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Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People Hardcover – 3 Nov 2011


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Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People + Worst. Person. Ever. + Douglas Coupland - Shopping in Jail: Ideas Essays and Stories for the Increasingly Real 21st Century
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann (3 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434021598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434021598
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 1.7 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"In the future, if people are curious about what it was like to live in our times, in the early 21st century, they will do well to read Douglas Coupland." --Yann Martel, "What Is Stephen Harper Reading? "(blog) "I know I'm not alone in thinking that Douglas Coupland is one of our finest chroniclers of modern life. . . . Memo to the Custodians of CanLit: Big Ideas can be delivered with humour and wit." --"National Post"" ""Coupland is a great ironist of our time, perhaps without comparison in Canada. He has a talent for writing about reality in a deliciously unrealistic way, and a talent for concocting ingenious events that come from nowhere, yet are possessed of their own internal logic. . . . His satire is both merciless and amusing. A slacker version of Mordecai Richler, he has come to resemble the campier literary stars of the 1960s and '70s, like Richard Brautigan and Tom Robbins. He's a Voltaire without the rage, a Vonnegut without the big reach." --"Th

Book Description

A dark, funny and satirical collection of fairy tales from the bestselling author of Jpod, Generation X and Generation A

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 100 REVIEWER on 23 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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. None of the stories though are boring - the GI Joe toy with "issues" when he returns from duty, the Barbie who's crazy, the alcoholic mini-van and the sociopathic juice box.

The stories have the feel of a cross between a Simpsons Hallowe'en Special story and a cutaway sketch from Family Guy, with a hint of Coupland's eye for telling detail thrown in. That is to say the stories are entertaining and, especially in the case of the zombie sub, very funny.

Don't expect a lengthy read though, as in the tradition of children's stories, even fake ones, the text is a paragraph (large font) to a page with plenty of artwork thrown in. Even for a quick half hour read though, it's good fun and definitely worth picking up.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Margo Milne on 8 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
...then this is the book for you!

It's very definitely not a children's book. Late teens or adults, I'd say. With that proviso, and assuming the person has a pretty "dark" sense of humour, this could be an ideal Christmas present.

It's a series of stories featuring some pretty surreal characters - a malicious juice carton, for instance! These characters then set out to wreak havoc in their particular,and usually rather unpleasant ways.

The stories are perfectly complimented by the frequent illustrations.

I loved this book, and I'll be buying some more copies as gifts. It's wonderful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm a fan of Douglas Coupland but wasn't too sure about this book when I first heard about it. Seeing it in a shop however made me want to buy it. This small, thin hardback is full of delightfully twisted illustrations and the whole thing resembles a childrens storybook but written by "The League of Gentlemen".

Readable in an hour or so, the book features seven short stories, the titles of which are enjoyable in themselves: 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 hobo minivan with extremely low morals; and Mr Fraser, the undead substitute teacher. Each story is very short and peppered with illustrations, and they are all wonderfully dark in a "League of Gentlemen" / "Psychoville" style. This is not a book for children, but is instead a book for those of us who love dark humour, especially when written in an inappropriate context - after all, when as a child did you read books featuring zombies, vampires, and vengeful juice cartons?

Look under the paper cover too if you buy this - there are extra illustrations hidden below. I also loved the wonderfully sinister endpapers.

A dark, twisted delight to end the year. A joy.
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