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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Generation A+
Having recently read and revelled in Hey Nostradamus!, I have the mad-eyed messianic urge to convert about me. Well it is a novel about (among other things) religious belief...
For some reason I have managed to get this far in my reading life without ever opening a Douglas Coupland novel, possibly because I thought he would be glib and modish and too clever by half...
Published on 23 Jun. 2004 by John Self

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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty dumb
This is a pretty easy, light read. Poor sense of characterisation, utterly absurd situations and ultimately very thin on meaning despite trying to invoke something profound.

It's readable but it's for a young audience only.
Published 9 months ago by Gary G


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, Thought-Provoking, Intelligent, Superb, 11 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Hardcover)
To my mind, Douglas Coupland holds his ground among the best writers on the North American Continent, if not the world and his work is powerful and varied, yet stamped through with his own styles.
Since "Girlfriend In A Coma", Coupland's strongest work to date, he has been branching out in style; his work becoming more involved with themes of family and multi-generational perspectives, rather than the young, superfically hip and upbeat (though often darker beneath the surface) early work.
"Hey Nostradamus!" is the novel where Coupland's new work catches up with the quality of his old work. An intelligent, deeply moving four-perspective tale of a 1989 high school shooting and its lingering impact. As with most of his work, Coupland (very much like the music of Nick Cave) is concerned with religion, the damage it can cause to a believer and the absence felt by non-believers. Coupland handles this subject matter brilliantly and his characters various philosophies are thought-provoking and lie deep without ever judging or preaching in either direction (incidentally, my understanding is that Coupland himself is an atheist but this is, in a way, beside the point).
More importantly, the story itself is deeply moving and I have to confess that, as a 21 year old guy who rarely cries over films or books, I had a tear in my eye by the end. All in all, this book can stand proudly amongst Coupland's other work, every bit as rewarding and worthwhile as "Girlfriend in A Coma", "Life After God" or most of Coupland's other work. He is back at his very best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Light and Heavy, 11 Feb. 2011
By 
Max Watt (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Paperback)
This book is easy to read and engaging. It is narrated by four characters, who have all been affected by a high school massacre and have their own side of the story to tell.

Set against the dark context of the columbine shootings, it provokes many different emotions, and while it is essentially a light read it carries a heavy atmosphere, projecting many messages to the reader in relation to loss, love, death, religion, and many others. It is also very personal, not just in relation to the characters, but for people who really were affected by the shootings.

I put this novel down feeling very close to the characters, and when I reached the emotional ending I felt that the novel has much to offer, possibly even an aspect of comedy in one particular scene.

Overall it is a simple, thought provoking story. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is only looking for a light paper-flick.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong story, in Coupland's inimitable style, 22 Dec. 2003
By 
Paul Donovan (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Hardcover)
Coupland has once again produced a strong story, with an element of the surreal creeping in. Whereas "All Families are Psychotic" had a number of surreal strands that rendered the required the reader to suspend their normal perspective, the worrying aspect of "Hey Nostradamus!" is that the principle surreal element is a school shooting that is, in fact, all too plausible. One aspect of the shooting is recounted from a victim's perspective (and from the perspective of immediately after the event), whereas the other story strands are taken from the vantage of several years after the event. The chain reactions from this are elegantly woven together - the husband of the victim who can not come to terms with the event, his relationship to his father and how that develops as a consequence of the tragedy, how his family interacts with his father. As with most of Coupland's later works, this story evolves through the different perspectives, rather than follows a rigid plot and time line.
As either an introduction to those who have not read Coupland before, of for established fans, this is a volume that is well worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A book about loss, 6 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Paperback)
Though the parts about writing diaries and the end plot about being blackmailed is rather convoluted. I feel Coupland has actually filled in the characters quite well in this one compared to his previous offerings of shampoo planetShampoo Planet for once in a Coupland novel I actually care about what happens and want to find out what happens.

The plot device about blacking out is a bit convoluted and it leaves a ton of questions in the end too. But overall very good.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Day Blossom: another Coupland classic...., 29 Dec. 2003
By 
Jason Parkes (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Paperback)
I'm a longtime fan of Douglas Coupland (though have not read All Families are Psychotic yet, as I have a stigma relating to a DC signing session I missed, choosing to watch Depeche Mode with an old friend instead- the other 364 days of the year were open, irritatingly...), thus Hey Nostradamus! was always going to be great. Many elements- existence, god, the modern world, generational relations, hedonism, meaning etc- are all present; though the style of HN! is a departure for Coupland. Delivered in four-parts from Cheryl in 1988, Jason in 1999, Heather in 2002 & Reg in 2003 we get the effects before/after of a Columbine-style massacre and its effect on the lives after...
Cheryl's part of the story comes from a beyond-life point, some people may point to The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold; a terrible book, I feel)- but they must remember the ghost character/narrator of Girlfriend in a Coma! Cheryl remembers her time with Jason, between detailing the massacre & we learn about their secret marriage and the secret pregnancy...which all became nothing after Cheryl's murder (trust me, I'm not giving the plot away! We then jump forward years to Jason in 1999, a lost soul- his section most recalls Life After God (which was my fave DC until I re-read GIAC)- he has absurd adventures with a dubious Russian gangster & his dead brother's wife (which includes a murderous subplot), as we learn more about Cheryl's death, the massacre, the media demonisation of him & his parents (his alcoholic mother & his religious father- Reg).
Heather's section moves forward another year or so and we see the same lives from a different POV, some people even appear to change (Reg) - though the central problem involves Jason's disapperance (how to disappear completely...) & a psychic. Heather is a lovely character, a lonely court room stenographer who created a fictional world with Jason, populated by people like Froggles (who recalls the animal characters of Life After God). One day, she was told, she would blossom...she's a lonely 21st Century girl & the one she really loved has gone. Heather's section is very touching. Finally, a short section from Reg- which points to hope and transcendence; the notion of God has been getting more evident in DC's work (see LAG, Girlfriend in a Coma, Miss Wyoming) & Reg believes that his letter will find its (mysterious) way to Jason...
The style and language that made prior Coupland books wonderful is very much in evidence here; Coupland takes many elements of Western life (massacre, outsiders, theology, materialism etc) & runs with it...Hey Nostradamus! is another brilliant novel from Douglas Coupland, it reminds me of an interview with Krysztof Kieslowski, where he was pleased to receive a letter from a teenage girl who had seen his film The Double Life of Veronique. She told him she liked his film as it made her realise there was such a thing as a human soul; this book makes me feel the same way...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read..., 11 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book. The author proves yet again that he has his finger on the pulse of contemporary life. His writing is crisp and engaging. Not quite up to the standards of Chuck Palahniuk and Morton Bain, but a great author all the same...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty dumb, 9 Jun. 2014
By 
Gary G (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Paperback)
This is a pretty easy, light read. Poor sense of characterisation, utterly absurd situations and ultimately very thin on meaning despite trying to invoke something profound.

It's readable but it's for a young audience only.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre, not Coupland at his best, 3 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Kindle Edition)
I bought Hey Nostradamus off the back of reading the ingenious Generation A (again) and needing more, but this does not deliver to the same standard, verges off in the direction of dull and doesn't have an ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've ever read, 5 Feb. 2008
By 
Ms. H. R. Charles "destinystar123" (Bath, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Paperback)
Wow, what an incredible book! It brought me to tears, shocked me, made me smile, gave me every possible emotion. I have never been drawn so much into a book and been physically unable to put it down.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, Dramatic, Tragic, 31 Jan. 2004
By 
Norberto Amaral (Aveiro, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Hardcover)
When I bought this book I didn't quite know what to expect. I admit I haven't read any of Coupland's previous books, most people I know haven't even heard of him before (that's what you get when you live in a small town in Portugal) and the title itself wasn't very revealing.
The story revolves around a shooting in a North Vancouver high-school in 1988 and a number of people affected directly and indirectly by that event. Now this I knew before I bought this book. Somehow I had the idea that this was some kind of "Bowling for Columbine" spin off. After all, there have been a few documentaries, movies and books lately about high school shootings especially in the US so maybe this one was *just another one*?
Not at all. This book is wonderful precisely because it stays away from politics, from the media circus, from the "social" causes of whatever happened and focuses solely on the actual people, individuals who were the victims. Not all victims, mind you: just one direct victim and her family.
So this is the story of Cheryl Anway. She finds out that she's pregnant in the morning before she left for school. Cheryl belongs to a Christian youth group where petty recrimination runs high with the sole ambition of meeting a guy, Jason. They end up together and when he wants to go further she is adamant: no sex before marriage. So fine, he says, let's get married. They end up in Las Vegas, have a cabbie as a witness, spend a night of lust at the Ceaser's before jetting off back to Vancouver at 6am. And they decide that they won't tell anyone.
We hear this story from Cheryl's mouth. At the same time she also talks about the shooting and how she died. (She's somewhere between earth and "heaven" so obviously she's in a state of enough peace of mind to tell the story. Except she has vengeance feelings against the people who killed her).
Jason also tells his story, ten years after the shooting. He lives alone and is a very bitter guy. He reflects on his relationship with Cheryl, how they had a petty fight in the morning before she was killed. He also describes what he saw of the shooting and his role: he ends up hitting one of the attackers with a well aimed stone. Unfortunately they had already hit Cheryl. He is later found by the Police holding her in a puddle of blood.
After the shooting he is thought of as being an accomplice and his feelings of shock at what happened, rejection from society and his father, a Christian weirdo, telling him he had "murder in his mind" when he held that stone are too much. And so he and his mother move away to New Brunswick, on the other coast of Canada.
I won't go further except to say that Heather, his girlfriend also tells her story two years later, and so does his father, a lone man, full of doubts about his religion.
This is a truly wonderful book. It is passionate, deals with very complex emotions and avoids all linearity that today's media throw at us when broadcasting events like a shooting. It deals only with human nature by showing how prone we are to depression, to disgust and revolt but also to forgiveness and understanding and recovery.
I will tell just one more thing: read this, you will absolutely love it.
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Hey Nostradamus!
Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland (Paperback - 15 Mar. 2004)
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