Saturday, January 24, 2004

One way conversations with dead fictional people.

I finished reading Douglas Coupland's Hey Nostradamus! today.

I liked it quite a bit, as I like most of his books. I'd recommend it to anyone that is a fan of his, and to anyone who might not be, it's a pretty quick read.

The book is divided into four segments, each with a character doing first person narratives. The final segment was written by the least sympathetic (or perhaps the most sympathetic, if you want to look at it that way) of anyone in the book, but the ending gave me goosebumps. I'm such a sap. And by "sap", I mean "freak".

The first segment is written by a dead teenage girl, Cheryl, who is a victim of a school shooting in 1988. Coupland's treatment of grisly events - or rather, Cheryl's detatchment to them - was sort of like Slaughterhouse Five, and sort of like one of the stories from Coupland's short story collection, Life After God.

The rest of the book deals with the way the survivors of the High School Massacre that killed Cheryl are dealing with their grief. As in previous works by Coupland, ponderings on religion and belief and the future are sprinkled throughout, and while I may not agree with everything that the characters do, I felt like I could understand where most of them were coming from. And I liked them all. (Except for Reg. But I get the feeling you weren't supposed to)

Heather's section of the book was probably the most depressing. But the weird thing about the book is that even while he's bringing you down (and Coupland can be a downer), he's able to mix in a smattering of hope. It's hard to explain (or at least, it is for me. Lousy inarticulateness.) but I like it.

Douglas Coupland's books make me think, which is a good thing, even if I can't express it clearly.

So, yeah. Hey Nostradamus! gets my vote. But don't take my word for it. *ba-dum-dun!*

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