threemonkeys: (Waxlion)
"Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole". However Douglas Coupland was. In fact he calls himself one in the first few lines of JPod. I would go with pretentious wanker myself but it is a bit of a fine distinction. I offer the following pieces of evidence.

  • He makes himself a character in his own novel.

  • The novel is self referential - it describes the writing of the novel as part of the plot of the novel. Clive James must be spinning in the grave of his writing career.

  • The novel is padded out with many pages containing just a few brand names or catch phrases written in very large type face. Sometimes only one or two words on a page.

  • There is a 12 page block devoted just to listing prime numbers. A similar amount to listing Pi. Again with random numbers. Must have been a slow writing day.

  • You cannot read more than a couple of paragraphs without tripping over yet another pop culture reference.

  • Channelling Dilbert is not deep research.

  • Coupland made his name defining his own generation (X) - he now has the temerity to try to define another one. Just who does he think he is.



What a bastard right?
Umm, the thing is...
The thing is...
It is a very entertaining book. Insightful and laugh-out-loud funny. I couldn't put it down.

Asshole.
threemonkeys: (Waxlion)
I intended to do lots of domestic stuff yesterday. I put a load of laundry in the washing machine and thought I'd read a little waiting for it to finish, the get on with the other jobs. The problem is that the other jobs never got done. Apart from a break to get the washing out of the machine, I read Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland in one go.

The book is about loneliness , at least to begin with. The title rather gives it away. It is a story of a lonely woman who has her life turned around when her son, put up for adoption at birth, turn up and brightens her life until he dies of MS. It all sounds very "movie of the week". However that isn't Coupland. It is a story told in a fragmented time stream with lots of digressions, social comment and epigrams just waiting to be quoted. This may sound chaotic, yet it is written in a clear lucid manner. Further evidence relating to my rant the other day that clear writing is not mutually exclusive with inventive and clever.

I liked this book much better than Girlfriend in a Coma or Miss Wyoming. I got the impression that Coupland rather lost his way after his early generation defining work. He was searching for other major themes to define and didn't quite hit the mark. With Eleanor Rigby, he has lowerd his sights a bit to tell a personal story and has managed to tell a smart funny story in the process.

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