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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written - a strange but moving masterpiece
I'll admit to having read many of Coupland's books. As a chronicler of our vacuous, materialist age and the damage it inflicts on us as human beings, he is without peer. After his seemingly more substantial works like All Families Are Psychotic, Eleanor Rigby and Hey Nostradamus, the pared down, minimalist structure of Life After God at first seemed ethereal and...
Published on 14 Mar. 2006 by Baltoro Stick Man

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life, eh? What a let down...
This is the 8th book of Coupland's I've read and I wouldn't have read this many if I didn't think he was a great writer doing wonderful things with the novel. He's been on a roll recently starting with "Eleanor Rigby" up to his latest "Generation A" so I was interested enough to go back to those I've not read, his early books.

"Life After God" is a collection...
Published on 19 April 2010 by Sam Quixote


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life, eh? What a let down..., 19 April 2010
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
This is the 8th book of Coupland's I've read and I wouldn't have read this many if I didn't think he was a great writer doing wonderful things with the novel. He's been on a roll recently starting with "Eleanor Rigby" up to his latest "Generation A" so I was interested enough to go back to those I've not read, his early books.

"Life After God" is a collection of short stories written in blocks of 2 or 3 paragraphs per page, large font, with a single child-like illustration accompanying it. The stories are plotless and meandering. One concerns a man in a hotel talking with his neighbours and then setting free some goldfish into a reservoir. Another features a mother who's left her husband and is talking to the child about her plans for their future and their present journey. Another features aimless thirty-somethings, unhappy with who they became, wondering what to do, trying to change, etc.

I'll say that the final story above hooked me. I've had similar conversations with friends I was close with who I've met at a wedding of a mutual friend or who I've met up with at a bar for a drink, and we've talked about who we were, who we are, and where we hope we're going. It's called growing up. It's called life. The overall message seems to be "life isn't what I thought it would be" and I get that, I think we all feel that. But as a book? It just drags.

Coupland's written about the vapidity of modern life and the aimlessness of the individual and the human condition exceptionally well, better than many writers around now and easily the equal of classic writers of the past. "Life After God" though is a misfire. It's got the ideas and the scenes of a book like "Eleanor Rigby" and "Generation A" minus the humour and the plot. As such, it's one of his least interesting works and at best feels like a self-indulgent experiment and a half drunk conversation with someone you vaguely liked once.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written - a strange but moving masterpiece, 14 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
I'll admit to having read many of Coupland's books. As a chronicler of our vacuous, materialist age and the damage it inflicts on us as human beings, he is without peer. After his seemingly more substantial works like All Families Are Psychotic, Eleanor Rigby and Hey Nostradamus, the pared down, minimalist structure of Life After God at first seemed ethereal and a cop-out even. But as I read on, I realised that in Coupland's case, less is more.
This is a profound and almost scary take on modern life. The structure (there are several narrators) and lack of plot in the conventional sense may make it hard for some to appreciate, but as with all Coupland's books I found myself laughing aloud one minute and pondering deep sorrow the next. He has an uncanny ability to nail the quintessential element in a vague emotion and nail it. Here's one of my favourites;
"Now: I believe that you've had most of your important memories by the time you're thirty. After that, memory becomes water overflowing into an already full cup. New experiences just don't register in the same way or with the same impact. I could be shooting herion with the Princess of Wales , naked in a crashing jet, and the experience still wouldn't compare to the time the cops chased us after we threw the Taylors' patio furniture into their pool...."
Brilliant. Buy it. Read it. Read it again. Delicious!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, 22 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
Sometimes you just can't explain why you like something so much.
Maybe it's the way Coupland seems to revoke the old Beat sentiment of searching for a meaning in the apparent madness. Perhaps it's the honest but almost reasurring sadness that runs throughout this book. The glimmer of hope beyond irony, or the feeling that we truly are a part of something much bigger than ourselves.
This book is a collection of perfect moments and memories tied together by a search for the unknown, sometimes even doubting that the unknown's really there to be found. Coupland doesn't spoonfeed the reader with a conventional plot, such a device isn't needed here, instead he shapes a feeling with description and observation, reminding the reader of the magic in the world. This is the magic we all too readily forget, the magic in which our childhood dreams are founded.
It is Coupland at his spiritual, practical and often whimsical best. An incisive commentary of the human condition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Coupland's best, yet darkest books so far!, 22 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
Life After God - Douglas Coupland
Again, Coupland has produced another book which is just impossible to put down. It wraps itself around you, submerges you into his world.
The book examines the anxieties and stress of the zeitgeist generation, a theme Coupland writes about so well. It's about a generation struggling to cope with a changing world, the key to all of his books, but this book follows a more cerebral path, as his thoughts and dreams form the main storyline.
The thing that makes me connect most with Coupland's writing, is the way he portrays his characters and their thoughts. He writes in a way that is almost androgynous. In every book he has written, there are parts which you can identify with - this can be both scary and inspiring!
As a big fan of Coupland, I would say this rates along side 'Girlfriend In A Coma' as one of his best, if not his darkest book yet.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more directed coupland, 13 July 2006
By 
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
Anyone with a vague cerebral itch that their life is missing something should read this book. Anyone who feels that existence is a meaningless ritual of minutiae with an absence of narrative should seek it out and have Coupland once again have their suspicions confirmed.

Probably best not to do it on your own over Christmas and New Year though. Doesn't really put you in the party mood.

This is the third Coupland novel I've read (following Girlfriend in a Coma & Miss Wyoming). Once again Coupland proves his expertise at articulating the need for need that our generation occasionally suffers from. Told as sporadic journal entries and stream of conscious reminiscences, it makes its point more directly than the two later novels I read, but is maybe less memorable or enjoyable for eschewing narrative (though the absence of narrative in life is one of his main points).

Closure is once again however his weak point. Like Miss Wyoming and (especially) Girlfriend in a Coma, he ends with the vagaries of Easy Rider style escapism, where the 9-5 is rejected in order to just head off and, you know, do stuff. Just switch off your television set and go and do something less boring instead.

But then, by accurately portraying our questioning of how inconsequential work and life is, it's inevitable that he'll never be able to give us an answer.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God is the teeth of a man who bites me on the back of the neck after a lucky night..., 15 Feb. 2007
By 
Deanne Dixon "deanne9499" (Sunny South Shields) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
A lecturer of mine from university once gave me a list of books to read, which at first glance, had nothing to do with the module we were studying at the time. "These books are not designed to teach you anything as such" he began, "I have recommended them only to create a spirit of reflection". Having read all of the books on the list (sad life I lead), I asked him again whether there was some underlying common thread between all of the novels he had included. His answer: the only element that each book had in common was that you needed to embark upon a period of mourning after finishing each novel - the only mark of a truly wonderful read.

I include this story only because my lecturer discluded it from his list - "Life After God" is both thought-provoking and wonderful. Typical of Coupland's written prose, it is difficult to really summarise what the story is about. Quite simply, it is a series of biographical reflections penned by a man who never quite seems to come to terms with his own nihilistically, existentialistic reflections. Each page in itself is worthy of praise, every thought is both harrowing and revelationary. Never a word wasted, never a memory misplaced, this surely is Coupland at his very best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Departure from his other works, 21 July 2012
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
I am a fan of Coupland and had first come to him through Girlfriend in a Coma and then Hey Nostradamus. This then was quite a departure to what I was expecting but nonetheless still of value in that it does raise the core questions of his works on humanity, faith and existence but in a way that it is not a book you would take to delve into. The book is wrote in an almost childlike structure with an adult narrative. It did feel that he had pieced together ideas for a book in a series of excerpts and then published that.

I love my original meetings of Coupland and thus felt somewhat shortchanged in terms of sitting down to read this hoping for another chronicle of humanity akin to Hey Nostradamus.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 21 Mar. 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Life after God (Hardcover)
This is one of those books that I have wanted to review for a while, but was unsure of how to approach it. I love the book and have read it over a half dozen times in less than two years. Yet it is such an atypical book that it is difficult to review. I can just be blunt and state that the book will grab you and draw you back in again and again.

The book is published as fiction, yet rumors have it that Coupland will admit that it is at least partially autobiographical. It is a collection of recollections, thoughts, memories and drawings by Coupland. It is the recount a man's life, and as we find out he is telling the story to find out how his life got to where it is. He wants a record for his daughter so that maybe she will understand him better. My favorite of the individual entries is:

"Now -- here is my secret:
I tell it to you with an openness of heart I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God - that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem capable of giving; to help me to be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond able to love." p.359

Every time I pick up this book, I get something more out of it. Sometimes I read it from beginning to end, and then at other times I just pick it up and read at random. This book deals with many of the 'big' questions all of us will have to deal with in our lives. Questions like: How do we deal with Loneliness? Anxiety? Failed relationships? How can we find quiet in our lives? It also deals with the question of being raised without a religion or belief system and how, as we age, we end up struggling with spiritual questions.

If you can track down the first edition hardcover it is worth it. It is in a different format and shape. With the dust jacket off, it looks like a prayer book or bible. If you read it without the jacket in public places people will often ask you what you are reading. This was intentional and the shape and design of this book are part of the art of the book, and part of the complexity Coupland has woven into it. The front cover of the hardback also has an outline of a hand, like a tracing of a child's hand. As we are all reaching out beyond ourselves in search of some greater meaning in life, we are reaching out like a child in search of a parent.

My hat is off to Coupland and this amazing work of art - on all the levels that it is art of the deepest level. Coupland has created a masterpiece that will become a classic, which will survive through the ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Coupland's best..., 8 Feb. 2000
By 
Richard Curran "Suburbia" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
'Life After God' realy is one of Coupland's best novels. Touching on a much more directly spiritual theme, the character development is excellent and engaging. The sense of spiritual need, despair almost is felt, with the closing chapters just awesome. I thoroughly recommend anyone to read it. I would suggest reading his books in order of publishing, although not necessarily sequels I just think there is such a good stream of writing and I think they all work well in the order they were made.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The view from Vancouver, 1 April 2013
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
Doug's a bit like a tasty supplement you sprinkle 'atop' your cereal, but is he a complete meal? 'Dazzlingly disposable', as The Daily Telegraph remarked nicely of the work that followed this one. Or he's like the Bible - or so I conclude after two books (of his); you can take out of it what you want. 'I'm still unsure if Earth is a penance or a reward', he says in a Time Out interview with John O'Connell - where he's also good on reference libraries

Philosophical yet populist, prolific yet dependable, Coupland's someone we are lucky to have. These offcuts from Generation X are sheer decadence - though today's equivalent of Caligula's orgiastic excess (and subsequent anomie) is swimming pools as far as the eye can see - and it's also the one where Coupland outs himself. 'Admit it, Scout[to narrator] - you'd give it all away to look like a Chippendale dancer..' He has a thing about Save-On-Foods and the word beverage, but he can sketch a mean vignette - though the satire is edging closer to sentiment. Feeling our age already, Doug? The dialog(ue), and short takes, are quite filmic (is that good, or bad? probably yes) and not a little hokey - or 'uncomfortably numinous' as The Times said of Hey Nostradamus, where uncomfortably can be taken two ways. As for the Chippendales, well, they still await their Balzac
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Life After God
Life After God by Douglas Coupland (Paperback - 1 July 2002)
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