But, for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains permanently derailed. Four dramatically different characters tell their stories: Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason's father, Reg, whose rigid religiosity has separated him from nearly everyone he loves.
©2003 Douglas Coupland; (P)2003 HighBridge Company
"[Coupland]'s best novel to date." (LA Weekly)
"It's an extraordinarily well-written novel with characters you know you shouldn't be liking but do. So real." (Whoopi Goldberg)
This is one of those books that you think about for days after you have finished it. I enjoyed it immensely. The 4 different readers added dimension to the story rather than detract like I initially expected. I had read where this book had been compared to 'Lovely Bones', but I think it is far superior.
Douglas Coupland?s Hey Nostradamus! was on my reading list before I discovered Audible.com The book is worth reading in any format. What I want to address here is the awesome quality of this reading?an important dimension of the experience for regular listeners. This production gets 5 out of 5 stars! The separate readers for the book?s four parts bring the novel to life with characterizations that are spot on and that will echo through your memory long after you finish the book. Superbly done!
While the book has ample literary merit to recommend it, one particularly remarkable achievement stands out in the novel?s first part. While adolescent hormones take a back seat here (or at least yield equal billing) to meditations on love, death, God, religion, and the somewhat modern phenomenon of sudden, incomprehensible violence, what makes Coupland?s rendering of the teen sex drive so remarkable is that it loses none of its accuracy or all-absorbing urgency when he wraps it in the societal legitimacy of marriage. I found that a startlingly refreshing departure from the normal authorial choices in that regard.
This book is told by four characters. The first character, in addition to being my favorite audiobook narrator to date, had a very interesting story. Too bad they kill her off early on. The next three characters got, in my opinion, successively worse as the book went on. By the end I barely wanted to listen anymore, but I did finish the book, hoping for redeption - there wasn't any.
Coupland became one of my favorite living writers with this title. This book starts off hauntingly beautiful, and then is at turns funny, dark, everyday, twisted, hopeful, hopeless; a mystery, a tragedy, a comedy, a coming-of-age tale, a critique of postmodern culture, a parable, a story of a father and his son, a celebration of life and a emotional story of loss and death.
Coupland himself knows how to deal with today's generation that both rejects and yearns for truth and life, valuing authenticity and real-ness above all else. He coined the phrase "Generation X" with his groundbreaking novel of the same name, and continues to show us the way of new life and joy in the age of commercialism and postmodernity clouding the wealthy lives of Americans.
The audio production is one of the best in the business. Often I turn this book on just to be comforted by the narrators' poignant inflections and subtle underplaying of emotion.
As one other reviewer pointed out, you really have to struggle through the first part of this, but it is worth it -- it does get better. All the sections are narrated in the first person and Cheryl, the girl telling her story in the first section, is so unbearably shallow and uneducated that it's very easy to think that this is a book written by such a person. It's actually made worse by the fact that Coupland's characterization of Cheryl is so brilliant -- she is so awesomely dumb that one's first instinct is to want to put the book down.
Even when it does get better this is not a book to read if you're feeling down. It provides a seriously scary view of America -- both of the current generation in general and of a certain breed of born-again Christians in particular. A generation that cannot imagine that anything in the world exists outside of shopping malls, or that religion could possibly be anything more than the simpering, suger-coated malevolence of TV evangelists.
Nor is there any ray of light anywhere: Coupland never steps outside of the frightening, comic-strip simplicity of his characters' world. It is a nihilistic vision of a scorched human desert, in which the heritage of thousands of years of history, culture and spirituality simply do not exist. It is brilliantly done but terribly depressing. And at the end one cannot help wondering: Is Coupland describing this as a conscious observer, who understands what he sees and is just as alarmed about it as his readers? Or is he an unconscious participant, part of the comic-book generation without past or future?
I was really wowed by this book, the first Coupland book I've ever "read". It's nominally about the tragedy and after-effects of a school massacre much like the Columbine shootings in 1999, but in reality it's about hope, dreams, religion, despair, faith, secrets, and guilt. It's in four first-person accounts by a victim, a survivor, a girlfriend of a survivor, and a parent of a survivor.
As one might expect with those subjects, nothing is neatly resolved by the end of the book.....but that's part of its strength. Questions of faith, love, hope, guilt, and dreams will always be with every one of us, and all we can do is keep puzzling things through. The journey is as important as the destination.
This book has stayed with me for weeks. It is unlike most books I've ever read. I think the author did not expect all who read it to understand it in the same way. Sort of like Life -we do not understand experiences in the same way that others do and no one really helps us to interpret them. So, while this book had a great story line, it kept us interested and was the means to encourage the reader to develop her/his own understanding. I think that is why some readers felt let down by the ending. Ambiguity can be difficult to cope with, but it does help us to think more deeply than we otherwise could.
What an amazing story! I chose this book because of narrator, David LeDoux whom I adore but now it is one of my favorite books of all time. Try it and you really won't regret it.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
Well-written story of the aftermath of a high school massacre and the lasting effects on several closely involved people. Each got to tell their own version of themselves and their story. While not a happy subject or a happy book, it was immensely listenable with excellent narrators.
Great novel, wonderfully written- a triumph. Narrators also fantastic. Coupland captures sadness, depression, tragedy and comedy in a gem of a book.
This is my favourite Douglas Coupland novel, brilliantly read by 4 very talented actors. Like most Coupland books this one deals with feelings of isolation in the midst of the buzziness of modern life. It starts with a high school shooting, very sensetively handled, and shows how the tradegic events cause ripples in the lives of two of the families concerned over a period of 20 years. As is common with a Coupland novel, the events and characters are a means to ask some very searching questions about faith, God and the value of individuals. This is a moving and thought provoking work but one that maintains the authors characteristic wit and warmth throughout. One of the best books availible on Audible.
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