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3.8 out of 5 stars42
3.8 out of 5 stars
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2004
I like Douglas Coupland's books but this book, as much as i do like it, it does lack something. The book shows the point of views of the narrators and their troubles. Their words mean alot and the reader understands their search for God. The title might be misleading to be a religious book, but it isn't. It's numerous journies searching for God and asking what is religion and where is God? It's sort of philosophical in a depressing sort of way. It asks what everyone will think, no matter what beliefs you have, because the afterlife is so unknown.
What is bad about it is that the narrators change too often and sometimes without warning. It becomes confusing who is speaking and thus each story begins and ends out of nowhere.
In all, it is a good book, but not one of Coupland's best.
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6 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2006
Having never read any of Douglas Coupland’s previous works, I decided to give Life After God a go when it was recommended to me here. I have to admit, I was certainly looking forward to it, particularly because it seemed to have some significance to existentialism from the blurb and I was a little seduced by the idea of the American road-trip thing, a fascination gleaned from reading J.T. Leroy’s ‘The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things’ (which, by the by, is an excellent book and well worth the money unlike SOME).
However, after exploring Coupland’s weak multi-narration, teamed with the characters who’s anonymity was rather annoying than atmospherical plus the cheesy ‘reflective’ one-liners that could have come from a fortune cookie rather than days of inhabiting the woods or slacking off work, I finally finished the 100 or so pages of Life After God learning that what life after God actually produced was God. It’s like escaping from the wicked witch’s gingerbread house to find that you needed a wicked witch all along, except that you couldn’t realize her within the saccharine climate of the gingerbread house.
Bad analogies aside, this book did have some benefits and, dare I say it, highlights. The few and far-between good spots were Coupland’s appreciation of nature by his narrators when they fled from their systematic lives, the nomadicity of the drifters in the novel and the maturing account of the group of friends in the final narration of the book. It seems by de-personalising his narrators the only thing Coupland achieves is his (ex)readers disinterest. When the characters were actually given personalities, such as Louie and Laurie and Cathy and Pup-Tent (I know) the real magic of Life After God shone through. The book was actually meaningful and, if you squinted your eyes you might have seen resemblances between it and such timeless classics as ‘Catcher In the Rye’ and ‘American Psycho’. Alas, this did not last. Coupland then resumed his ineffective character anonymity that he tried to parallel with the desolate American deserts and highways, but came off like a sullen teenager deliberately not putting their name on their maths exercise book.
Some may term this simplicity. I call it laziness, a trait which should only be put into practice when considering purchasing Life After God.
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