, that's why I chose this book. But I had no idea where the book was going about. The fact that the story in this book can be true convicted me.

When I understand the story I liked it, so the book has surprised me. But some parts of the book were really weird. One example is Cheryl who was already dead, but still tells some stories in the book. Sometimes that was really difficult to un
jazmyn haiayiele
3.5 stars

There wasn't a real distinct difference between the narrator voices, and that bothered me, but other than that, I enjoyed this book.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Douglas Coupland sure knows how to tap into prevailing cultural phenomena and weave them into compelling tales. I like it.
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hey Nostradamus! was Douglas Coupland's response to how media wrongly put too much focus on the perpetrators of the Columbine High School Massacre of 1999 rather than the victims themselves. With this novel, he explored the points of view of victims who were both directly and indirectly affected by the unfortunate incident. This way, Coupland gave each of them a voice that told the stories that media refused to pay attention to simply because of the lack of spice that will give them high rating ...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
“In the end, I think the relationships that survive in this world are the ones where two people can finish each other's sentences. Forget drama and torrid sex and the clash of opposites. Give me banter any day of the week. ” 271 likes
“Here's what I think: the five most
unattractive traits in people are cheapness, clinginess, neediness, unwillingness to change and
jealousy. Jealousy is the worst, and by far the hardest to conceal.”
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