Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Great Canadian Author - Book Review

It's Canada day! So it seems appropriate to do a review of an author I only recently discovered and have come to really, really love.

This isn't so much a book review as an author review but the three books of his I've most been impacted by are:
Girlfriend in a Coma, Hey Nostradamus, All Families are Psychotic

The first Douglas Coupland book I read was 'All Families are Psychotic'. I was in desperate need of something to read and I had some Amazon vouchers to spend. I went into the recommended stuff to see if I could find someone new. Based on my love of A.M. Homes and Kate Atkinson, Coupland came up as a suggestion. I liked the title (I totally judge books by their covers ALL THE TIME and it serves me well.) so I bought it. 

When I began reading it I didn't yet know that Coupland Canadian but it didn't take long for the language and characters to act as a dead give-away. Despite being set in the States, something about it just struck me as inherently Canadian. And then we find out the family is from Canada. 

And this book is amazing because it's just about people and it's really honest. It's honest about how much can happen in a single family and how interdependent we all are. It's also really funny and clever and I came to adore the character so much I hated for the book to end. 

My interested was piqued and I soon began looking for Douglas Coupland books in charity shops. As it turns out, his are the sort of books that end up in such places. They're not thick volumes although their content is thought provoking. 

'Girlfriend in a Coma' asks us to question the very nature of our existence through a strange post-apocolypitic scenario involving a Gen X cast. Many of his books are very much about this generation that came in the wake of the Baby Boomers. 

'Hey Nostradamus' has the voices of four different narrators pulling us through the thread of the story. It's so much about how we are our own little Universes but still intricately connected. This connectivity seems to be something he explores in all his novels. 

I so rarely come across Canadian authors and to find out so incredibly talented and interesting is an absolute joy. If you're only going to read one of his books I recommend 'All Families are Psychotic' but I've been genuinely impacted by all five of his books that I've read thus far. 

Happy Canada day! 

Other awesome Canadian Creative types you should check out: 
Anne Marie-McDonald, author/actor
Esthero, musician
Feist, musician
Peaches, performing artist/musician
James Hergel, painter
Rick Mercer, comedian
Rufus Wainwright, musician
Russell Peters, comedian

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