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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great birthday present for son
Published 1 month ago by LJH

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than his recent books!
I love Douglas Coupland's older books but have been sorely disappointed by his recent publications.
This is closer to the humour and observation of his older books with plenty of ridiculous, but it still feels like he's fallen out of love with the world.
The language was so strong that I almost gave up about a chapter in, but after reading another (miserable)...
Published 10 months ago by lottie


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than his recent books!, 2 Nov 2013
By 
lottie (sheffield, england) - See all my reviews
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I love Douglas Coupland's older books but have been sorely disappointed by his recent publications.
This is closer to the humour and observation of his older books with plenty of ridiculous, but it still feels like he's fallen out of love with the world.
The language was so strong that I almost gave up about a chapter in, but after reading another (miserable) book, came back and finished.
Not great, not terrible. Which is better than the last few books (and no re-use of Jeopardy! categories!).
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let the chips fall where they may..., 14 Oct 2013
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
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Oh Douglas. I wish the book I hurried to read would be the Best. Book. Ever. Well... why not. I love anti-heroes. And who is Raymond Gunt if not an anti-hero perfectly captured in out zeitgeist, also a B-camera man, most of the book trying to get to the location (remote island in the central tropical Pacific Ocean) to be a part of the production team, another part trying (unsuccessfully) to "get laid" (here's the novel where the main [anti]-hero is British, wrote by a Canadian who knows consumerist America and whose attempt to talk "British" is not that successful).

"Worst. Person. Ever" is directs scorn at the 21-century media business, the ridiculous survival (and other) reality shows, and of course, in typical Coupland fashion, obsession with consumerism. In this novel, there is another obsession, somewhat new for the Coupland fiction - obsession with sex.

First dozen of pages of the book I was excited and full of anticipation, then I was mildly bothered, then I decided to embrace it and go on a ride with Douglas and his wild and mean narrative, and then I became disappointed and annoyed. Is the book deeply satirical? Of course! But even so, how many "f**cks" and "c-words" do you need within a space of 300-odd pages to get your point across? Surely, less than a billion. The book is firm in its ambition to gross its reader out, offering a galore of chauvinism, homophobia and body excrement. It is all not that exciting and it is not easy to see the need for all of the above when there is already so much trash fiction and trashy TV. I guess the book achieved its purposes here - I was grossed out.

Of course, the "Worst. Person. Ever." the book is frequently very funny and I absolutely admired the character of Neal, the undercover sex-god living in a Samsung box before being taken on as a slave [strike that] personal assistant to Ray Gunt. Apart from that, the global warming (and the Pacific trash vortex - Google it!), atomic bombs (America's answer to problems), reality shows, cocaine-snorting TV executives, obesity and consumerism and mockery of the old: these are easy targets, and am I repeating myself or is Douglas Coupland recycling ideas one book to the next, for the past few years? There are a couple of Couplan's standard bombs of his own, which he starts to drop towards the end (dysfunctional family in all its glory, yet in comparison it does not come near to the ultimate dysfunctional family of the Drummonds form the All Families are Psychotic). I wanted to laugh more while I read it, but I didn't. Like some things you read, I think it will appear wittier and more amusing in hindsight. Already here, I am thinking of giving it 4 stars.

Reading amazing Girlfriend in a Coma and Eleanor Rigby, I felt like Douglas Coupland knew me and with each page I would fall more and more in love with his writing... But oh, Douglas...The book was announced on Twitter as "filthy, sweary and juvenile". It is. It also feels somehow out-of-date. Or maybe it's my taste in Coupland which is dated and stuck in loving his earlier novels. I refuse to evolve. And let the chips fall where they may.

I wonder, do these people exist? People like Ray Gunt, the W.P.E. Or is it just a what felt to me an experiment by (I hope) still magnificent Douglas Coupland.

Funniest. Novel. Of The Year! It is. Not.

P.S. If you have time on your hands, another thing to Google is the Burgess Shale.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Just bizarre and bad!, 14 Aug 2014
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I have been a Douglas Coupland fan since my teens and some of his books are so beautifully written. Lately they have lost a lot of his style but this is unbelievably bad. I had to double check that it was actually by him and was very very tempted to just quit reading it. It's as if he decided he should do a bad impersonation of an Irvine Welsh character. Rude, offensive and just plain stupid. It's as if he got pissed off with his publishers and decided to throw a bunch of bizarre and stupid events onto the page. I'm afraid this will be the last Coupland book I'll ever buy. Sad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Worst. Person. Ever. (Hardcover)
Great birthday present for son
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2.0 out of 5 stars I think he's lost it., 23 Jun 2014
This review is from: Worst. Person. Ever. (Hardcover)
There was a time when I would be eagerly awaiting the release of a Coupland novel, so strong where his fist books. Of the first 11 novels ( up to The Gum Thief) I absolutely loved 8, 1 was good and 2 okay, a pretty impressive record by any writers standard. What has happened? Maybe too much attention paid to other non novel projects has drained the creative juice but Generation A was a serious let down that appeared rushed and came across almost like a parody of his own work and now his latest, Worst. Person. Ever. is an even bigger let down!

It's such a shame because throughout I can see that this could and should have been brilliant. Familiar themes appear, the banality of modern life, a lack of spiritualism, greed and consumerism all subjects of major concern for society. Through the main character, a vile, foul mouthed creature with hardly any saving grace, some genuinely funny scenarios occur although there are not enough of them and I would have thought reality shows would have been an easy target for Coupland to vent away. It is a lost opportunity and by anyone's standards this book is just not worth the effort. |This book is so lacking that it has been the strongest blow to date in tarnishing his track record, I would have preferred that it had not been written. The majority of his work has been so good that I'm sure I will not be able to resist investigating further releases, however the last couple of novels have been simply poor and my appetite for his work has been severely diminished. After all, how many chances can we give you Douglas?
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5.0 out of 5 stars vulgar and funny, 13 May 2014
This review is from: Worst. Person. Ever. (Hardcover)
In the center of this story is Raymond Gunt, a middle-aged unemployed camera man, scoundrel, cad, vulgar, raunchy single Londoner. Gunt is loser, but compares himself to Jason Bourne. Well, he only is good at swearing and seeking adventures on his a**.

At the beginning of the novel he is begging his ex-wife Fiona, which he passionately hates, to find him some work. On the way to see her, Ray stumbles upon a smelly bum named Neal, whom Ray insults and kicks him in the shin. Exchanging mucks with Fiona, Ray nevertheless gets the job - to become a B-unit camera man for reality show "Survivor"-like. Casting agency will pay air fare for Ray and his assistant to a small island in the Pacific Ocean, where the show will be made. Gunt just needs to gather his things and find an assistant in one day. Ray is already anticipating how he will seduce attractive show participants on the island.

Our hero has a problem with finding an assistent: Gunt is so disgusting that he has no friends. Nobody wants to communicate with him, and then Ray has an idea to make his slave, as he puts it, a homeless Neal. Ray finds Neal in a cardboard box and offers him a job. Neal coincidentally has a passport and does not mind to spend on the island a few weeks. Ray cleans and washes Neal, and the next morning they leave for the airport.

If Worst. Person. Ever. was planned as a satire, then the idea failed. Attempts to stabs at the reality shows, Americans, British and others find themselves in the shadow of the novel’s hero, who is also antihero, Raymond Gunt. If this is satire, it is not on someone in particular, but on people in general.

But the novel has a life as a kind of idiotic version of The Bourne Ultimatum, since Gunt compares himself to Jason Bourne. Worst. Person. Ever. is nonstop action, and everything that happens defies explanation, so that any spy thriller pales in comparison. Copeland's imagination is sound: by the time the novel gets to the equator, the protagonist hasn’t even made it to the promised island. This is how Copeland hones his plot skills on the scenes in London, in the air and at airports.

What the author shows as well it's his fearlessness and shamelessness. Gunt is not afraid of anyone or anything, with his foul mouth he curses all his eyes see. Children with disabilities, 9/11, homeless, overweight - for Gunt (and Copeland) the are no taboo subjects. Making his protagonist foul-mouthed, it would be foolish not to give free rein to Gunt’s rudeness. He swears at children and parents, does not know elementary decency, does not miss a chance to curse at anything. In a continuous flow of cursing one can even find some charm.

The central character is surrounded also by people far from ideal, among them many lusty as Raymond, and foul-mouthed, as Raymond, but compared to Gunt any of the minor characters will look like an angel.

For such a shaggy story the book has too sudden ending, such as if suddenly Coupland has become tired of finishing the novel, and he put an end to the middle of a paragraph. But novel’s adventures atone for this deficiency.

For all the vulgarity and coarseness the novel has its own charm, and not small, but it lacks, that's really strange to admit, morality. Though it may be strange to expect morality from the novel, where the protagonist washes from his own s*** from time to time.

This book is unlikely to teach you something bad, maybe it even makes you feel better. Still, the worst person ever is not you.
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1.0 out of 5 stars almost the worst book ever., 11 May 2014
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Nowhere near his best work. Lacks the wit and depth of his previous writings, a one dimensional story that peters out around a quarter of the way in. Disappointing.
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2.0 out of 5 stars not bad, 27 Jan 2014
By 
Glen (Amsterdam) - See all my reviews
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Didn't meet my expectations - rather poor story dynamic with little flow. Not his best work to date, but kept my attention.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Mr Coupland, 20 Jan 2014
This review is from: Worst. Person. Ever. (Hardcover)
Sometime in the near foreseeable future, TV camera Raymond - the Worst Person Ever - is sent by his ex-wife from London to Kiribati via LAX to join the crew of a Survivor like TV show. Various obstacles, including but not limited to, nuclear war impede his progress.

Cameraman Raymond needs to a job so appeals to his impish and vicious ex-wfie, Fiona, who sends him to Kiribati to film `Survival'. The contract allows him to take an assistant with him and he chooses Neal, a homeless man he encounters just after his meeting with Fiona. When he scrubbed up, Neal is not only an Olympian sex god, but a sage and philosopher, loved and shagged by all he surveys. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong for Ray while everything goes right for Neal. Ray is constantly clapped in irons (zap-strap handcuffs) by members of cabin staff, customs officers, homeland security and anyone else who has a pair. Following his limited success in reproducing the angry dance form Billy Eliot for homeland security forces on Wake Island, he and Neal are allowed to help kick off the nuclear war, ostensibly an attempt to clear the Pacific Trash Vortex. When they get to Kiribati, the whole cast of Survival has been killed in a plane crash and Fiona and her minions are in situ. Quirks of fate and linguistics mean that the Islanders hold Ray more or less responsible, in an anti-Messianic way, for not just the war, but all the troubles of the world. As the whole geopolitical infrastructure crumbles, the merry crew are left on Kiribati where they merrily set about the merry repopulation of of the too sullied world.

Coupland being Coupland WORST PERSON EVER seems to be deliberately courting headlines like Worst Coupland Ever or maybe even Worst Novel Ever. I am at something of a loss and find it hard to form an opinion. The book is dizzingly brilliant and hilarious at times and thoroughly awful at others. Ray is not the worst person ever, because everyone else in the book, in some way or another is worse. The work turns into a vanity fair of revolting freaks, cowards, liars and fools, which is somehow, not much fun.

Why is Coupland pretending to be English and attacking the USA? Why is the character Ray like an Adrian Edmondson creation? Why does this work exist at all? It is clever and amusing, but I didn't actually laugh until about page 100 and with 50 pages to go I had no desire to read any further. This is not the work of brilliant novelist doing his best work: this is tired, out-dated and unoriginal. It is simple a rehashing of stuff done infinitely better (and in substantially fewer pages) by Vonnegut in GALAPAGOS and CAT'S CRADLE
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2.0 out of 5 stars A foul-mouthed romp, 17 Nov 2013
By 
Susan Grossey "Susievintage" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Worst. Person. Ever. (Hardcover)
I should preface this review by saying that I am almost certainly not Mr Coupland's target reader, but I was curious!

This is a lively book - a romp, my dad would have called it - but the difficulty for me is that I could not sympathise with any of the characters. I know that the clue is in the title, but Raymond Gunt is a hard man to like. The bad language grates after a while - it starts to sound a bit one-note. I think I read somewhere that this book started life as a short story, and I am afraid that it still feels as though that's the right length for it - the full novel length seems forced.

On the other hand, there's no denying that this is a fun read - but perhaps not one to give to granny for Christmas!
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Worst. Person. Ever.
Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland (Paperback - 3 Oct 2013)
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