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on 9 January 2016
20 years since I first read this. 20 years that have vanished before I even thought about them starting....so many lifetimes..lovers, children, divorce, careers, loss, fortune, the town and the city and all the spaces in between, my babies become teenagers and I move to grey and a nagging/boring obsession with my waist size..I have memories of this book: beautiful and simple and elegant and moving and spiritual with a small 's'..and I've recommended and bought this for so many that I wanted to see if it still means what it did.

It does. Coupland still makes me smile in ways I only recognise when I read him; ("he was so curious to know what being shot would be like. To facilitate shooting he would always wear his shirts wide open at the chest, like a 1976 person"), ("there were no clean spoons around the house so I ate cottage cheese with a plastic tortoiseshell shoehorn that was lying next to the couch - so I guess I've hit a new personal low"), and now gives me that added ache of nostalgia..the saddest of the loss emotions. This has the strange comfort of a Hold Steady song - reminding me somehow of a time long since passed, or the smell of my favourite Chivas Regal 25, and could make me cry on a deeper, more pale afternoon. Tempting to be cynical of course..Coupland with his oh so meaningful 20 something generation little baby nothing small life lessons, and too cool for school ain't I tortured and interesting characters, but that would mean reading this with head not heart and there are plenty of other reading experiences for that. These are snatches of meaningless conversations, (like most words exchanged), sketches of moods ("..summer was over. The cold air sparkled and the maples leaves were rotting, putting forth their lovely reek, like dead pancakes."), the nuclear dead speaking after their everyday mundane flashpoint deaths in shopping malls, offices and hair salons, and clever little metaphors ("counting the Rothkos of skid marks of long-dead car collisions on Interstate 15's white cement lanes").

Some days we need to disappear into a foggy world of dreams, and not return to this, our real world. Life After God allowed me that opportunity today. I slipped through, just for a couple of hours..slipped my own chains. In the words of another great Canadian: "only love can break your heart".

"Time is how the trees grow. I will fall asleep for a thousand years, and when I wake, a mighty spruce tree will have raised me up high, high into the sky"
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on 26 June 2016
Some very thought provoking short stories, a little depressing but a good read
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on 15 February 2016
Interesting book. The meaning and intention of the autor comes at the end of the book. One doesn't quite understand what he is trying to say at first, as it starts with several unrelated stories.
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on 11 December 2013
OK, they're all my favourite but this is my favourite favourite. Moving, funny, compelling and written beautifully, as ever, by British Columbia's favourite son.
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on 16 April 2016
My favourite Coupland book: stories within stories, thoughtful, weird and wonderful characters and a great sense of place.
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on 15 April 2017
Great book, fast delivery
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on 6 October 2013
It's not what I thought it would be, but it is interesting and I am enjoying it. A lot of nuclear fixation.
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on 9 October 2011
I enjoyed this book. The prose is no less affecting or entertaining for it's minimalism. The story of this man, told in bite-size brilliance as he contemplates life,meaning and love is both moving and smile-enducing. The pace flows gently as he remembers childhood friends with affection and then informs you of where they are now and how life has changed them for the worse and the better. He recalls his family and the tensions and weirdness inherent in every home and everybody. The things not discussed and ignored until it's all too late and the sadness which ensues.His disaffection and disassociation with society. The story is of self-discovery as the main chracter finds himself sitting in a cheap tent while it rains, eating chocolate, ignoring his office job and tentatively feeling his way to contentment and fufillment. There is hope in this story that doesn't rely on sentimentality or patronization of the reader. In all, a very entertaining book from an author with wit, contempt for modern society and compassion. The only downside was that this book was a little short. Thank you.
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on 15 June 2012
I haven't read a book that captures this well what it is like to be a young adult in the time we live in. If you were born between 1980 and 2000, or somewhere around there, and to middle class parents, this is a book about YOU.
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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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